One of the best things about the internet is that you get access to a lot of historical photos and videos, some of which even date back to the 1800s. It gives you a glimpse into the life of regular people who lived in a totally different world than ours. I have gathered 40 amazing photos that will make you travel back in time. Each of these photos tells a unique story, so without further ado, let’s get started.
Discovery Of Insulin
You might not have heard the names of Dr. Frederick Banting and Charles Best, but millions of people owe their lives to these two people. Over 500 million people in the world suffer from some sort of diabetic disease, but they still get to live their lives like everyone else. If this was before 1921, most of these people would be considered to be in a fatal condition.
This photo from 1922 is of a children’s ward in a hospital in Toronto, Canada. You can see Dr. Frederick and a nurse with a child on a stretcher. There were a lot of children in the ward who suffered from diabetes. Their medical status was said to be critical; however, a visit from Dr. Banting and his medical student, Charles Best, changed things around. They injected those kids with insulin, and gradually all kids started to get better.
Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade In Sydney 1994
The late 20th century was one of the best times to be alive. This photo from the 1994 Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was the first time that Australian television showed the parade on TV. If you have ever been to a Mardi Gras, you know that it always gets out of control, and with the way the boys in the back are dressed, I can only imagine how it went in Sydney that day.
If you want to know how wild it really got, you just have to see the expression on the face of the woman standing on the side. She is shocked, surprised, confused, and in horror all at the same time. Well, in her defense, maybe she was shocked because she saw someone from her work or family at the event.
An Elegant Dog Portrait
This photo is from the late 1800s. The dog was placed on a tall table, and a smoking pipe (I hope it was empty) was placed in the mouth of the dog. The dog itself is really beautiful, but it’s the pose that cracks most of the people who watch this picture.
Photographers needed a lot of time to take a single photograph, so you might wonder how this dog stayed still for so long that the photographer was able to take such an elegant portrait. Well, unfortunately, they had to sedate animals in those days to take a good photograph, and that is what probably happened to this dog.
Harlem Hellfighters On The Frontline
In this photo, a soldier for Harlen Hellfighters can be seen cuddling a dog. This is a cute picture that is completely different from the actual scenario in which the photo was taken. America has a very troubled past when it comes to racism. African Americans were not allowed to serve in the military.
In the first world war, the US army needed all the volunteers they could get. This is why a separate unit was created, which mostly included African Americas. Even though they faced racism in their country, they were ready to give their life for the country. The Harlem Hellfighters fought in both world wars for the US.
People Hated The Dentist Even A Hundred Years Ag
Even though dentistry has come a long way, many people still dread going to the dentist. These days you can get your tooth extracted without feeling any pain; however, things weren’t this good in the past. This picture is from 1920 when a dentist claimed that he offered painless dentistry services.
The kid on the side, who seems to be an old client, felt that it was wrong to lie to the customers, or perhaps he was feeling pain from a procedure he recently got done from this very dentist. He took a chalk and wrote liar on the dentist’s wall. I am sure the dentist lost a few clients that day because of this graffiti.
Cat Wearing A Surgical Mask
Almost one hundred years before the coronavirus, the world suffered from another deadly Pandemic called the Spanish flu. Everyone started taking precautions to protect themselves from getting the virus. One of those precautions was that people started wearing face masks. Well! Aren’t we all familiar with that?
This family in the picture clearly loves their cat. This picture is from 1918, where all members of a family can be seen wearing face masks but what’s surprising is that even their pet cat is wearing one. This may seem like something they would do for a cute photo, but it was actually the strict mask mandates that the people of that time had to follow.
The world has become accepting of the LGBTQ+ community in the last two decades. However, things weren’t this good back in the 1970s and 1980s. Around 50 years back, parents used to break ties with their kids if they found out that their kids were a member of the LBGTQ community.
Some people were also forced to enroll in conversion therapy. However, the mom in this picture showed that she loved her son no matter what his sexuality. She broke tradition in 1985 and went to a pride parade with her Bisexual son, wearing a shirt that showed the world that she would always stand in support of her son.
Guess The Pirate
Can you guess who that little child in the Pirate costume is? That kid is the future president of the United States, Barack Obama. This picture was taken in 1964. Barack Obama was all dressed up for a Halloween party in Honolulu. The woman next to him is his mother.
