These Are Insane Historic Photos. Not Photoshop!

27/04/2018 - 10:44 1094 Views

In the 20’s, when movies were still silent, Bessie Love was an absolute star (photo above). She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in the 1929 film ‘The Broadway Melody’.

1) Like a goddess

This 1957 photo of Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield appeared controvert. This side-eye seen became famous all around the world. Loren, dressed in black, was a new entry in Europe stardom system, when she was the most photographed actress at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival. Two years later, during a party in Beverly Hills  that was meant to officially welcome Loren to Hollywood she had the scene stolen by Mansfield. Later on, during an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Loren confirmed she was expressing exactly what she was thinking.

2)Women against  Inequality

This photo includes all the elements to understand how the situation was in the South at that time, it’s an iconic civil rights photograph showing two fifteen-year-old girls. It was taken by journalist Will Counts and displays Elizabeth Eckford, one of the nine African-American students who could not enter Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957 because it was denied to her, and Hazel Bryan Massery, shouting racial insults at her.

And here is Kathrine Switzer, the first woman that 50 years ago illegally ran the Boston Marathon. This historic photo depict an official attacking her and trying to remove her from the  Boston Marathon in 1967.

3) Primitive Technology

The photo above, showing a man testing a football helmet, was taken in. Did it work? Who knows, this will be a mystery forever.

This 1923 photo shows the test of bulletproof vest in Washington D.C. This kind of cloth exists from more than 500 years, and how could they have been tested? Just like this:a 7mm revolver is directly shot on the vest worn by a man.

4) Unforgettable moments In Aviation History

This is the Experimental ‘Flying Saucer’ that U.S. Air Force considered as a Lenticular Reentry Vehicle. It was intended to be a nuclear warhead delivery during the Cold War and had the shape of a vessel. 

This picture shows the Canberra Bomber flying through an RAAF Amberley base hanger in 1955. We really don’t know why the man is lying there!

5) War signs

This man in the picture, Jacob Miller, was shot in the head on September 19, 1863, during the Battle of Chickamagua . Jacob said that “Seventeen years after I was wounded a buck shot dropped out of my wound and thirty one years after two pieces of lead came out.” 

In Lucerne, Switzerland, you can find The Lion Monument, or the Lion of Lucerne. It was designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and carved by Lukas Ahorn in 1820–21. It was thought to commemorate the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, when revolutionaries attacked the Tuileries Palace in Paris. Mark Twain stated that the lion is “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”

6) Forbidden Places

This is Diavik Diamond Mine  showed in a rare arial photo. It is located in the remote sub-Arctic landscape of northwestern Canada, it is absolutely huge and has got an annual production of something like 6-7 million carats of predominantly large, white gem-quality diamonds. You can be sure that it is well controlled, so good luck if you decide to attempt entering it! 

The United States Air Force zone worldwide known as Area 51 is one of the most remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base between the Nevada Test and Training Range. This photo shows how the Area looks like from the above, but we will never know how it looks like from the inside, for sure.

7) Dangerous Take Off

Air France Flight 4590 accident was the only fatal one in the Concorde’s 27-year operational history, it happened on 25 July 2000. It was a scheduled international flight from Paris, France, to New York City, the aircraft ran over debris on the runway during takeoff, it blew a tire and punctured a fuel tank, leading to fire and engine failure.

8) Missiles In Florida

This photo was taken on the 27 th of October 1962: tension was so high during the Cuban missile crisis, that US Army arranged anti-aircraft Hawk missiles on a Florida beach in Key West.

9) Air Florida Flight 90

Air Florida Flight 90 never reached its destination: it was scheduled to fly from Washington National Airport to Fort Lauderdale, it was a domestic passenger flight. But the aircraft hit the 14th Street Bridge in Washington, D.C., crashed seven vehicles on the bridge and finally fell through the ice into the Potomac River. Only 5 survived among the 79 that were on board. Four car driver on the bridge were killed too.

10) Giant Maurice

Maurice Tillet, a Frenchman born in Russia, became a wrestling star in the 1930s and ‘40s. he was diagnosed with acromegaly when he was 17. This hormonal disorder made his bone growth (including the hands, feet and face) incredible. DreamWork’s animated character Shrek looks a lot like Maurice, but it was never confirmed that the wrestler was used as an inspiration for the animation’s star.

