60-Rare Historical Photos
We’ve got a collection of the rarest historical photos you’ve probably not seen before. The images in this gallery can be best described as historic or bizarre. Have you ever wanted to see Clint Eastwood skateboarding the street of Rome? Yes, we can take you there. What about Elvis Presley as a toddler (baby King)? We have that here too. We’ve also compiled pictures of World War II homing pigeons, 1950’s guide on how to use the telephone, and that of Henry Ford's first automobile. Get set to be visually thrilled, as you go through some history factoids and dazzling photos you will not want to miss.
A picnic at the California Alligator Farm (the 1920s)
Do you know that Los Angeles needed more alligators than any other animal in the 1920s? It will surprise you to know that the La-La land was a major city tourist attraction between 1907 and 1953. Later rebranded as the California Alligator Farm, the park was a place where hundreds of alligators entertained people. Imagine a place where there are neither restrictions nor tall fences to keep you away from a frolic time with alligators. The Alligator Park was an unregulated park where large alligators gave children a ride, slipped down slides and spun in shallow ponds. Visitors are only advised not to throw stones at the bizarre creatures, spit on or molest them in any way. The owners of the farm, Francis Earnest and Joe Campbell, made a good living from the thousands of people who paid 25-cents to see the alligators up close and personal.
A vision of the future: A painting in German magazine 1n 1930
Think about Metropolis, the 1927 movie directed by Fritz Lang. The German film is much of predicting the current climate; it is the sci-fi movie that pioneered the film of such a genre. Also, the video describes the dystopian future; it is where the wealthy are in control, while the masses serve them. Look above; you get to see that clearly, from the picture.
WWII plane washed up on a beach in Wales. The American Lockheed P-38 resurfaced only after 65 years
Have you heard of the American P-38 plane crash in 1942? Probably yes. Here is the picture of the aircraft that remained hidden under the sand and waves since the terrible incident of 1942. It took the aircraft 65 years to emerge on a beach in Wales. Nature uncovered the plane first in1970s since it crashed, later in 2007 before the 2014 scenario. The fighter jet developed an engine cut out fault while on a training exercise. The good news is, Robert Elliot, the pilot of the jet fighter, walked away from the crash without a scratch. But, he was missing in action for about three months while he later served in the American’s Tunisia Campaign in North Africa. Known as Maid of Harlech, the plane has been described as the most significant WWII-related archeological discoveries in recent history.
The cost of living in 1938
This picture gives you a glimpse of the cost of living in the 1930s. Imagine a world where you could get a Harvard education for only $420 a year? If you were to be paying for some of the items on this 1938 list with 2019 money, you would have more money to spend even after taking care of a bulk of the items. The picture describes the era of a Great Depression when the prices of things were on the low side. The image reflects the effect of the 1938 recession that raised unemployment level to 19% while the minimum wage was a meager 25 cents. If you look closely, you were almost being paid an egg for an hour work. Incredulous right?
The reaction at this bar the night congress repealed prohibition in 1933
Would you imagine there was a time where alcohol consumption was prohibited in the United States? That era was called: Prohibition. Well, the prohibition didn’t work. It only gave rise to illegal sales of alcohol by gangsters and vicious murder occurring as a result of the turf wars. The victory came at last for Americans on 5th December 1993 when the congress ratified the U.S constitution repealing the 18th Amendment. The 21st Amendment of the U.S constitution brought an end to the law that intends to enforce sobriety; the prohibition cost the country bullion of dollars and loss of support in the 1930s. How did people react? The picture above says it all; by drinking to stupor.
A ww1 homing pigeon saved 194 men by still flying after losing a leg, an eye, and having been shot through the chest
Before the advent of cell phones, homing pigeons were important messengers, especially in the military. During World War I and World War II, these birds were used as military messengers mainly due to their speed, altitude, and chiefly their homing ability. About 32 carrier pigeons won the Dickin Medal; these breeds were the most used of the homing pigeons during the war. But the birds were the object of attack from enemy soldiers; they try to shoot them down when the birds are on a mission. These birds were so useful in the military service for message delivery until 1957.