Barack Obama often talks about the influence of her mother on his life. He became the president of one of the most powerful countries in the world, so we can say that she did her job right. This might have been one of the last photos of Obama’s childhood in Hawaii before he and his mother moved to Indonesia.
The Weird Law In France
Did you know up until 2013, there was a written rule in France that women could not dress up like a man? Marlene Dietrich was a very popular American and German actress who visited France in 1933 with her husband. However, when she got off the train, it was seen that she was wearing pants and men’s shoes and had short hair.
At that time, it was illegal in France for women to dress like a man. There are conflicting reports about what happened that day when she arrived in Paris. It is believed that she was detained by the authorities because of her clothes, but these reports were later said to be incorrect. It just comes to show how the rules and regulations have changed over time and how countries used to have weird laws in the past.
Super Girl From Peru
In 1971, a plane crash that took off from Peru crashed in the Amazing rainforest after lighting struck the plane and tore it into pieces mid-air. There were 92 people on board, and 91 of those lost people lost their lives. The sole survivor of that plane crash was a young 17-year-old girl named Juliane Koepcke. She is pictured below.
Juliane Koepcke was still strapped to her chair when she fell 10000 down. The Amazon river is a dense place, and it was really difficult for help to reach her in time. She had to spend around 11 days in the amazon forest alone. She gathered food from her surroundings and also from the clothes of other passengers who landed near her. She was rescued by three missionaries who took her to the hospital.
Anticipation Of The Gift
This absolutely heartwarming picture is from 1955, where a man, most probably the child’s father, is about to give one of the best gifts this kid has ever received. Not only does this photograph capture the amazing gesture, but it also captures the cute way of anticipation of the child.
This shows how simple life was back in the day. If this happened today, the person giving the gift would record it for his social media so that his followers can comment on how good of a person he is, but back in the day, it was all done with purity of the heart just to make the other person happy and not for getting likes on social media.
The Protest That Has Been Going On For Centuries
Whether it’s the 21st century or 2000 BC, there are always people who stand up to the status quo. They demand that their rights be protected. This girl from a civil rights protest in the 1970s is holding a sign that one can still see in the modern world.
So there is no denying that people have become more aware of their rights in the modern world, but the fight for equal rights and justice has always been the same. The world may have come a long way from 1970, but it is very clear that all the issues mentioned in that placard have still not been resolved completely.
Princess Diana Meets Mr. Bean
While the world today knows Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean, he first shot to fame with his comedy series by the name of Blackadder. In this picture from the 1984 Royal Variety Show, Princess Diana can be seen talking and joking with the celebrity lineup.
Everyone seems to be having a great time. It is also significant to note that both of these beloved celebrities were at the peak of their fame at that time. This also shows how jolly Princess Diana actually was. While other royals always kept it formal, Diana always went one step ahead.
The decade of the 1940s is exactly known for heartwarming pictures like this one. It was when the second world war was happening. However, this picture from the same decade soothes our hearts. It’s amazing to see how people in those days were simple yet very loving.
The hoof of the little lamb on the shoulder of the young boy only adds to the beauty of the picture. I don’t know if the kid was actually sleeping or if he was just posing for the picture, but one thing is for sure, that boy and that lamb are best friends.
Dog Is Definitely Man’s Best Friend
This photo is from 1935, and the dog pictured here is one of the most famous dogs not only in Japan but in the world. The name of the dog is Hachiko, and this photo was taken on the day of Hachiko’s death. Many of you may already know his story.
Hachiko was owned by a man named Ueno, and every day, Hachiko would accompany Ueno to the train station. While Ueno went to work, Hachiko would wait at the train station for Ueno to return from work so that they could go home together. However, after two years, Ueno passed away at work, and Hachiko kept visiting the train station for nine years after Ueno’s death in hopes that Ueno would one day return. Well, they don’t say that dog is a man’s best friend for nothing.
No Salute For The Fuhrer
This is one of the most powerful photos on our list. The identity of the person in this photo is unknown, but it is believed that the person is August Landmesser. Landmesser’s life story is a tragic one because he was a German who fell in love with a Jewish woman in Nazi Germany. The Race laws in Nazi Germany forbade marriage between the two; hence the couple decided to live together without getting married.
