Although we cannot get into the minds of the people waiting in a queue on a cold day in Chukotka, Soviet Union back in 1985 to get wine, or what the daredevil sky boys who built the Empire State Building in 1930-31 were thinking when balancing unsecured on the 88th floor, we can get a fairly good glimpse into the wonders of history.

Thanks to photography, a new means of visual representation that debuted in 1839 and startled the entire world, a lot of incredible moments of the past are now carved into film forever. So today we’re taking a miscellaneous history class, one you wouldn’t have skipped at school, thanks to this educational Facebook page titled “Historic Photographs.”

With almost 2.5M followers, the page is an online destination for rare historical photos and incredible stories behind them. Below we selected some of the most captivating ones, so pull your seat closer!

#1

Long Before Color-Sensitive Film Was Invented, Russian Photographer Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky Took 3 Individual Black And White Photos, Each With A Filter (Red, Blue And Green) To Create High Quality Photos In Full Color. This Self Portrait Is Over 110 Years Old

Long Before Color-Sensitive Film Was Invented, Russian Photographer Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky Took 3 Individual Black And White Photos, Each With A Filter (Red, Blue And Green) To Create High Quality Photos In Full Color. This Self Portrait Is Over 110 Years Old

Historic Photographs Report

Random Anon
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh wow that is really sharp and clear for the equipment he had.

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Few things captivate our imagination as much as historical photographs that tell stories about people and their lives in the past. While very distant in time, they also feel somehow familiar – old photographs have a power to transcend time and space and put us in long-gone contexts, places, and situations.

#2

On August 23, 1989, About 2 Million People From Latvia, Estonia And Lithuania Formed A Human Chain That United All 3 Countries To Show The World Their Desire To Escape The Soviet Union And The Communism That Brought Only Suffering And Poverty. This Power Stretched 600 Km

On August 23, 1989, About 2 Million People From Latvia, Estonia And Lithuania Formed A Human Chain That United All 3 Countries To Show The World Their Desire To Escape The Soviet Union And The Communism That Brought Only Suffering And Poverty. This Power Stretched 600 Km

Historic Photographs Report

#3

Mary Wallace: First Female Bus Driver For Chicago Transit Authority, 1974 (Colorized)

Mary Wallace: First Female Bus Driver For Chicago Transit Authority, 1974 (Colorized)

Historic Photographs Report

According to Lisa Yaszek, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, since old photos affect our perception of time in unique ways. Yaszek is a Regents Professor of Science Fiction Studies at Georgia Tech where she researches and teaches science fiction as a global language crossing centuries, continents, and cultures. We previously spoke with her about the cultural significance of old and historical photographs and what it tells us about the way we perceive not just the past, but also the present.

They affect the way we understand time “by making abstract historical events visually concrete, giving us an emotional connection to eras we might not otherwise know very much about, exactly, through books or family stories.” Yaszek explained: “For instance, when I was looking over the photos for this article I was really taken by images of Japanese-Americans in WWII U.S. internment camps, young people protesting low wages for teachers in the Great Depression, female engineers working for the Space Race, and little kids protesting Daylight Savings Time—my own son especially appreciated that one…”

#4

Rosa Parks Sits At The Front Of A Bus Following The End Of Racial Segregation By The Transit Company, Circa 1965

Rosa Parks Sits At The Front Of A Bus Following The End Of Racial Segregation By The Transit Company, Circa 1965

Historic Photographs Report

#5

Stoney First Nation Member, Guide Samson Beaver With His Wife Leah And Their Daughter Frances Louise, 1907. Photo Taken By Mary Schäffer

Stoney First Nation Member, Guide Samson Beaver With His Wife Leah And Their Daughter Frances Louise, 1907. Photo Taken By Mary Schäffer

Historic Photographs Report

ScrupulousScribbler
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This picture shows that no matter your race, gender, heritage, culture, or religion, we all share the same feeling of love and happiness when it comes to having a happy, supportive family around you

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#6

World War One Memorial In Vácrátót (Hungary)

World War One Memorial In Vácrátót (Hungary)

Historic Photographs Report

Random Anon
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This monument needs to be preserved to remind us, there is nothing to gain from wars. It's 2022 and people are still at it.