Dr. James Naismith, the man who invented the game of basketball, practices with his wife Maude in 1928
Basketball game started when James Naismith, a college teacher in December 1981 invented the game. He had inspiration from the rock-tossing match he played as a child. The teacher created the game for his students; they had to be indoors due to the winter. He had to develop an alternative sport for his students who can’t play football outside; he also came up with 13 rules to guide his students in playing the game. The boys started playing the game by tossing a ball into a target; the team with the most shots at the goal would win the game. But, basketball originally was played with hoop basket mounted on a wall. It remained so until someone came up with the idea of cutting the bottom of the hoop basket to let the ball go through.
David Isom, 19, broke the color line in a segregated pool in Florida which resulted in officials closing the facility (1958)
Here is a picture that reminds you of racism in history; at a time; people were not whites had to use a segregated swimming pool. In 1958, a public school facility was closed in Florida when David Isom broke the color line in Florida. Isom was on nine years old when he disrupted the claim of children to a white-only pool. It was usual for white only pools to be closed while water in them was drained if used by an African American. For Florida, the picture above was the second time when such an event had happened within 72 hours. Of course, it also led to the closure of the pool.
Boris Karloff in the make-up chair getting worked on by Jack Pierce and assistant for the film Frankenstein in 1931
Looks good to see this monster in the chair? He’s Boris Karloff, the main man in the horror classic movie- Frankenstein. He was excellent in the 1931 film playing the role which was offered to Bela Lugosi initially. But the real actor in this makeup photo is Jack Pierce, a makeup artist and an unsung hero of horror films back in the day. Pierce was also the mastermind behind the makeup for Chaney Jr. in the movie The Mummy and The Wolfman. Pierce spent four good hours making up for Karloff for the Frankenstein movie.
Darling photo of a toddler Elvis with his parents Vernon and Gladys Presley
Here is King Elvis Presley as a child posing with his parent for a photoshoot. The picture captured the taste of the Presley family home life. The king was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in 1935. The family photo shoot featured among the photo collection of the Official Presley Fan Club in Leicester, England. Research showed that the photo shot was taken at the Lee County jail in Tupelo, although Vernon had been arrested on November 16, 1937. The prison was built to get the unemployed job.
Instructions for "How To Use a Telephone" in 1951
Seems funny to see a picture on how to use the telephone? Yes, there was once a time that instructions were needed. Sounds crazy, right? But back in 1951, people needed these instructions. Children were shown how to hold the telephone and which part of it to talk into. The picture above was part of a 1951 pamphlet called: The Telephone and How We Use It. Only rotary phones were in operation at this period, and lots of training sections were organized on how to operate that contraception. The only thing that children were not taught was what to say when they use telephones. Back in the days, there were pat lines shared by neighbors.
Henry Ford and his first automobile, 1896
Henry Ford exhibits his first creation as the quadricycle. The notorious racist and inventor built the gasoline-powered automobile in 1896 from modest materials. His four-wheeled invention was made of the iron as the frame, transmission leather belt, and a buggy seat. Such a creation may not pass safety design standard of 2019, considering the level of sophistication in technology. Henry later sold his quadricycle for $200. Want to know what he did with the cash? He manufactured his second automotive creation with the money.
Groucho Marx dances with a 22-year-old Diana Ross at a barbecue hosted by Bobby Darin at his Bel Air home. (1966)
Here is Groucho Marx sharing a dance with Diana Ross. What the hell were they be talking about? This event took place at the Air home of Bobby Darin, a pop star. Ross, the lead singer of the legendary girl group, was only 22 years at that time while Groucho was 70 years old. Groucho was proving he was still lively and youthful by taking part in The Frug dance with the music star. He later admitted it was over 20 years since he danced like that. Who would you have danced with if you were at this event?
