This Facebook Group Shares Curious Historical Artefacts From The Past, Here Are 50 Of The Most Interesting
World history is the narrative of humanity's past, understood and studied through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics. Since the invention of writing, human history has been studied through primary and secondary source documents.
And the chances are you had (or have) a fair amount of this discipline back in high school and if you hadn’t slept through it, you’d have much better knowledge of it than you do now.
In fact, an article in The New York Times reported "Only 22 percent of American students had mastered enough history in their high school days to identify two contributions made by Lincoln to this country." The thing is, it was published in 1943, but it could have been written today.
Luckily, there’s this Facebook page dedicated to sharing some of the most interesting and lesser known bits of history. It won’t make us re-learn everything from scratch, but it will surely spark this lost interest into the times of the past.
Titled “The World Of History,” the page reminds us how similar yet different humans were hundreds of years ago compared with us today. Below, we wrapped up some of the most interesting posts shared here, so scroll down and enjoy!
A Victorian Couple Trying Not To Laugh While Getting Their Portraits Done, 1890s
A Serbian Soldier Sleeps With His Father Who Came To Visit Him On The Front Line Near Belgrade, 1914/1915
An East German Border Guard Offers A Flower Through A Gap In The Berlin Wall On The Morning It Fell, 1989
There’s something uncanny and absolutely fascinating about looking at old photographs that document the people, the events, the places, the current affairs of the past. It also challenges our perception of time, because as distant as we feel from the subjects shown in the photographs, we still share this similarity that’s impossible to ignore.
According to Lisa Yaszek, 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, old photos affect our perception of time in unique ways like nothing else:
“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,” she explained in our previous in-depth interview on a similar topic.
On July 17, 1967, A Florida Lineman Named Randall Champion Accidentally Touched A High-Voltage Line — Which Sent 4,000 Volts Of Electricity Through His Body And Stopped His Heart
Luckily, his friend and fellow lineman J.D. Thompson was close enough to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until paramedics arrived. Thanks to Thompson's quick thinking, Champion survived the incident, and even reported to work the following week.
Unbeknownst to Champion and Thompson, a photographer for the Jacksonville Journal was standing just below them to capture this daring rescue. From the ground, Rocco Morabito snapped one of the most moving images in history — "The Kiss of Life."
The professor at Georgia Tech added that all the subjects of these photos look so alive and have such 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.”
While looking back into history from the present standpoint, it’s easier to imagine that life was simpler back in the day. But the photos are evidence that’s not the case. In fact, people in the past led rich and complex lives, just as we do today.
During WWII, Jews In Budapest Were Brought To The Edge Of The Danube, Ordered To Remove Their Shoes, And Shot, Falling Into The Water Below
60 pairs of iron shoes now line the river's bank, a ghostly memorial to the victims. 'Shoes on the Danube Promenade' by Can Togay and Gyula Pauer.
3 People Pose For A Photo Whilst Wearing Face Masks During The Second Wave Of The Spanish Flu In California; 1918
“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!”
Father, Son, Grandfather And Great Grandfather, New Guinea, 1970
Double Leg Amputee Railway Signalman, James Wide, Photographed Working Alongside His Pet And Assistant, Jack Baboon, In Cape Town During The 1880s
James Wide purchased a chacma baboon in 1881 and trained him to push his wheelchair and to operate the railway signals under supervision.
After initial scepticism, the railway decided to officially employ Jack once his job competency was verified. The baboon was paid twenty cents a day, and half a bottle of a beer each week. It is widely reported in his nine years of employment with the railway company, Jack never made a single mistake. That's is wild and he worked there for nine years.
Children Going To School Having To Cross A River By Pulley, Modena, Italy, 1959
“And that is what old photos do best: they remind us that people in the past have had many of the same challenges and triumphs as we have, and that we can look to them for inspiration regarding how to make sense of the present and build new futures,” Yaszek concluded.
A British Sailor Removing The Leg Chains Off An Enslaved Man Who Had Worn Them For Three Years
The enslaved man, along with others, had escaped a slave-trading post off the coast of Oman when they heard the Royal Navy was nearby. (1907)
18th Century Device That Allowed Researchers To Work/Read Up To 8 Open Books At A Time
This Is About A Victim, Not About Who Is To Blame. It Would Be Lovely To Honor Her And Others Who Lost Their Lives Here, And Debate Specifics Elsewhere
The image has become iconic and the woman in it, a then 28-year-old Marcy Borders, became known as the 'dust lady' in the days after 9/11. She had been working in the North Tower of the World Trade Center only a month, on the 81st floor only 12 stories down from where American Airlines Flight 11 made impact. She made her way down the main stairwell of the tower, along with hundreds of others escaping. In the time it took her to reach the ground floor, the South Tower had just collapsed and an enormous dust cloud, visible from space, was rising. “I took chase from this cloud of dust and smoke that was following me,” Borders said. “Once it caught me it threw me on my hands and knees. Every time I inhaled my mouth filled up with it, I was choking. I was saying to myself out loud, I didn’t want to die, I didn’t want to die.” She was pulled from the dust and into a nearby lobby by a man, and that is where photographer Stan Honda snapped this haunting photo, seen around the world as a testament to the horrors of 9/11.