In this photo, Landmesser dared to do something that no one in Nazi Germany could ever think of. He did not do the Nazi Salute because he was not allowed to marry the love of his life. He was punished for this action. When the war crimes started getting worse, his wife was captured and killed in 1942 by German officers, whereas Landmesser himself was sent to fight in Croatia. It is believed that he died fighting just two years after the death of his partner.
A British Koala?
You might look at this picture and think how cuddly the Koala in this picture looks but in reality, Koalas are aggressive animals. This picture, however, isn’t significant because of how cuddly the Koala looks but because the Koala can be seen lifting a spoon from a cup of tea and bringing it close to its mouth.
This is significant because Koalas aren’t known as intelligent creatures like some other animals like Chimpanzees or Dolphins. However, when this Koala was given a spoon and a cup of tea, he knew exactly what had to be done. This picture is over a hundred years old, so I can’t be sure if he finished the cup or not but what I can say with surety is that he was smart.
Queen Elizabeth And Prince Phillipe
The world recently lost both of these iconic personalities, but the fact that they were married for over 70 years shows that true love does exist. This photo shows a comparison of their wedding day and their old age. They faced a lot of ups and downs in their tenure, but they always stayed strong together.
It is always very surprising to know that the UK had one queen while other nations in the world had ten or twenty leaders during the same time. Even the UK had multiple prime ministers during her tenure, starting from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss.
Hear From The Woman Who Experienced It All
People who were born in 1950 got to see the world change in front of their eyes. They saw black and white television turn into high-definition colored television with smart technology, and they saw rotary phones turn into something as advanced as smartphones. But what about the people who were born even before that? Well, you can only imagine how different their life would be when they were a young teenager.
Kane Tanaka is one such person. She was born in 1903 and passed away in 2022. She saw two pandemics, two world wars, several tsunamis, and many other significant events. There are many things we all use in our daily lives that weren’t even invented when she was born. She worked in her family noodle shop all her life and retired when she was 103 years old. She was still relatively active for a person her age.
Right Out Of Disney
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Diana was a real-life Disney Princess. Just look at this picture where she is all dressed up at an event, but she has dozed off with so many people around her. To people who are not part of the Royal Family, it all seems like a flamboyant and exuberant experience but what most people don’t know is the royal family has to fulfill a lot of commitments.
They have to attend a lot of events almost every day, which can be tiring for any human being, let alone a princess. In addition, Diana was pregnant with Prince William in this picture, so maybe Charles wasn’t too angry with her for taking a quick nap at the event.
Einstein On A Boat
Here is something you wouldn’t see every day. We all may know him as one of the most intelligent people of modern times, and that is why when someone says Einstein, I imagine a man with uncombed white hair standing in front of a classroom with lots of books on the shelf.
Albert Einstein was much more than that. He spent most of his life working on the concepts of physics, but he also liked to enjoy life. He often visited the lake and the beach, and he liked to play musical instruments. He also liked to go sailing which it seems he is doing in this picture.
The Iguana Approves
Teenagers might not know about Steve Irwin, but people born in the later part of the 20th century grew up watching his shows. He was an Australian Zoologist who was very passionate about his work. He was always very enthusiastic when he talked about animals.
This image is from 1992, when Steve and his wife Terri are kissing each other while an Iguana sits on top of their heads. It shows that animals were an important part of their life. Sadly Steve Irwin passed away after an attack by a stingray in 2006.
David Bowie Was The King
David Bowie will always be known as someone who could attract a big crowd to his concerts. He gave one hit after the other, and people started loving him. This picture is from one of his concerts in 1983. You can see that there is an ocean of people.
You can see heads wherever you see. At first glance, you would think that it is a colorful field of flowers; however, once you see the full picture, it’s then you realize that it’s just a big crowd in the presence of royalty. It was surely a great experience for people who were in attendance; however, the large crowds also resulted in people fainting due to dehydration and heatstroke.
Anonymous Suffragette’s Advice To Ladies Of The 20th Century
The pamphlet you see below might look like a funny note, but it was actually published in 1918 by an anonymous suffragette wife. Suffragette was referred to as women who fought for women’s right to vote. She is already married, but her advice to other girls in 1918 is to not get married at all.
She also keeps the door open for women who do want to get married. She shares a number of qualities that men have and what type of men a woman should choose to marry. One can understand the anger and frustration of women who weren’t even allowed to vote to elect the president of their country.