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According to Yaszek, if you look closely at the subjects of historic photographs, you realize how alive they look. This is because they have a range of emotions on their faces—“from determination to silliness to fear to hope. It reminds us that historical events don’t just happen on their own—they involve real people taking real action, for better or for worse.”

#7

A Dapper Group On Their Way To Church, Chicago 1940s

A Dapper Group On Their Way To Church, Chicago 1940s

Historic Photographs Report

#8

German Soldier Helps A Little Boy Sneak Across The Berlin Wall, 1961

German Soldier Helps A Little Boy Sneak Across The Berlin Wall, 1961

Historic Photographs Report

(T)reacherou(S)
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So nice, what a wonderful picture (sad too)!

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#9

The Level Of Detail On The Column Of Marcus Aurelius In Rome Which Was Completed Around Ad 193

The Level Of Detail On The Column Of Marcus Aurelius In Rome Which Was Completed Around Ad 193

Historic Photographs Report

Norma
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well, they sure don't make 'em like they used to...

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Although we may not realize that, old photos also remind us that people in the past led rich and complex lives, just as we do today. “For instance, we tend to assume that in the past, women were limited to work as wives and mothers, and we certainly see a number of images here celebrating women’s work in the home. But we also see women doing all sorts of work in the public sphere as well—everything from attending school graduations and working on supercomputers to taking back the streets of postwar London and bouncing drunks out of bars!” Yaszek explained.

#10

Negotiation Between The Zoo Director And Escaped Chimpanzee. Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 1988

Negotiation Between The Zoo Director And Escaped Chimpanzee. Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 1988

Historic Photographs Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
8 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"And two extra bananas with every meal..."

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#11

Residents Of West Berlin Show Their Children To Their Grandparents Living In East Berlin, 1961

Residents Of West Berlin Show Their Children To Their Grandparents Living In East Berlin, 1961

Historic Photographs Report

#12

20-Year-Old Helen Mirren Dressed For Her Role As Cleopatra In A Theatrical Production, 1965

20-Year-Old Helen Mirren Dressed For Her Role As Cleopatra In A Theatrical Production, 1965

Historic Photographs Report

KWilly
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She is one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. And the fact that she aged naturally and gracefully, instead of trying to "stay young" and ruining her beauty!... I adore Helen Mirren

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When asked whether we tend to idolize the past and vilify the present, Yaszek said that it’s true and that old photos can indeed play a part in that process. She explained: “Even as some photos help us put a personal face on big historical events, others give us very unrealistic understandings of what everyday life was really like in the past.”

#14

Us Cavalry Soldiers Pose In Front Of A Tree Known As The "Grizzly Giant" 1900. The Tree Still Stands

Us Cavalry Soldiers Pose In Front Of A Tree Known As The "Grizzly Giant" 1900. The Tree Still Stands

Historic Photographs Report

#15

Pablo Picasso Painted This When He Was 15 Years Old

Pablo Picasso Painted This When He Was 15 Years Old

Historic Photographs Report

Anna Nowak
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I've read that he did that in order to finish art school. They wouldn't let him graduate without completing classical art course. Not sure if it's true tho.

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Moreover, before the advent of digital cameras that could take and store hundreds of photos without costing users very much in terms of effort or money, photos were more expensive and difficult to create—in the 1800s, subjects had to stand still and pose to create good images.

“Throughout the early and middle 20th century, good cameras were often complicated to master; and even when instant cameras made it easier for people to take decent photos at the drop of a hat in the 1970s, users had to have the money to purchase expensive film cartridges,” Yaszek explained.

