50 Historical Pictures That Might Teach You Something New About Our World Interview
Our Instagram feeds are often flooded with photos from the same day or the previous weekend. And while it’s great to have the capability to share information so rapidly, we know what the modern world looks like. We can walk through our front doors or gaze out from our balconies to get a taste of today’s times. But if you’re craving a blast from the past, we’ve got the perfect article for you.
Below, you'll find a list of some of our favorite posts from the Historic Pix Instagram account, as well as an interview we were lucky enough to receive from the creator of the account, Peter Cors. From photos of factory workers in the 1800s to an aerial view of Woodstock in 1969, Historic Pix shares a plethora of fascinating images that will give you some insight into our world’s past.
Be sure to upvote the photos you find most captivating, and let us know in the comments if you learned anything new from this list. Then if you’re interested in viewing even more pics that will shine a light on our world’s past, you can find a few more Bored Panda articles on the same topic right here, here and here!
A Picture Of Dr. Religa Monitoring His Patient's Vitals After Completing A 23-Hour-Long Heart Transplant. His Assistant Is Asleep In The Corner. 1987
At the bottom is a picture of the same patient, 30 years later. He managed to outlive his doctor.
Dr. Religa was a pioneer of heart transplantation in Poland, and even though the surgery was considered borderline impossible at the time, he took the chance, and the operation was successful.
To gain more insight into how Historic Pix began in the first place, we reached out to the page's creator, Peter Cors. "I’m an entrepreneur at heart," Peter told Bored Panda. "I started the account because I wanted to get into influencer marketing, so I chose a few different topics to start several accounts, including the topic of history, that turned into Historic Pix."
"For this account in particular, I had just discovered Earth Pix on Instagram," Peter explained. "I fell in love with that account, and decided I wanted to grow an account of the same quality and size, focused on history."
"I also just love diving into history to learn from past mistakes and gain insight from past experiences and events," Peter shared. "I’ve found that running this account has helped me find understanding and empathy for other people’s situations and experiences. It’s been a wonderful journey so far and can’t wait to see where things go from here."
Mary Wallace: First Female Bus Driver For Chicago Transit Authority, 1974
We also asked Peter why he thinks sharing historic photographs is important today. "Especially in this day and age, it is a good reminder that, while history isn’t always pretty, it’s okay to talk about it and enter in respectful discourse," he told Bored Panda. "I try to comment to, and talk with, as many followers as possible to share opinions and debate. It feels really good to have healthy and respectful discussions with strangers. It reminds me that this is what social media is all about. It makes me very happy to talk with others about a shared hobby/interest."
We also asked Peter how he decides what to feature on the account, and he told us that it mainly comes down to "wow factor". "There’s so much history out there, 99% of the time without much of a backstory or even without photographer credit," he explained. "A picture has to be impactful for me to share it. I want people to feel something when they see a piece of history. Especially for myself, seeing a memorable picture from the past helps me put life into context and appreciate the little things a bit more. I’ve been posting 1 post every day for over 2 years almost, and it still brings me lots of joy."
We also were curious what Peter has learned from running Historic Pix. "I’ve learned lots about influencing," he says. "One person having access to millions of people by the click of a button is very impactful. There’s a certain level of responsibility that comes with running an increasingly bigger account."
"I’ve also learned lots about society as a whole," Peter shared. "Most people who comment and interact with my account are genuinely good and kind-hearted people. The highlight of my day is when I get to talk to them through the comment section about elements of a shared photo."
An Open Air School In 1957, Netherlands In The Beginning Of The 20th Century A Movement Towards Open Air Schools Took Place In Europe
Classes were taught in forests so that students would benefit physically and mentally from clean air and sunlight
"I also often share with people when they ask me about my account that it took me posting every day for over 2 years before I started gaining big amounts of followers daily," Peter added. "The lesson I’ve learned from this experience is that if you don’t give up on your goal, you won’t fail at achieving it, and my goal is to become the biggest history account on Instagram, just like Earth Pix is the biggest travel page on Instagram."
Peter also told Bored Panda that if anyone has questions about Historic Pix, you can feel free to reach out to him via his personal Instagram at @Petercors. And don't forget to give Historic Pix a follow right here.
As Soviet Troops Approached Berlin In 1945, Zoo Keepers Did Their Best To Take Care Of Berlin Zoo's Animals. This Shoebill Was Temporarily Housed In His Keeper’s Home
Historic Pix is famous for going “back to the past through exploring beautiful and forgotten historical pictures”, as their Instagram bio states. The account has shared over 670 photos and has amassed over 84k followers. It features a wide variety of photos, including black and white images, colorized pics, photos of famous figures and world leaders, and photographs of everyday people just living their lives decades ago. While getting on Instagram to keep up with our friends and share our best selfies is always fun, it’s great to add a bit of education into our feeds as well. Following accounts like Historic Pix is the perfect way to do that.
