Thinking of historical times with rosy retrospection is always sentimental. It brings in a nostalgic mood even though you have not lived those times and were not even born in it. Looking at pictures from the past, especially with black and white print, brings up more emotions in you because you realize how much history these pictures hold. Pictures have a different value to them these days. It is almost natural to take picture of a special moment. Even if it is not a special moment, people take pictures all the time because of how convenient it has gotten. We have our cameras in our pockets now.
Due to how regularly pictures are taken, they don’t hold that much special value to them anymore. People take pictures almost of everything. We have pictures of the food we eat when we go out, when we cook, or even order in. We often send our snaps to our friends from our routine e.g. sending pictures of our outfit that we are wearing that day. People with pets take pictures of their pets all the time. It is a common thing and not much thought is put into it. We cannot differentiate which pictures hold more meaning to them because pictures are not taken on just special occasions anymore. This is why old pictures hold great importance because you realize something important was taking place that the photographer thought was significant enough to be captured in a photograph. They are not meaningless and instead they have a purpose behind them.
Below we have a collection of 13 photos of important moments from history that we are lucky to have in the record. Scroll away to take in some historic moments!
1. Nicola Tesla and his “Magnifying Transmitter”
This is an important picture to science and students who are interested in the field. We see Sir Tesla sitting in his Laboratory next to his Transmitter. We read about scientists in our books and wonder what it must be like in their labs where they conducted all the experiments. Well, this is how it looks like folks.
2. First Black girl in an all-white school!
Dorothy Counts was one of the first black students to be given admission into Charlotte’s Harry Harding High School in 1957. She was the first black girl to attend that school and she did not have a very warm welcome. As we can see in the picture, every white student is laughing at her and that has to be a difficult experience. This picture is significant as it captures the scrutiny early black students had to face in schools with a predominantly white population.
3. Austrian boy and his new shoes
Don’t be mistaken, this is not a regular boy laughing in his joyfulness. This picture was taken during World War II. The Australian boy received his new shoes and was elated about it. Pictures take during World War II hold great importance because they captured a moment from a time in history that is still stuck in everyone’s head. A time that shall never be forgotten. Everyone wants to know what those years were like.
4. Kathrine Switzer
Do you want to know what it feels like to be the first-ever woman to win the Boston marathon? Well, ask Kathrine Switzer. This picture was taken during the Boston Marathon in 1967 in which Kathrine Switzer participated, Just like however women always struggle in their endeavors, Kathrine Switzer’s race was hindered by the organizer who did not want her to complete the race. As can be seen in the picture, all men hurled her way in to stop her from completing the race. This is a monumental moment in history and fortunately, it was captured in a picture.
5. Freed from the death train!
Another significant picture! We see jews with big smiles on their faces from being free after being imprisoned on the death train. This is from 1945.
6. Adjoining graves
When lovers say they want to be buried together, this is what they mean! This picture is from 1888 when a protest husband and his catholic wife were buried together and the tombstones of their graves adjoined.
7. Harold Whittes
This picture is rather an adorable one. Harold Whittle heard for the first time, and it left him in shock as we can see in his eyes. His eyes are wide open as if he saw a ghost.
8. Saying no to Nazi Salute
This picture is something to remember from 1936. We see one single man standing with his arms down while everyone else is doing the Nazi Salute.
9. Chaos on the roads of Sweden!
This is a funny moment from history. Back in 1967, Sweden got this new rule where driving changed from the left side to the right side. People obviously took their time to adjust to this and found themselves in the middle of chaos on the roads.
10. German Soldiers seeing footage of the concentration campus
In this picture from 1945, we see German soldiers watching footage of the concentration camps. This is a rare moment that was captured. We see some soldiers holding their heads. One person can be seen wiping his tear. some people are looking away. It makes you wonder what was going on in their heads!
11. Job hunt!
This picture is from the 1930s, showing a man in search of a job. Like now we have digital and printed CVs, this person had his profile, credentials, and his skills on a whiteboard.
12. American Acrobats of past
Ever wondered how athletes were in the past? Well, this picture will take you there. We see American acrobats showing their brilliant skills on the top of the empire state building in this picture.