Traffic jam in Berlin as thousands of East Germans move into West Berlin on Saturday after the Wall is torn down, 1989
Someone was responsible for this traffic jam; it is David Hasselhoff. Well, maybe not directly. But he tore down the Berlin wall in 1989 by singing on top of the wall for a celebration in Germany. The Berlin wall represents a few things; one is the symbol of the Cold War. It divided the West Berlin from East Germany and saw scores of people dies while trying to scale the wall. Since 1989, you don’t need to climb the wall but only walkthrough; thanks to David Hasselhoff for playing an essential role in bringing down the wall.
Jimi Hendrix was playing his guitar with a friend while in the Army. (1961-62)
How did Jimi Hendrix end up in the army? The Seattle born had issues over some stolen cars in 1961. Presented with two options of either two years in the imprisonment or joining the army, the 19-year-old Jimi Hendrix chose the military. Jimi completed his eight weeks basic training at Ford Ord, California before the military assigned him to the 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He wrote to his father in a letter saying:
“There’s nothing but physical training and harassment here for two weeks, then when you go to jump school … you get hell. They work you to death, fussing, and fighting.”
The construction of bleachers at Wrigley Field in Chicago, 1937
Wrigley Field is one of the most loved and famous baseball stadiums in history. The stadium exists in the heart of a Chicago neighborhood. The locals had issues with the installation of lights at the stadium; they thought it would change the flavor of their beloved field. And why was this change intended? This picture is the 1937 construction of the field bleacher. Aside from the Wrigley Field, Fenway Park is the only baseball stadium that existed in that era.
Wolfman Jack' spins some classic '50s rock and roll tunes in the film, “American Graffiti” in 1973
Asides the massive success of the American Graffiti film, it was the movie that brought George Lucas to the limelight. The film is based on the growing up teen days of Lucas in Modesto, California in the 1950s. Robert Weston Smith, the man who played the role of Wolfman in the movie, also took part in the music scene of the film. As a disc jockey, he was famous for his gravelly voice. He once credited for himself, how his skill provided meat and potatoes for Wolfman (himself) and Wolfwoman.
The aftermath of a freshman vs. sophomores snowball fight for these Princeton students in 1893
Have you seen the movie where Michael Keaton transformed into a snowman? It was in the 1998 Jack Frost film, and it even had a scene where the whole town had a massive snowball fight. Are you wondering if there is a big deal in a snowball fight? Well, yes. Only the keeps took part in a snowball fight in Princeton as of 1893. It seems more of rock fight than soft fluffy snowball combat. Even the New York Times on a slow news day would report The Annual Freshman-Sophomore Snowball Fight; back in the days.
The back of the Hoover Dam before it was filled with water in 1936
Hoover Dam lies in the Black Valley of the Colorado River. The Dam, which resides on the border between Arizona and Nevada, was constructed during the Great Depression (1931-1936). The construction of Hoover Dam was not without difficulties. Over a hundred of the thousands of workers lost their lives during the development of the Dam. Dedicated on September 30th, 1935 by President Franklin Roosevelt, the Dam was initially named Boulder Dam before its rebranding. In 1947, the congress after a joint resolution renamed it, Hoover Dam- in honor of President Herbert Hoover.
Tennis rivals Björn Borg and John McEnroe, 1981
Talk about intense rivals in tennis in 1981; it is between John McEnroe and Swedish born Bjorn Borg. These guys were like the opposite of the Kansas quarter in character. They couldn't be more different. Borg kept his cool, while McEnroe was the hot-headed tennis brat. They engaged each other in a tennis match 16 times in their career. McEnroe once said of Borg:
"When I beat Borg in the 1981 Wimbledon final it seemed like he was a little bit relieved as his enormous success had created this intense pressure. When I faced him at the US Open a couple of months later, it was almost as if he'd emotionally lost his edge, like he didn't want to be there."
