17 Historical Pictures Everyone Should See


Over the past few years, more photos have been taken in the world than in the previous century because now every cell phone has a camera.

Nevertheless, photographers from the past also managed to capture a lot of interesting things.


The very first photo of a human being, 1838

To be more precise, it’s a daguerreotype image of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris, made by Louis Daguerre from his window in the spring of 1838. There could have been a lot more people in the image, but because of the long exposure, Daguerre managed to capture only a shoe cleaner and his client.


An Indian tattoo on the face of a white woman, 1863

Olive Oatman’s parents were killed in 1859 when she was only 14 years old. She herself was kidnapped by Indians and then sold into the slavery of the Mohave. After 5 years spent in the tribe, the young woman managed to return to American society. Perhaps the Mohave treated Olive not as a slave but as an equal because they made her tattoos they themselves wore.


The first known photograph of an obscene gesture, 1886

Apparently, the photographer did something wrong to baseball player Charles Radbourn because he, without thinking twice, showed the middle finger at the camera. This act remains in world history as the first obscene gesture captured in a photo.


Students after a snowball fight, 1893

This is what these Princeton students looked like after a seemingly innocent snowball fight. They could easily be mistaken for soldiers who have just returned from a battlefield or for the victims of furious bees.


A sculptor helps a veteran disguise the consequences of injuries, 1917


At the beginning of the 20th century, plastic surgery was far from perfect, but it had an alternative: masks replacing lost parts of the face. One of the experts in making such masks was the sculptor Anna Coleman Ladd. Of course, this method couldn’t make the face as it was before, but many people who suffered went on to have relationships and stopped thinking of suicide.


The tallest person in the history of medical observations, 1930s

The “Alton Giant,“ Robert Pershing Wadlow, still remains the tallest man in the world’s history: he was 272 cm (8′ 11”) tall and weighed 199 kg (439 lb). Unfortunately, Robert lived a short life and died at the age of 22 in 1940.


A German worker refuses to raise his hand in the Nazi salute, 1936

This man’s name is August Landmesser. With his gesture, he expressed disagreement with the policy of the Third Reich because of which he couldn’t marry a Jewish woman, Irma Eckler. Irma was later sent to a concentration camp, where she was killed, and August entered a penal battalion and disappeared.


Beer in the fuel tank of a fighter plane, 1944

Of course, the beer wasn’t fuel. This was the way it was carried to British soldiers fighting in Normandy during World War II. And before they started to pour beer into fuel tanks, barrels were attached to the fighters instead of munition.


The future Queen Elizabeth II serving in the army, 1945

During World War II, the future Queen of England served in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service as a mechanic and ambulance driver. In this photo, Princess Elizabeth holds a clock in her hands — a gift from her coworkers.


American soldiers returning home, 1945

After the military action in Western Europe was finished, the dreadnought Queen Elizabeth safely delivered American soldiers to New York.


Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield, 1957

This is how Sophia Loren herself described this situation: “Paramount had organized a party for me. All of cinema was there. And then in comes Jayne Mansfield, the last one to come. She knew everyone was watching. Where are my eyes? I’m staring at her nipples because I am afraid they are about to come onto my plate.”


The Beatles crossing Abbey Road in the opposite direction, 1969

Most of us have seen the photo of the famous “Abbey Road” cover. Yet there are other pictures of the band made in the same place — 6 of them. By the way, the white Volkswagen Beetle, which accidentally got into the frame, was sold at auction in 1986 for £2,530.


One of “Uncle Sam’s” prototypes, 1970

Uncle Sam, strictly watching from campaign posters, is a collective image. However, in this photo, it’s easy to see the similarity of the “uncle” with one of his prototypes — a veteran named Walter Botts.


A family photo on the surface of the Moon, 1972

Astronaut Charles Duke, who took part in the Apollo 16 mission as a Lunar Module Pilot, left his family photo (Charles, his wife, Dorothy, and their sons Charles Jr. and Thomas) on the surface of the Moon.


Iranian pop singers before the 1979 Islamic Revolution

Before the Islamic Revolution of 1979, many Iranians looked like Europeans or Americans: they wore fashionable clothes, women didn’t hide their hair, and they didn’t even hesitate to appear on a beach in a bikini.


Bonus: Leonardo DiCaprio finally got his Oscar, 2016

This photo was taken not long ago, but it will certainly go down in history for two reasons. First, Leo finally received his well-deserved Oscar. Second, the actor was so happy that he couldn’t resist a little joking gesture. Well, let’s not blame him for this because he has been waiting for his treasured award for 12 years.