#16

Lt. Col. Robert Stirm, Is Greeted By His Family, Returning Home After More Than Five Years As A Prisoner Of War In North Vietnam. Burst Of Joy Is A Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photograph By Associated Press Photographer Slava "Sal" Veder, Taken On March 17, 1973 At Travis Air Force Base In California

Lt. Col. Robert Stirm, Is Greeted By His Family, Returning Home After More Than Five Years As A Prisoner Of War In North Vietnam. Burst Of Joy Is A Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photograph By Associated Press Photographer Slava "Sal" Veder, Taken On March 17, 1973 At Travis Air Force Base In California

Historic Photographs Report

#17

Sailors Saluting A War Veteran, Leningrad 1989

Sailors Saluting A War Veteran, Leningrad 1989

Historic Photographs Report

blobby_grrl
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

wow!! and look at the smile on his face! this is amazing

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#18

The Sioux Nation Of Native Americans Teepees Spread Across The Great Plains In 1800s (Image Believed To Have Been Taken In The Dakota Territory)

The Sioux Nation Of Native Americans Teepees Spread Across The Great Plains In 1800s (Image Believed To Have Been Taken In The Dakota Territory)

Historic Photographs Report

Arik
Community Member
8 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The genocide of the indigenous peoples of America and its consequences for the remaining native Americans should be more present in the US-American discourse. I'm still waiting for blockbuster movies and the Netflix series with a Wild West narrative from a native American perspective.

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#19

Star Wars Characters Together From Left To Right : Han Solo, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker And R2-D2, 1977

Star Wars Characters Together From Left To Right : Han Solo, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker And R2-D2, 1977

Historic Photographs Report

#20

There Was A Time When You Could See The Core Structure Of The Twin Towers. (1970, During The Construction)

There Was A Time When You Could See The Core Structure Of The Twin Towers. (1970, During The Construction)

Historic Photographs Report

K- THULU
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's an incredible pic. I can't stop looking at it. It's like an x ray.....sublime.

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#21

Silent Film Actress, Delores Costello, Drew Barrymore's Grandmother, 1928

Silent Film Actress, Delores Costello, Drew Barrymore's Grandmother, 1928

Historic Photographs Report

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#22

World War I Field: More Than 100 Years Later

World War I Field: More Than 100 Years Later

Historic Photographs Report

#23

A Rare Example Where An Engineer Thought About The Mechanic. (Daf-Domburg Diesel From 1949. Made In The Netherlands)

A Rare Example Where An Engineer Thought About The Mechanic.
(Daf-Domburg Diesel From 1949. Made In The Netherlands)

Historic Photographs Report

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#24

Niagara Falls Froze Over In 1883

Niagara Falls Froze Over In 1883

Historic Photographs Report

-Insert-name-
Community Member
8 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

but that's not gonna happen now because 🎶 climate change 🎶

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#25

150 Million Year Old Dinosaur Footprints In France

150 Million Year Old Dinosaur Footprints In France

Historic Photographs Report

#26

Marilyn Monroe Photographed By Earl Leaf 1950

Marilyn Monroe Photographed By Earl Leaf 1950

Historic Photographs Report

#27

The First Photo Of Chernobyl On The Morning Of The Nuclear Disaster (April 26, 1986). The Heavy Grain Is Due To The Huge Amount Of Radiation In The Air That Began To Destroy The Camera Film The Second It Was Exposed For This Photo. Photo Taken By Igor Kostin

The First Photo Of Chernobyl On The Morning Of The Nuclear Disaster (April 26, 1986). The Heavy Grain Is Due To The Huge Amount Of Radiation In The Air That Began To Destroy The Camera Film The Second It Was Exposed For This Photo. Photo Taken By Igor Kostin

Historic Photographs Report

#28

Three Generations Of Women Outside Their Stone Cottage In Ireland 1927

Three Generations Of Women Outside Their Stone Cottage In Ireland 1927

Historic Photographs Report

K- THULU
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Jeez.You wouldn't want to get on the wrong side with those three....