The Hexagon House Hotel built in 1895
This beautiful structure above was demolished in 1959. The arrangement referred to as the Hexagon hotel, situates in Mineral Wells, Texas. Just like the name depicts, it was a hexagon-shaped hotel designed and built by David G. Galbraith. The hotel happened to be the first hotel in the whole of Mineral Wells to have electricity. The idea of the hexagon shape wasn’t just about any thought. The design was to aid maximum circulation of air since there was no air condition at the time, especially in the hot Texas summers. David G. Galbraith didn’t just stop at the hexagon design; he also invented the paper clip. He also created White Out or the Post-it Notes. Way forward!
Rod Serling narrating ‘‘The Twilight Zone’’ in 1964
When you think of the legendary Tv show, The Twilight Zone, the classic theme music automatically comes to mind. You don’t even know when you start humming the song as soon as something seem odd. Talk of the man behind the show, it’s Rod Serling. Precisely, 2nd of October, 1959, Serlings classic twilight Zone series received attention on CBS. It was in the show for five seasons, and it won several awards. All the while, Serling strived for complete control of the series, and eventually, it was worth it. It’s a kudos to Serling for writing the initial script to the first Planet of the Apes movie. Had it not been for Serling, perhaps the film wouldn’t have ended with the Statue of Liberty submerged in sand. (Red Alert)
Paris in the 1950s
This picture reveals Paris of the 1950s, captured by Kurt Otto-Wasow which he captioned ‘‘Ile de la Cité. Otto-Wasow, a global photographer, mostly captured images in France and Italy. He did a collection of his Parisian captions in a book published in 1959 which he tagged: Paris. He was also known for photo books called, Venice, Rome, Florence and The Riviera he published. The Paris of the 1950s was a bit far from peaceful. The population however increased by 50,000 yearly from 1946 and by 1954, the community had hit 2.85 million even though there were no new sites at the time. Surprisingly, the 100,000 apartments that were not habitable were still overpopulated.
The abandoned palace in Portugal, built during the 19th century and abandoned in the 1980s
Behold the Palacio Silva Amado in Lisbon. It was erected in the 1800s and was recognized then for its ornate interiors and panels of tiles. Lately, the place is desolate. As at 1928, the Portuguese state acquired Palacio Silva Amado but no renovation project started in the building. It was left to rot, and that was how the one-time majestic building became a shadow of itself and was never restructured. Sometimes in the 2000s, it was also secured by a real estate company, with intentions to partially demolish the historic landmark and turn the remaining part to home units. Unfortunately, nothing of such has happened. At some point, squatters invaded the palace for some days, but the policemen evicted them.
Known for her beauty and talent, Maude Fealy was probably photographed more than any other actress of the early 1900s
Hmmm! A ravishing beauty she is. Maude Fealy was more of the silent film actress but still had a career in the movies that have talking roles. You might have seen Fealy from the 1911 silent film, Moths. Or from the silent flick, Frou Frou of 1914. Her first appearance in silent films was in 1911, and she featured in eighteen movies until 1917. Afterward, she delved into semi-acting retirement and finally went on a low for fourteen years. So, while she took a break from acting, she dabbled into playwrighting, where she worked majorly in Chicago. While at the Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills. Sometimes in 1971, Fealy died.
Drying fresh pasta at a factory in Napoli (the 1950s)
You ever wondered how pasta is made back in the years? Well, a bright look at the picture says it all. Years back, no invention. Just improvisation. Once, the pasta was cut and rolled accordingly, and it was put out to dry as though it were some bunch of clothes. Lol! The slim pasta would dry very fast and would be arranged on a wooden with pegs to make it firm. You can try it out on your own. But, in the absence of machine, you can use a laundry rack or better still, air the pasta (and in this case, it takes longer to dry). An engine probably produced the pasta in this picture, but the traditional ones are made by hand.