Oscars For Good Will Hunting
The year 1998 changed the lives of two young actors and writers forever. Those two people were Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Good Will Hunting was a massive hit, and the movie earned over $200 million, whereas the budget of the movie was only $10 million.
Both actors brought their moms with them to the Oscars, and fortunately, they won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting. They could be seen calling someone after they won. I am just confused as to who they were calling when their mothers were already at the Oscars.
The Most Romantic Picture On This List
You will see several other romantic pictures on our list but none as romantic as this one. You don’t get to see the face of the women in this picture, but that big gap in the middle tells a love story. Most probably, her husband went to another city, or maybe he went to war (which was really common in the early part of the 20th century), but he wanted to keep her love by his side.
It was clearly not possible for him to take his one true love with him to where he was going. However, he took this picture and carved out a big part of the photo, which he could then fit in a heart-shaped locket. I am sure he didn’t let the locket leave his neck for all the time he was away.
Young Boy Fighting For His Teachers
Teachers are the backbone of every society. Societies that don’t respect their teachers dwell in chaos for generations to come. And when I say respect teachers, I don’t just mean that students should respect their teachers. Teachers should be respected by everyone, and the best way to respect and care for teachers is by paying them well.
Other than your parents, your teachers are the ones who shape your personality. They work hard on teaching you so that you can one day grow up and be an important part of society. However, they cannot work well if they are not paid well. This boy left school to earn money for his family, and his placard says it all. He did not even finish school, and yet he was able to earn more than what his teachers earned. Unfortunately, this injustice still continues in many parts of the world.
The Kiss That Was Published In Life Magazine
Marlene Dietrich makes a second appearance on our list. Here she can be seen kissing 23-year-old American soldier Carus Olcott. Marlene always stood up for what was right. In addition to being an actor, she was also an activist and liked to make political statements.
The kiss was to show her appreciation for the soldiers for their efforts for the country. Carus Olcott was interviewed about the kiss when he was 96 years old, and he said that he did not even know who she was; he just knew that she was an actress. But that kiss sure made a photograph-worthy moment that people will always remember.
1950s Self Defense Items Were At A Whole Different Level
There is a lot of harassment towards women in the modern world, so I can only imagine what women in the 1950s had to go through. The shoes pictured here have sharp blades on the front and back of the shoe. These shoes were elegant, but their priority wasn’t to make a fashion statement.
These shoes were, in reality, anti-harassment shows. They can be called the 1950s pepper spray. The shoes did not get a lot of good publicity mainly because the media was dominated by men in the 1950s, and there weren’t many female journalists who could come out and defend the product.
Many people are skeptical about things like animal-assisted therapy, but research has shown that these types of treatments can actually be effective. In this photo, a little girl can be seen with a cuirass which was a form of ventilator that was used to treat kids with polio.
Even though she is on a ventilator, you can see her smile while she looks at the baby ducks. It wasn’t just therapy but a form of entertainment for her and other children who had to spend weeks or sometimes months in the hospital. This picture would melt anyone’s heart, and I just hope that the girl got to live a happy and healthy life.
The Russian Twins
This photo was taken in Russia in 1968. At that time, the country was known as the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, the world only gets to see one side of Russia because of the decisions that some of their political leaders make, but the people of Russia are actually quite beautiful and friendly.
Take, for example, this photo of two twins wearing penguin onesies in a snowy winter. If I owned a onesie like that, I would also wear it throughout the winter. But it’s not the onesies that are the highlight of the picture; it’s their cheeks and the expression on their face that make this picture more adorable.
The 1950s Love Birds
It is always good to hear stories from your grandparents, especially when they have so many to tell. I am sure the grandkids of this couple always got to hear the story of how their grandparents got together in the 1950s. Even from this one picture, you can see that they are happy to have each other in life.
It’s not just their good looks that make the picture so beautiful, but it’s their amazing smile that steals the show. Judging by the condition of the picture, it seems like it was placed in a wallet for many years. Most probably by the guy in the picture.
Keanu’s Day Out In Paris
Everyone knows that Hollywood is full of arrogant people. Fame and glamor can have that effect; however, Keanu Reeves is like a cool breeze in the Sahara desert. He is a very likable person who doesn’t seem to have a pinch of arrogance in him.