11) Two fused Bullets

These two bullets were discovered after the Battle of Gallipoli, started in 1915 and finished in 1916, during WWI. The Allies force were British, French, Australia and New Zealand and fought against a bold Turkish Army. Finally the Allies retreated from the battle, they lost 46,000 troops while the Turkish lost 65,000 soldiers. The victory of the Gallipoli battle is still considered to be an immense defining moment in nation’s modern history., The Turkish War of Independence exploded just eight years later, led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the commander at Gallipoli’s battle. That battle was also Australia and New Zealand’s first military campaign as independent dominions in the British Empire, so it was a very important moment in both countries’ history.

12) Unbeatable 8 year old boy, 1920

In this photograph from the 1920, we can see Samuel Reshevsky a real smart kid: he is mastering chess masters in France who looks evidently confused. Reshevsky continued to be a chess master in his adulthood and lived until the early 1990s.

13) Unexpected meeting

In this photo we can see two childhood friends that found themselves on the opposite sides of a demonstration in 1972.

14) Heavy fishing

Edward Llewellen, the man pictured above, caught the biggest sea bass on record: it weighs 425 pounds and he caught it all by himself.

15) Last photo depicting Hitler

This image is supposed to be Adolf Hitler’s last snapshot before he committed suicide. It was taken on April 30, 1945, before the war’s end.

16) Last known photo of the Titanic

This photo is probably the last photo ever taken of the Titanic, shoot off the coast of Ireland while it was still afloat.

17) Testing of a hydrogen bomb

Between 1946 to 1958, the United States acted the nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll program, where a series of 23 nuclear devices were detonated on the reef itself, on the sea, in the air and underwater. Nowadays, Bikini Atoll is one of the 23 islands that comprises the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Tests began in July of 1946 with Operation Crossroads: the nukes transformed the island and surrounding area in an uninhabitable place, due to radioactivity caused mostly from caesium-137.

18) First Atomic Bomb

The Gadget was the nickname for the first atomic bomb ever created, tested at Trinity Site, New Mexico, near Alamogordo on July 16th, 19″It was the first detonation in the Manhattan Project. The nuclear test was code named Trinity,  a name coined by J. Robert Oppenheimer, inspired from a line of John Donne poetry. The bomb had the same design as Fat Man, the one that destroyed Nagasaki.

19) Goebbels, 1933

In this photo Goebbels is sitting in a Geneva courtyard an he had just discovered that the photographer, Alfred Eisenstaedt, was Jewish.

20) Kobe and Japan Bombing

The strategic bombing campaign decided by the United States of America against military and civilian targets and population, imposed the Bombing of Kobe on March 16 and 17, 1945, during the closing stages of World War II. The city was bombed twice,  chosen because, at that time, it was the sixth largest population center in Japan, with a population of about a million people and with the majority of the made of wood. The death toll of the extensive bombing campaign against urban centers in Japan during the War was huge. Conservative estimates stated that there were 333,000 killed and 473,000 wounded, but other says that the victims were up to 900,000 people.

21) Nagasaki’s photo-before and after

Nagasaki was bombed on August 9, 1945 with a plutonium bomb, causing between 39,000 and 80,000 people’s death. The luckiest among them, almost the half, died instantly, the other half died slowly and painfully. This photo shows the devastation of the city caused by the bomb, that was even more powerful than the one that destroyed Hiroshima, but Nagasaki’s topography was less damaged. What is not worldwide known, is that the nuke was the final ending to a full year of smaller-scale bombing of the city, with a total of 270 tons of high explosive, 53 tons of incendiary and 20 tons of fragmentation bombs dropped. The main target were shipyards and arms factories, but bombs fell on the Nagasaki Medical School and Hospital too.

22) Hiroshima victim

On Monday, August 6, 1945, the nuclear bomb “Little Boy” fell on Hiroshima, launched by an American B-29 bomber called Enola Gay, flown by Colonel Paul Tibbets, causingthe death of about 80,000 people. During World War II, bombings in Japan caused destruction and hundreds of thousands of deaths. Six surviving victims were recorded after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and they were called hibakusha.

23) Alcohol from the balcony

When police entered a home and find illegal alcohol, they had to literally throw it away. It is clear that in this building there was a massive business going.

24) Prohibition Ends December 5, 1933

The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution didn’t succeeded in stopping the sale, production and consumption of intoxicating liquors, so by the 1930s, it was evident that Prohibition was a public policy failure. Prohibition officially ended on December 5, 1933, and people celebrated this event.

25) Hit by a meteorite

This probably is the only person to be struck by a meteorite and survive. She’s a Sylacauga, Alabama resident and was hit by a 8 1/2 pound chunk of space rock that crashed through her home roof, impacted her radio, and ricocheted into her side and hand. She got a bruise that like a meteorite itself.