13. Exotic Dancer in the court.
When I tell you people had a different vibe full of guts back then, I come with proof. After getting arrested in Floria, we see an exotic dance showing to the court that her underwear covers her well to avoid exposure to the audience.
Seeing these pictures makes you wish you could have a time machine and somehow travel back to these times. If you could just travel to even one moment in this history, that would make you satisfied. The energy in the photos is different and it fills you with curiosity. Some things shock you because reality is different now and that moment would not occur in the present. Things that do put you in surprise are the ones that are similar to the current world, and that makes you realize that maybe we have not completely changed from the past. The past and the present are still connected by the time spent in between.
14. History of Tel Aviv
This picture captures a significant moment in the history of Tel Aviv. On April 11, 1909, 66 families Jewish families stood on a desert and barren land and participated in a lottery to divide 12 Acre plots of sand dunes. Seashells were used to decide the lottery. This date is marked as the founding date of founding for the establishment of Tel Aviv. Akiva Arye Weiss organized this lottery.
15. Albert Einstein, Max Plack, and Robert Williams in the session of the Physical Society in 1931
This picture shows three renowned physicists, Albert Einstein, Max Plack, and Robert William seated in a session of the Physical society in 1931. The physical society is an organization of learned physicists to advance on the ideas and field of physics. The three personalities seated have contributed significantly to the field of physics.
16. The first bananas in Norway, 1905
This historical photo captured in Norway dates back to 1905 when Norwegians had sight of bananas for the first time. Norway received 3,000 kilos of bananas in crates. Norway comes second to the United Kingdom for the import of bananas in Europe. Christian Matthiessen, the founder of Bama, Norway’s largest distributor of fruits, is also present in the picture.
17. Reunion of a child with her father, a WW2 soldier
This picture captures a significant moment in the lives of two people: a reunion of a 12-year daughter and her father, a German World War II prisoner, who had not seen each other for 11 years. The soldier’s daughter was merely an infant of 1-year old when he last saw her. This picture was taken as part of the series called “The return of the 10,000”. When World War ended, these men were the last set of prisoners to be released by the Soviet Union.
18. Frida Kahlo in a suit, 1924
This picture shows Frida Kahlo, a renowned artist, in a man’s attire in 1924. She is known to be a rebel and her being dressed up in a three-piece suit reflects her fluid gender expression. She did not confine herself to the societal constructs of masculine and feminine characteristics.
19. Scottish Piper during Word War 1
This image captures a significant and historical moment. It shows a Scottish piper in a kilt during World War 1. Back then, pipes were famously used in the Scottish battlefield, and their sounds used to engulf the field. The pipes were used to cue the soldiers to rather more strategic movements.
20. A Young Winston Churchill, 1895
In this picture from 1895, we see Winston Churchill of age 21 dressed up in a military uniform of Hussar.
21. Survivors of Titanic
This historic picture captures the significant moment when survivors of the Titanic were boarding The Carpathia in 1912. The sinking of the Titanic was a devastating moment in history when more than 1,500 passengers and crew died in the accident. The Carpathia was sent to rescue 705 survivors who escaped the horrific site on lifeboats.
21. Mona Lisa during World War II
To prevent Nazis from taking back important artworks, many paintings were shifted between chateaux and the painting of the Mona Lisa was one of them. This painting was moved to many castles and abbeys before it was finally moved to Louvre Museum after the war.
22. Laborers working on the Eiffel Tower, 1932
Eiffel tower took over two years to build before it was opened to the public on 31st March 1889. The way we renovate our house at least once in many years, the Eiffel tower requires some touching up to do as well. Imagine working on the Eiffel tower and working on it to keep its beauty intact!
23. Remains of Vladimir Komarov
Do you know the first person who died in space? It was Vladimir Komarov. He was the first human who Soviet cosmonaut to travel to outer space more than once. This picture shows us Soviet military officials viewing the remains of Vladimir Komarov during his open-casket funeral. The only body part that survived of him was a chipped heel bone.
24. Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, and Keith Richard seated together at Jagger’s 29th birthday, July 1972
What a lovely throwback! Mick Jagger threw his birthday party in New York, NY in 1972. This photo shows Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of the rolling stones chatting with Bob Dylan.
25. Woman hiding her face while being seated on the bench that has “Only for Jews” carved on it, Austria 1938
While many think this is just a normal photo of a random woman sitting on a bench, it is not that simple. This photograph was captured in Austria, March 1938 and shows a Jewish woman hiding her face while she is sitting on a bench that has “Only for Jews” written on it. This was a sensitive time in history because Hitler marched into Austria and the Nazis destroyed Jewish shops and homes. Around 20,000 to 30,000 Jewish people were placed in concentration camps.
26. Hungarian Jew being sent to Gas Chamber, 1944
This picture was taken at Auschwitz, which was the largest Nazi concentration camp in Polish, Oswiecim. This picture was taken while a Hungarian jew was selected to be placed in the Gas chamber at the concentration camp.
27. Hoover Dam, February 1934
Hoover Dam is a well-known spot for tourists. the picture shows columns of the dam being filled with concrete during February 1934.
28. People sitting casually around the “Gadget” Atomic bomb, 1945
The “Gadget” was detonated during the Trinity Test in July 1945. The making of this implosion device involved a lot of complications that the scientists of the Manhatten Project had to deal with.
29. The Reichstag, after the Soviets took over Berlin in 1945
Russians took over the Reichstag on April 30, 1945. Young Soviet troops drew graffiti on the poles and walls at the Reichstag building. It was done in the joy of their victory fort taking over the building. They considered this to reflect that they won over Nazi Germany because they were under the impression that it was Hitler’s lair.
30. Making of the sculpture colossal sculpture on Mount Rushmore, 1930s
The Colossal sculpture of Mount Rushmore shows beautifully carved faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. This project was not a smooth run and it took 14 years to make it. The monument took over 400 men and women to build it. The picture shows a man carving an eye into the mountain.
31. Marilyn Monroe during the making of In the Seven Year Itch
The Seven Year Itch starring the beautiful Marilyn Monroe came out in 1955. This picture shows a scene of this movie being shot. This scene is considered one of the greatest cinematic scenes in the history of Hollywood. A lot of people and the press were allowed while shooting this.
32. Execution of Eugen Weidmann, 1939
This picture was taken during the execution of Euge Weidmann, a German criminal in June 1939. He was a serial killer who was publicly executed on a guillotine in France. This was the last execution that took place in France.
33. Lesbian couple at Le Monocle
Did you know, that in the 1920s, Paris became very popular in terms of its increasing entertainment activities of nighttime as well as the liberal attitude of its people? People noticed a lot of tolerance and acceptance of the gay and lesbian community and even nightclubs relevant to these groups were open and thriving. Le Monocle was the first lesbian nightclub to have opened and soon became the most popular one.
34. “The most beautiful Suicide”
This pictures Evelyn Mchale crashed into a car, after jumping from the 86th-floor observation deck of the Empire State Building. Even though her last wish was that no one sees her dead body, her suicide became very known because of how her body smashed into the car. It was named “The most beautiful Suicide”. It was named that because of how she looked; peaceful and calm. It looked like she was having the most peaceful and soothing sleep one could have. Her ankles crossed each and her one hand, covered in a glove, was placed on her chest.
35. Last goodbye before The Ship Sinks, 1944
This picture shows a tragic moment in history captured. It shows the moment before the ship sunk. The crew of the Japanese carrier Zuikaka breathes for the last moment before the ship sank in the waters in 1944.
36. Bolaji Badejo in his Skeleton costume, 1978
Bolaji Badejo was a Nigerian visual artist who eventually became famous for being the most unlikely on-screen actor in Hollywood. This was after he was cast for Ridley’s Scott’s film Alien in 1979. This picture shows Badejo in his costume for the movie Alien in 1978.