In this picture, he can be seen enjoying a hot beverage and wearing casual clothes while you can see the Eiffel tower in the background. The casual clothes show that he wants to enjoy the moment and just be himself. If it was any other celebrity visiting Paris, they would have made sure their picture (especially in front of the Eiffel tower) was one of the most glamorous. Keanu is definitely a gem and should be protected at all costs.
Giants Baguettes Were A Thing
You can still find giant Baguettes in France and the rest of the world, but in the 1940s, they were more common than you think. Imagine going grocery shopping and coming out of the shop with a giant baguette. They were large in size and fed the whole family, which was a great thing.
This picture from 1945 is from a more peaceful time in France, as four years before this photo, the country was invaded and occupied by Hitler’s Nazi Germany. I am sure you wouldn’t mind the size of your baguette as long as you get to eat it in a free country.
Dads Would Do Anything For Their Daughters, Even If It Meant Doing A Handstand
Now, I understand that dads like to show off sometimes by telling you how they were better at things at your current age. However, this dad seems to be an athlete from Australia who has practiced the handstand for years. Even with such an impressive act being shown in this picture from the 1940s, it’s the athlete’s daughter on the side that steals the moment.
The laugh and excitement you see on her face say it all. It seems like she has seen her dad do this before, and her reaction is always as priceless as the one in this picture. I am not sure if the dad was just practicing his handstand or if he wanted to see her sweet daughter laugh with joy. Maybe it was both.
A Whole Different Country
Countries like Afghanistan and Iran are known for their strict religious laws, especially when it comes to women. However, these countries weren’t always like this. The country of Iran before 1979 was a completely different country than what we see today. It was more liberal and more accepting of women’s rights.
This picture was taken six years before the Iranian revolution. The young girl seems to be in her 20s. She is wearing clothes that might land her in a lot of trouble in modern-day Iran because there are strict laws that forbid women from wearing such clothes in public. Recently many women have come out to protest after a young woman was killed by the morality police because she was not wearing her hijab according to government regulations.
Wear Your Mask Or Go To Jail
I have already talked about the mask mandate of the 1918 Spanish flu on this list. But this one shows another aspect of how the pandemic was controlled at that time. Eight hours to ten days; this was the amount of time that you could get jailed if you didn’t wear a mask during the biggest pandemic of the 20th century.
The human race has become more advanced in the last 100 years, but sadly we have also become more stubborn. The majority of the people in 1918 followed the precautionary regulations due to such strict laws; however, in modern times, half of the people still deny the existence of the coronavirus.
A Soldier And A Pup Shake Hands
Why is it that the most heartwarming pictures come from the saddest places? This photo was taken during the battle of the bulge in 1944. It is considered one of the deadliest battles in world war II. Not only did the soldiers face attack from the other side, but the sheer coldness could kill you.
In that time of despair, it is great to see that the soldiers had the opportunity to experience something so heartwarming. In cold weather, out of the blue, this soldier saw a dog in the snow. What’s great is that the pup also seems happy to meet the soldier. They can both be seen shaking hands while the soldier is trying to say something to the dog.
One Of John Travolta’s Biggest Moments
John Travolta may not have a lot of hits these days, but in the 1980s and 1990s, he was a big star. This may be one of the reasons he was invited to the white house when Charles and Diana visited the US on an official tour.
Diana and Travolta danced to some of the best music from John Travolta’s movie ‘Grease.’ The exact song that they danced to was “You’re the one that I want.” This may not be a movie scene, but it was definitely one of the most famous moments of Travolta’s life. They carried on dancing until Tom Selleck thought it was his time to dance with the princess.
The Alarm Clocks Of The 1930s
Knocker Upper was a very common profession in England back in the 1930s and 1940s. It was also prevalent in other parts of the world. People these days set multiple alarms, yet it is very difficult to wake up in the morning for work, so I can only imagine how difficult it was to wake up in the past when there were no alarm clocks.
Well, if you have also wondered about that, then your answer is Mary Smith. The woman in this picture is Mary Smith, and she was a popular knocker-upper working in London who was mostly employed by businesses to wake up their employees so that they could reach the workplace on time. There were many others who worked as Knocker uppers. Some of them used pea shooters, while others knocked on windows or doors of your house to wake you up.