With every image, there is a brief explanation of what is happening in the photo, where and when it was taken, and sometimes even a note about how popular the image has become since the event took place. For example, one photo featuring Marcy Borders as she left the World Trade Center covered in dust after the attacks on September 11, 2001, has become an iconic photo showing the horror that took place on that dark day. The fear in her eyes, combined with the dust that covers her and the room, is haunting
Camouflaged Road In Finland During Ww2. The Trees Are Hung Up With Rope So Enemy Watch Towers Don't See The Road. June 27, 1941
Photography was invented in 1839, and since then it has become an integral part of society. Newspapers and magazines were much less impactful before they were filled with photos, and today, we snap pictures of anything and everything. We can perfectly recall how we looked 10 years ago, the most fantastic meal we ate on our vacation to Hawaii for our honeymoon and what our university looked like thanks to the accessibility of cameras. And according to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, or MoMA, keeping photos from the past tells us so much about our world.
“Photographs can provide glimpses into lives past, long-ago events, and forgotten places,” MoMA explains on their site. “They can help shape our understanding of culture, history, and the identity of the people who appear in them. Photography has been utilized in these ways, and perceived as a tool of accurate and objective documentation, because of its inextricable connection to the real world.”
The Creation Of The Recycling Logo By G. Anderson, 23 At The Time. (1970)
1956: For A Bet Whilst Drunk, Former Marine Thomas Fitzpatrick Stole A Small Plane From New Jersey And Then Landed It Perfectly On A Narrow Manhattan Street In Front Of The Bar He Had Been Drinking At
He had made a bet with a fellow drinker that he could leave the bar, go to New Jersey, and then get back in 15 minutes.
He did nearly the exact same thing two years later, after a bar patron refused to believe he had done the first one.
Into The Jaws Of Death, 6th June 1944. Normandy Landings
Seeing a powerful photograph can instantly transport you to a different place or time. MoMA notes how powerful photographs can be in chronicling important moments in history and telling the stories of these events. “Their context and presentation can greatly influence the way we understand everything from historical narratives to current cultural issues and situations,” they explain. “In the late-19th and early-20th centuries, photographers, scientists, and social historians gathered together photographic images into archives cataloging people, places, and natural phenomena.”
But by the second half of the twentieth century, people began to have new ideas about how objective the photograph itself actually is. “Many contemporary artists have taken on photographs and photographic archives as the subject of their own work, re-examining and re-interpreting the histories they convey through methods ranging from appropriation to digital manipulation of existing images,” MoMA notes. This has allowed them to find biases, challenge what has long been accepted as historical fact and create new stories.
1922: 78-Year-Old Robert T. Lincoln (Son Of Abraham Lincoln) Is Helped Up The Steps At The Dedication Of The Lincoln Memorial In Washington D.c
Nikola Tesla’s Foot X-Ray Taken By Himself On A Machine He Designed (1896)
First Morning After Sweden Changed From Driving On The Left Side To Driving On The Right, 1967
Future generations will have absolutely no problems finding ample examples of exactly what our current world looked liked, but since technology like smartphones and the internet are still relatively new, it is fascinating to look back on 100, or even 50, years ago. Most of the people in these photos could have never imagined that we would be seeing them on these newfangled devices called “computers” or “cell phones”. To many of them, it was probably amazing to have a photo taken of themselves in the first place. But by the early 2000s, camera phones were becoming more and more common, and after the first iPhone was released in 2007, the smartphone era had officially begun. Having a camera in the palm of your hand suddenly became the norm.
San Francisco's Iconic Cliff House, Shortly Before It Was Destroyed By Fire In 1907
Cow Shoes Used By Moonshiners In The Prohibition Days To Disguise Their Footprints, 1924
Don’t get me wrong, I love my smartphone as much as the next person, but I’m also glad we get to go back and view some of these photos that look like they are from a completely different world. Maybe 100 years from now, people will look back on our iPhone photos and laugh about how simple our technology seems to them. It’s hard to imagine that photography can progress much more in the future, as it has already advanced so rapidly over the past 200 years. But Christopher Bryan-Smith, a writer for Expert Photography, made a few predictions about the future of photography that you might find intriguing. First, he mentions that immersive photography may become increasingly popular. Christopher explains that 3D camera technology is improving all the time, and eventually, we will likely all have access to creating our own 360 or VR photos and videos.
Hese Daguerreotype Portraits Show The Oldest Generation Of People To Ever Be Photographed, 1840-1850
Many of these people were born in the 1700s and some of them even lived through the American Revolutionary War
French Box Bed. In Brittany, The Closed Bed, Or Box Bed, Was A Traditional Piece Of Furniture, Present In Other European Countries
In houses with only one room, the box bed allowed a certain intimacy and helped to keep warm during the winter
Painters Atop The Woolworth Building In New York City, 1926
Christopher also predicts that cables will become a thing of the past. Apple devices are already capable of “airdropping” files between one another, seemingly magically having a photo or video show up in your camera roll or downloads, but this type of technology might become the standard for all of our devices. Memory cards, adapters and even chargers with cords might be a distant memory 100 years from now. We’re all about improving efficiency, and wireless technology the way of the future. We have already seen this with the way we listen to music, as ear buds transitioned from having cords, to having one cord to connect the two of them, to becoming completely cordless altogether. Why shouldn't cameras and photography follow in the same footsteps?