37. Mafia Boss died with an ace of spades in her hand, 1931
Masseria, known as “Joe the Boss” was a mafia boss from in New York City. He was boss to one of the NY’s Mafia families, now called the Genovese Crime Family. He participated in the Castellammarese war to take hold of all the crimes that were taking place in New York City. This resulted in his murder, which is shown in this picture. His murder was ordered by Charles Luciano, who was his own lieutenant.
38. Construction of the Statue of Liberty, 1884
This picture captures a historical moment of the construction of the Statue of Liberty. The statue of liberty is placed in New York, but did you know that it was built in Paris?
39. Resident’s showing their children to the grandparents living on the other side of the border, 1961
The photo captures a tragic time in history. Parents are showing their newborns to the families living across the wall that separated Western and Eastern Berlin. The placing of this Berlin Wall divided many families from their loved ones.
40. St. Louis slave market, Missouri,1853
One of the most gruesome times in history was the slavery of the black communities. St. Louis is known to be the most significant center for the slave trade before the Civil War. This picture shows a set of men in front of Lynch’s slave market, waiting to be sold.
41. Nazi-Occupied Eiffel Tower in 1940
The writing on the banner says “Germany wins on all fronts”. After Germany occupied Paris, lift cables of the tower were cut off. The tower was no longer open to the public during that time.
42. Young Hitler cheering at the beginning of World War I, 1914
The photo was captured by Heinrich Hoffman, a Munic photographer at a rally organized to support the war against Russia. The pictures show a young Adolf Hitler cheering with great patriotism when the German anthem played.
43. Atomic bomb detonated on Nagasaki on August 1945
The picture shows a couple of men working on finishing the Fat Man Atomic bomb that was detonated on Nagasaki on 9th August 1945. On the tipping point of the bomb was written Jancfu, an acronym for Joint-Army-Navy-Civilian F*** up.
44. Austrian prisoner of war returning home and passing a woman holding a picture of his son
This picture captures a devastating moment in history where a woman is seen holding a picture of his son as the Austrian prisoners of the war return. The picture was taken in 1947 in Vienna, at the Southern Railway Station.
45. Boxing match, July 3, 1899
This is a rather fun picture taken in history in 1899. It shows men geared up for a boxing match on the dock U.S.S, New York. Men and employees at the cruiser gathered around to entertain the match.
46. Hatted heads, New York, 1930
This beautiful picture of a street in Manhattan’s german district was taken by Margaret Bourke, which captures a crowd of men, all wearing hats.
47. In injured dog from World War II, 1944
Guam was overthrown by the Japenese from December 13, 1941, to 1944. In 1944, the place was attacked by America carrier-based airplanes. During the strike, a combat dog was injured and the pictures show a war veterinarian catering to its wounds.
48. This is the Jewish Physician from the Hilter Family, Eduard Bloch, sitting in his office in 1938.
Hitler gave Bloch his personal protection and called him a “Nobel Jew”
49. The last time Vladimir Lenin was photographed.
Vladimir Lenin was a Russian politician and political theorist. He is known to be the first and founding head of the government of Soviet Russia. He suffered from a lot of mental strains due to heading a revolution and actively fighting a civil war. He was heavily injured due to an assassination attempt after which he suffered continuous deterioration of health. By the end, he had received three strokes which left him mute.
50. Destruction of The Nazi Submarine U-175
The Nazi Submarine was destroyed by the US Coast Guard Cutter Spencer on April 17, 1943.
Wow, these were some really interesting pictures from history. Some pictures were completely random and made you laugh but some pictures were completely heart-wrenching. Few pictures were taken right before a big event happened and looking at those pictures hits you in the heart. For example, pictures of the atomic bombs before they were detonated are hard to digest. These pictures were probably taken just a while before the disaster happened and so many lives got destroyed. Pictures from the time of World War II brought an eerie aura. Other pictures like that of slaves waiting to be sold at the market break your soul, knowing that humans are capable of demanding other humans to the extent that they start selling them for labor. The picture of the first black student to get admission into a school with all-white students makes you ponder over how far we have come. However, we should not forget about how such horrors still take place in our world.
Which one of the photos made you sentimental the most? Let us know!