Clint Eastwood skateboarding around Rome, Italy
One look at this picture shows the young hipster, Clint Eastwood skateboarding, riding the streets of Rome. A close look at the photo reveals that he is touring with his top-notch Italian shoes. I bet you can spot the boots already. By the way, this was back in 1965, about the time Eastwood was gaining recognition from his Spaghetti Western movies directed by Sergio Leone. He was captured at Via Veneto, one of the most craved streets of Rome. And of course, on a skateboard; 16 years down the memory lane of the emergence of the Thrasher magazine. Oh my, Spaghetti! After this photoshoot, Clint moved to the skate park to try some Ollies.
Children eating turnips and cabbage for a Holiday dinner during the Great Depression
Surviving The Great Depression as a child is a thing of joy. Of course, such a child would grow up with loads of memories that he will never forget in a hurry. In fact, for every time he has opportunity to address his grandchildren, he’d start by saying: ‘‘when I was your age…’’. You can imagine the feeling, especially knowing that the well-to-do were feasting and devouring turkey for a holiday. Looking closely at the picture, you will see that these poor children ate turnips and cabbage for a holiday. What to do? According to a book, A Square Meal: A Culinary History of The Great Depression, meals like that for a festive period could either be a lima-bean loaf or even meat-based granulated jello with canned corn-beef. Enjoy!
Immigrants Family: The first view of New York City from Ellis Island
Back in the late 1800s, the Americans welcomed immigrants through Ellis Island. It was a hearty welcome from Ellis Island to the immigrants, and that led to the 2 million immigrants to the United States. As a result, Ellis Island remained the most occupied immigrant inspection station in the U.S. for over 60years, precisely 1892 to 1954. Transiting to the United States, specifically, Ellis Island became more dramatic as a result of the Statue of Liberty somewhere. But unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court decision discovered in 1998 that bulk of the Ellis Island is actually in New Jersey. End of Discussion!
A delighted little French girl holding her kitty, 1959
This picture brings to mind the good old days. As far back as 1959, little French girls loved hugging cats. This kind of image would trend on social media with millions of likes today. So, the people of France practically loved seeing this image, one look at a time. Why wouldn’t anyone be happy in France in 1959? It was at this time that the French New Wave cinema produced the likes of iconic filmmakers like the Alin Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, and Éric Rohmer. There’s no way you would talk about high waves in the history of cinema, that New Wave wouldn’t come to mind. More so, New Wave brought about the existential moments of everyday life like the childhood memories of hugging a cat.
Women dressed in their best in the early 1900s
It seems uncomfortable to be a woman back in the day, coupled with the fact the mode of dressing for women was highly demanding. This picture gives a synopsis of the way that women dress in the 1900s. At this period, women had to wear a corset underneath every dress to be in their best outfit. In addition to that, the skirts worn by ladies during this period had a particular kind of shape. The dresses were made in a way that it was difficult for women to move about in them freely. However, there emerged a new look for women in the year 1908. This new look requires a woman to wear modern apparels, which includes suit, skirts, and blouses.
This man holds two Chinook salmons he caught in Waldport, Oregon that was almost as big as he was
This picture describes a man that caught two Chinook salmons in Waldport, Oregon, an event that occurred sometime around the 1930s. In case you don't know, the Chinook salmon is considered the largest among the species of this unique fish. Different people have their first name for this fish. While some call it king salmon, others refer to it as quinnat salmon. Some people even call it chrome hog, Tyee salmon and spring salmon. The fish belongs to the family of Salmonidae. The picture gives you a glimpse of how the biggest Chinook salmon look like. The average weight of the fish is between 10 to 58lb but can be up to 130lb.
The world’s oldest astrological clock (600 years old) is still functioning in Prague
The picture above is that of an old clock designed many years ago. The watch was designed over 600 years ago and still never goes out of fashion. It would interest you that the clock has been in existence for such a long time; it never stops ticking. The watch, based on available facts, was first installed in the year 1410. That is the reason why it remains the third astronomical clock in the world. Don't be surprised that it is ranked third in the world. The most exciting fact is that it is the only one that is still ticking among the first three. Where can you find the watch? That is simple; you can find the clock mounted on the wall of Old Town Hall in Prague. Its presence has made the place tourist center for many.