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#29

Bruce Lee And His Family In 1970

Bruce Lee And His Family In 1970

Historic Photographs Report

#30

Nan Wood Graham And Dr. Byron Mckeeby Pictured In 1942 Recreating Their Original Poses For The Iconic ‘American Gothic’. She Was The Painter’s Sister, And He Was Their Dentist

Nan Wood Graham And Dr. Byron Mckeeby Pictured In 1942 Recreating Their Original Poses For The Iconic ‘American Gothic’. She Was The Painter’s Sister, And He Was Their Dentist

Historic Photographs Report

ScrupulousScribbler
Community Member
8 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I see the resemblance in the man, but I feel like the woman was given a more thin face, and her hair doesn't quite look the same

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#31

The Seal Of Tutankhamun's Tomb (On The Third Golden Shrine) Before It Was Opened In 1923. It Was Unbroken For Over 3000 Years

The Seal Of Tutankhamun's Tomb (On The Third Golden Shrine) Before It Was Opened In 1923. It Was Unbroken For Over 3000 Years

Historic Photographs Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There was also 3000 years worth of milk bottles outside the door, and the letterbox was jammed with circulars.

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#32

Shoemaker’s Lunch, 1944. Photo By Bernard Cole

Shoemaker’s Lunch, 1944. Photo By Bernard Cole

Historic Photographs Report

#33

American Soldiers At Mass In The Rubble At Cologne Cathedral, March 1945

American Soldiers At Mass In The Rubble At Cologne Cathedral, March 1945

Historic Photographs Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#34

The FBI Finger Print Files, 1944

The FBI Finger Print Files, 1944

Historic Photographs Report

#35

A 'Knocker-Up' In London (1929). Before Alarm Clocks, People Were Paid To Wake Clients Up For Work By Knocking On Their Doors And Windows With A Stick

A 'Knocker-Up' In London (1929). Before Alarm Clocks, People Were Paid To Wake Clients Up For Work By Knocking On Their Doors And Windows With A Stick

Historic Photographs Report

Robert T
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Just as long as the Knocker-Up doesn't result in anyone being Knocked-Up. That's the job of the milkman ;-)

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#36

An Elevator Parking Lot In Chicago, 1930s

An Elevator Parking Lot In Chicago, 1930s

Historic Photographs Report

#37

The Roof Of An Old Fiat Factory. Yes, That Is A Track (Lingotto, Turin - Italy)

The Roof Of An Old Fiat Factory. Yes, That Is A Track (Lingotto, Turin - Italy)

Historic Photographs Report

Robert T
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's still there. It was used in the film The Italian Job. More recently is has been on an episode of Car S.O.S. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6721612/

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#38

A 32 Year Old Mom Trying To Start A New Life In California, March 1937

A 32 Year Old Mom Trying To Start A New Life In California, March 1937

Historic Photographs Report

TuesdayDangerGirl
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This looks like Florence Owens Thompson - the "Migrant Mother" photo by Dorothea Lange - actual backstory is pretty sad

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#39

Monica Bellucci And Gianni Versace, 1995

Monica Bellucci And Gianni Versace, 1995

Historic Photographs Report

Let’s All Just Try And Be Decent
Community Member
8 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

To the people asking why this is relevant or historical or worth thinking about... Maybe because this man was an openly gay immigrant to America who worked hard and became hugely successful, and by all accounts was a lovely person in a loving, long term stable and happy relationship before being brutally assassinated on his own doorstep for no reason? I think there's probably a lot to learn from that in a lot of ways. Also, this picture was taken nearly 30 years ago, and he died 25 years ago, so I'm afraid that counts as the past, (history) I mean it was in a different decade, century, millennium, etc!

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#40

Residents Of Hanoi Wait In Chest-Deep Sidewalk Shelters For The All Clear Signal, During An Air Raid Alert. Hanoi, North Vietnam, 1967

Residents Of Hanoi Wait In Chest-Deep Sidewalk Shelters For The All Clear Signal, During An Air Raid Alert. Hanoi, North Vietnam, 1967

Historic Photographs Report

Note: this post originally had 70 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.