Marcy Borders passed away from stomach cancer in August 2015, cancer she believes was exacerbated by inhaling dust on that fateful day. The 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund and the World Trade Center Health Program estimate that over 2,000 have died of illnesses related to the attack over the past 18 years.
Knife Grinders In France 1902, They Worked Lying Down To Save Their Backs And Had Dogs Sit On Their Legs For Warmth
Berlin, Germany, 1985-2018
The Moment When President Bush Was Informed About The 9/11 Terrorist Attack, 2001
A Photograph Of A Filipino-American Family Taken More Than A Decade After The Us Colonization Of The Islands. The Photo Dates Back To 1912
British Soldier Retrieving Bandages From The Kit Of A Dog During Wwi, 1915
The 2800 Year Old Kiss!
These human remains were unearthed in 1972 at the Teppe Hasanlu archaeological site, located in the Solduz Valley in the West Azerbaijan Province of Iran. The archaeologist who studied the skeletons confirms they were there since 2,800 years ago. The University of Pennsylvania has determined that the couple died together around 800 BC. The skeletons do appear like they are kissing each other before they died – as if to signify that love is eternal.
Residents Of West Berlin Show Their Children To Their Grandparents Living In East Berlin, 1961
A Berlin Boy Sells Lemonade Using A Portable Lemonade Dispenser, 1931.
Meeting Around A Baguette. France 1950. Photo By: Robert Doisneau
Canadian And German Soldiers Sharing A Cigarette During The Second Battle Of Passchendaele, November 1917
Vietnam War Helmet Graffiti, 1967- “War Is Good Business- Invest Your Son”
16 Year-Old Anti-Aircraft Soldier Of The German Army, Hans-Georg Henke, Cries From Combat Shock As His World Falls Apart. He Was Captured By The Us 9th Army In Hessen, Germany In 1945
The Statue Of Liberty - Paris, France - 1886 (Before It Was Transported To America)
Town Of Rysstad, Norway, 1888 - 2013
Not much I could find on this small town but the white, wooden, octagonal church was built in 1838 by Anders Thorsen Syrtveit using plans by the famous Norwegian architect Hans Linstow, who built the Royal Palace in Oslo. The church seats around 200 people.
The town dates back to the Middle Ages and was once a municipality of Norway. Population today of around one thousand.
Seen in an ' The Atlantic' article which details “Tilbakeblikk”, the name of a joint project between the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute and Norsk Folkemuseum. Tilbakeblikk means “retrospect” or “looking back” in Norwegian, describing the project’s use of photographs taken of the same places separated by long periods of time to illustrate landscape changes in Norway.
A German Woman With Her All Belonging Sitting Alone In War Ruined Cologne. 1945
Abraham Lincoln At Gettysburg During The Civil War. Left: Allan Pinkerton, Right: Gen John Mcclernand. 1863. (Colorized)
Anatoly Golombievsky, A Soviet Veteran Who Lost Both His Legs During The Battle For Novorossiysk, During World War II, Takes The Salute Of 4 Cadets At The Nakhimov Navy School On V-Day In Leningrad, 1989
Tricycle Of 3 Year Old Boy Named Shin, Who Died 1,500 Meters From The Hypocenter Of Hiroshima Atomic Bombing, 1945
The Queen Of England And Her Husband At The Horse Races In 1968
General George S. Patton’s Pet Dog On The Day Of His Owner’s Death, December 21st, 1945
Pope John Paul II Talks With Mehmet Agca, The Man Who Tried To Assassinate Him, In An Italian Prison, 1983
A Woman Walks Through The Ruins Of Berlin During The Battle Of Berlin, May 1945
Acrobats Balance On Top Of The Empire State Building, C. 1934
1910, Mailing A Child Via Parcel Post In The USA, The Post Office’s Parcel Post Was Introduced In 1913
Within weeks, a number of parents attempted to send their children by post. In Ohio, Jesse and Mathilda Beagle posted their son James, eight months old, to his grandmother. The delivery cost 15c - cheaper than a rail ticket. Mr and Mrs Beagle insured James for $50.
In 1920, the Post Office elected to no longer deliver children until present time
Mummified Head (Mokomokai) With Moko Facial Tattoo
In mummification, the brain and eyes were removed, all the holes in the skull were sealed with flax fibers and gum. The head was then steamed in an oven, before being smoked in a fire, then left in the sun for several days. After that, the head was hydrated with shark fat oil - Maori culture -
"4 Children For Sale", 1948
The photo first appeared in the The Vidette-Messenger of Valparaiso, Indiana on August 5, 1948. The children looked posed and a bit confused as their pregnant mother hides in shame her face from the photographer after putting her childrens up for sale. The caption read: “A big ‘For Sale’ sign in a Chicago yard mutely tells the tragic story of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Chalifoux, who face eviction from their apartment. With no place to turn, the jobless coal truck driver and his wife decide to sell their four children. Mrs. Lucille Chalifoux turns her head from camera above while her children stare wonderingly. On the top step are Lana, 6, and Rae, 5. Below are Milton, 4, and Sue Ellen, 2”.
Family members accused the mother of being paid to stage the photo, which may have been part of the story, but unfortunately, she was dead serious about selling her children. Within two years all of the children pictures, as well as the baby she was carrying at the time, were sold off to different homes.