26) Studying a cat At 25,000 Ft.

Capt. Druey P. Parks took an F-94C jet up to 25,000 feet to study the cat’s reaction: among all the possible animals cat was probably not the happiest choice, it could have turned into a slashing claws ball. Fortunately, this did not happened, and Parks reported that the cat’s reaction was of “bewilderment.”

27) Mark Twain in Nikola Tesla’s laboratory

This photo was taken in 1894 for Century Magazine and it depicts author Mark Twain in Nikola Tesla’s laboratory, contemplating some kind of glowing invention by Tesla, great inventor and showman.

28) Liverpool school children with gas masks

After the 1941bombings of London all UK citizens were equipped with gas masks, because a very frightened environment was lived by families and children: everybody was scared that the Axis powers would launch a gas attack on Britain. The masks were oppressively uncomfortable, but fortunately the gas attack was never launched. Children had to take part in gas attack drills at school, but the situation was made lighter by discovering that exhaling sharply through the mask could make you obtain a fart noise.

29) Reichserntedankfest rally

In 1934 occurred the Reichserntedankfest rally (Thanksgiving Celebration of the Reich) in Buckeberg. It attracted about 700,000 participants and it was one of the largest gathering ever organized. The effect was great and supported for sure loyalty to Nazism among German citizens. Photos of the Thanksgiving Celebration are sometimes erroneously confused with that of rallies at Nurnberg.

30) British sailor frees a slave from leg irons

This photo shows a British merchant on the HMS Sphinx removing restraints from a slave, Britain had abolished slavery in the early 19th century. During the 245 years in which the transatlantic slave trade was active British, traders transported an estimated 3.4 million Africans to North America as slaves.

31) Target practice

Here you can see German soldiers in 1935 practicing their marksmanship at the Karshorter Racecourse, Berlin. Cavalry soldiers trained their horses to be  acquainted with the sound of gunshots by shooting from their backs in this way, during calm conditions, so that they would be used to it during the fight. It was not common to stand up with both feet on the saddle, they usually kept one foot in a stirrup. With the introduction of mechanized warfare, horses disappeared from the battlefields. But during WWII, however, the Nazis and the Soviets over six million horses were used in military operations.

32) Barrels pyre

This photo shows a huge pile of leather barrels, with something that looks like an American flag flying on top. We are probably looking at a 4th of July bonfire from the 1920s. These kind of celebrations were common in Massachusetts through the 1950’s, especially in Salem that was the center for many leather tanneries. These wooden barrels were used to import sheepskin form Australia and New Zealand. They were soaked with lanolin on the inside and given to fire. The Gallows Hill bonfire, that was almost 100 feet high, was one of the most epochal among these events. The pyre was made burn for hours and attracted the interests of the national press.

33) A nuclear overview

In Nevada this mother with her son are watching a nuclear test explosion from their window in 1953. This could happen before the effects of nuclear radiation were exactly understood. It is highly probable that public knowledge did not know of the side-effects of nuclear radiation, information was suppressed to avoid controversy. This overview was surely interesting, but not healthy at all. Thankfully, nowadays there is more awareness of the dangers of nuclear power.

34) The last public execution in America

On August 14, 19 occurred the hanging of Rainey Bethea ″It was the last public execution in the United States”. The event became of national interest because Bethea was should have been hanged by Florence Thompson, the sheriff of Davies County, but Arthur L. Hash, a former policeman from Louisville, offered to do it for he. She accepted, but on the day of the execution, Hash showed up drunk and couldn’t maintain his promise. Bethea was finally executed by a deputy, and America was disappointed.

35) First photo ever taken of Machu Picchu

In 1911, Hiram Bingham, a Yale University professor and explorer, was travelling into the mountainous jungles of central Peru in search of an ancient Incan city called Vilcabamba, but instead he came across with Machu Picchu. The professor then wrote “Machu Picchu might prove to be the largest and most important ruin discovered in South America since the days of the Spanish conquest”. Bingham was the one who took the first photo of Machu Picchu, but it is possible that he was not the one that discovered it: it has been recently discovered that a German man named Augusto Berns, attempted to set up an expedition in order to raid Incan treasures, and Machu Picchu can be found on one of his maps from 1874.

36) Gandhi’s letter to Hitler

In July of 1939 Gandhi sent a letter to Hitler, where he wrote:


Friends have been urging me to write to you for the sake of humanity. But I have resisted their request, because of the feeling that any letter from me would be an impertinence. Something tells me that I must not calculate and that I must make my appeal for whatever it may be worth. It is quite clear that you are today the one person in the world who can prevent a war which may reduce humanity to a savage state. Must you pay that price for an object however worthy it may appear to you to be? Will you listen to the appeal of one who has deliberately shunned the method of war not without considerable success? Any way I anticipate your forgiveness, if I have erred in writing to you.