The most extensive library in Ireland, Trinity College's library dates back to 1592 and houses 5 million items including journals, manuscripts, maps and music
Have you heard of Trinity College in Dublin? It is one of the libraries with the oldest books in the world. Established in the year 1592, the library houses over 5 million books that were published by different authors. It is a copyright library in Ireland. You could deposit a copy of your book in the library for free as a publisher in Ireland. In the library, you can find the national symbol of Ireland, which is the Brian Boru harp. Every member of the University of Dublin has access to the library. The library situates at College Street, Dublin 2. Also, the library is a collection center for different types of publications, including books, journals, newspapers, magazines, database, map prints, and many more.
Dinosaurs transported on the Hudson River, on their way to the 1964 World’s Fair
Dinosaurs are bizarre creatures that one may hardly come by today. They have gone into extinction claimed the research of many scholars. But do you know that these animals once walked through the Hudson River? It was on their way to the World fair of 1964 which held at the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens. Besides, an oil corporation also sponsored the exhibition of Dinoland which featured live replicas of dinosaurs. One of the live replicas of dinosaur was Brontosaurua; the seventy long foot version of Sinclair Oil Corporation. It was a great idea seeing the Dinoland creatures which took two years to manufacture at Jonas Studio in Hudson, New York.
U.S soldier tries on the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, previously worn by every emperor between the 10th and 19th century
This U.S soldier is audacious. The crown he tries to wear is that of the Holy Roman Emperor of the 11th century to 1806. The period marked the end of the vast empire that used the crown for coronating kings of the Romans back then. The event here was after World War II when the city of Nuremberg fell under conquest in 1945. Currently, the revered crown is kept in the Imperial Treasury at the Hofburg in Vienna. It’s now in a safe place where one would hardly have access to try it on.
The City of Manhattan defaced with Telephone wires in 1887
I hope there were no awkward issues with the way telephones wires were dangling over Manhattan, New York City in 1887. The telephone company of the city was in operation to provide telephone equipment to users who were expected to get the wire to connect them. Although the advent of the new telephone company helped many save the cost of hiring a private telegraph operator, the city was in a mess since individuals connected their wires. The company later took over the operations of American Bell Telephone Company which was created by Alexander Graham Bell.
Christopher Robin Milne: The son of author A.A Milne; he inspired the character ‘Christopher Robin’ in his father’s ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ stories
The 1927 photo of Christopher Robin, the character in ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ stories. A. A Milner, the pioneer of the Winnie-the-Pooh books, featured his son in his two books and assorted poem as a real character. What we know as the Winnie-the-Pooh character today was an inspiration from an Alpha Farnell teddy bear-a gift to the younger Milne. Presently, the New York Library, since 1987 is the home of the stuffed animals owned by Christopher Robin that featured in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
Willis Carrier, the American engineer who invented modern air conditioning
This man deserves some accolades. He invented modern air conditioning in 1902, and also designed the first electrical air conditioning unit. Willis Carrier later founded a Carrier Corporation-the organization that further went into the development of heating and ventilation systems. Previously in New York, people would design their houses to have air circulation due to hot summer periods. Also, many would buy movie tickets to escape the summer heat because air conditioning units were pretty expensive. All that changed with when air conditioning units were now fully operational and affordable. Besides, it gave the city a better look since houses need not have the air circulation design again.
A photo taken from the Statue of Liberty’s torch in 1930
Since the French fries, the Stature of Liberty is arguably the most significant thing we have of the French. The iconic statue was the design of a French sculptor named Frederic Auguste Bartholdi while Gustave Eiffel engineered the building of the image’s framework. Dedicated on October 28, 1886, the structure was a gift from the people, and it meant something to them. Whose figure is that anyway and what does it represent? Well, it is the figure of a robbed Roman goddess named Libertas. Besides the burning touch above her head, she also carries a tabula ansta inscribed with Roman numerals. It reads JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776). Want to guess what happened on that day? The U.S declaration of independence was signed.