Maori Man From Hawkes Bay District, Photographed In 1870 By Samuel Carnell
Ta moko is the name for the permanent body and face marking by Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand.
Mount St. Helens Photographed From The Same Spot, One Day Before, And Four Months After Erupting
Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980. The volcano, located in southwestern Washington, used to be a beautiful symmetrical cone about 9,600 feet (3,000 meters) above sea level. The eruption, which removed the upper 1,300 feet (396 meters) of the summit, left a horseshoe-shaped crater and a barren wasteland
Another interesting trend Christopher predicts is a rise in vintage photography. The charm of shooting on film is likely to make a comeback, especially today when it is easier than ever to have photos developed and delivered to your email address in minutes. Plus, there is always a crowd that loves the novelty of vintage items, from furniture to clothing to cars. Vintage photography is sure to make revival as well, and film will never totally die. Just look at how many people still love listening to records, despite music being accessible in the palm of their hands through Spotify and YouTube. As all photography enthusiasts will admit, there is nothing like a photo that's been shot on real film.
Noted Botanist Alice Eastwood Inspects The Clearly Visible Fault Fissure Left Behind Near Olema, California, After The 1906 Earthquake Rattled The San Andreas Fault
The Winter Of 1880-1881 In Minnesota Was No Laughing Matter
Do you feel like you’ve taken a trip in a time machine? Or perhaps, many different trips to many different decades. You must be tired! We hope you’re enjoying these historical photographs and that you’ve learned something new from this list. Be sure to keep upvoting the pics you find most captivating, and then if you’re looking for even more blasts from the past, you can find more vintage photography articles here, here and here.
The Broughton Flume Was The Fastest And Longest Water Flume In The World From 1923-1986
It was located at the Hood river junction on the Columbia river at the Washington/Oregon border
British Soldiers Of The Irish Guards Regiment Look On As One Of Their Number Faints In London, England (June, 1966)
Aerial View Of Over 400,000 People At The Woodstock, 1969
A War Veteran Sells Matches On The Street, In Canterbury, Kent. England - Circa. 1930
The World's Last Commercial Ocean-Going Sailing Ship - The Pamir - Rounding Cape Horn, 1949
The Dalai Lama At Age Two, 1937
In The 1930's, Baby-Cages Were Used To Ensure Children Living In Apartment Buildings Got Enough Fresh Air And Sunlight
A Samurai And His Retainers Wearing Mail Armor And Armed With Naginata, 1870
The Roof Of An Old Fiat Factory. Yes, That Is A Track. (Lingotto, Turin - Italy)
Paparazzi Photographer Ron Galella Would Wear A Football Helmet Around Actor Marlon Brando, After Brando Once Sucker-Punched Him, Broke His Jaw, And Knocked Out Five Teeth In 1973
Ann Hodges, The Only Human Being In Recorded History To Be Hit By A Meteorite. 1954
The Muffin Man In 1910, London. He Would Ring A Bell As He Walked Through The Streets With His Wares On A Tray On His Head
In 1936, 1800 Veterans Of The American Civil War Attended An 75th Anniversary Reunion At Gettysburg, Pa
The youngest was 88 years old, and the oldest claimed to be 112 years old. They all became good friends
Female Worker Bottling Ketchup At The Original Heinz Factory Circa 1897
US Soldier With Pictures Of His Girlfriend Attached To His Helmet, Vietnam 1968
A Young Chinese Woman From One Of The Imperial Japanese Army's "Comfort Battalions" Is Interviewed By A British Royal Air Force Officer In Rangoon After Being Liberated In August 1945
The Ss Princess May Was A Steamship Built In 1888
The ship is best known for grounding in 1910, which left the ship sticking completely out of the water. This is one of the most famous shipwreck photographs
Salesman Having His Motorised Roller Skates Filled Up In 1961
He has a single horsepower air-cooled engine strapped to his back and holds a clutch, accelerator and engine cut-off switch in his hand. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp)
An Old Photo Taken By Max Van Oppenheim Of An Ancient Roman Bridge That Spans The Wadi Al Murr Near Mosul, Iraq, In The 1920s
Arctic Explorer Peter Freuchen Stands Next To His Third Wife, Dagmar Freuchen-Gale. 1947
The Nemi Ships, Built Almost 2000 Years Ago By Emperor Caligula, Discovered In 1929 And Destroyed By Fire In 1944 During World War II
In The Victorian Era, The Woman’s Hair Was Considered An Important Part Of Her Appearance And It Marked Her Status And Her Femininity
Women in that era were often expected to grow their hair to great lengths, and it was common knowledge that a woman’s crowning glory was her hair. Take a look at these photos of Victorian women who never cut their hair (1860-1900)
Two Boys Sit Inside Willamette, An Iron Meteorite Weighing 14500 Kg
It is the largest meteorite to be discovered in North America and the sixth largest in the world. The meteorite is on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City