I remain,

Your sincere friend,

M. K. Gandhi

37) A post-liberation situation

This photo depicts a Russian inmate pointing an identifying and accusing finger at a Nazi guard who was particularly cruel towards the prisoners after that the Armored Division of the US Army liberated Buchenwald. It was taken on April 14, 19″Estimates place Buchenwald’s death toll at over 56,000 people. It was built on Etter Mountain, near Weimar, in July of 19″It was one of the most ancient and largest concentration camps built in Germany. 250,000 prisoners were imprisoned there. Deaths occurred there doubled Dachau concentration camp’s deaths.

38) A lighter fighter jet

This is an evidence of some necessary moments of funniness, useful to suspend the monotony of life in the military, but also to raise morale during that terrible times time. There was an historical rivalry between the branches of the military, that’s the reason of the “Must be Air Force” slogan.

39) Duck hunting

This is not a joke, but a real gun that used to be generally adopted in waterfowl hunting. Their name was “punt guns,” because they were used in a boat called “punt.” The guns could kill fifty birds in one shot, he fired almost a pound of shot and they later were obviously banned because they devastated wild bird populations.

40) A British class system example

This photograph shows two upper-class British young boy standing with an air of superiority next to a couple of boys who had ditched school for the day. This picture has become famous since it was originally published in The News Chronicle in 1937, with the headline “Every picture tells a story.” Who knows which troubled life they had!

41) Float like a butterfly, sink like a bee

This photo shows Muhammad Ali, the former Cassius Clay, the greatest boxer in history, training and posing underwater at the Sir John Hotel, Miami in 1961.

42) Moving Life

The photo shows families moving into new suburban homes in Lakewood, California. A situation staged by Life Magazine that supplied all the trucks for free. It makes sense, since the brand names of the trucks are all unobscured to the camera.

43) Mike Tyson in a photo with a young Robert Downey, Jr.

Mike himself said:

When there was no fighting or training I would stay in the city at Steve Lott’s apartment. Many times I would visit Columbus Café owned by Paul Herman and Mikhail Baryshnikov. It was located on Columbus Avenue near Lincoln Center. The Café was the meeting point for famous actors, actresses, models, musicians and athletes. Here we can see Mike with a very young Robert Downey Jr. that was playing in the movie with Rodney Dangerfield, “Back to School”. His career incredibly grew since that time: you shouldn’t miss one of his last movies, “The Judge,” with Robert Duvall: stunning!

44) Soviet cosmo dog

This photo shows Laika, the first animal ever that has been sent into orbit. Nobody thought she would have survived the trip, in fact she didn’t. She was a Moscow stray before she was a Cosmonaut and now there’s a monument dedicated to her in Moscow, representing a dog on a rocket.

45) Astrochimp survived

Ham the Astrochimp was the first Hominidae to take a space flight. He was chosen by  the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center in New Mexico and was launched from Cape Canaveral on January 31, 1961. He came back to Earth unharmed, except for a bruise on the nose.

46) Fainting on the job

In 1970, a soldier fainted during a birthday procession for Queen Elizabeth right in the moment when she was passing by. It is quite hard to stand still under the sun in a heavy uniform, almost a challenge.

47) The old Stockholm telephone tower

The tower was built in Stockholm to connect over 5,000 telephone wires, just a while before telephone companies started to bury wires. Citizens hated it, and they burned the tower down in 1953.

48) German POWs

German POWs sitting and watching a video from a German concentration camp.

49) Hitler staring at Gustav Railway gun.

The Schwerer Gustav was studied to break the French’s Maginot line of defenses, it was a massive railway artillery cannon that had a limited use in the war.

50) The ice ladies

Two women depicted while delivering ice in 1918.

51) Nothing left

This photo was taken in London in 1940 and shows a little girl sitting outside the ruins of her bombed home.

52) A mummified heart

Here you can see  the mummified heart of August Delagrange, who was thought to be a vampire and to have killed 40 people. He was executed and they pierced his heart with a stake, just to be sure he would not return.

53) The Beast of Buchenwald

This is Ilse Koch, the wife of concentration camp officer. She did terrible things at the Buchenwald concentration camp, she was accused of taking skin souvenirs from prisoners who had interesting tattoos and that were killed in the concentration camps. She finally committed suicide in a women’s prison in 1960.