Learning about history is a continuously interesting, never-ending adventure. What makes it even more exciting is exploring the past through authentic photographs. These rare images, coupled with fascinating stories behind them, allow us to take an intimate glimpse into the lives of people long gone. They provide a tangible link that connects us to these unfamiliar faces and teaches us about their dreams, fears, and brave decisions that changed the course of history.

Our team here at Bored Panda absolutely adores discovering golden nuggets about the old days, and we're thrilled to bring you plenty of images that correspond with them. Today’s post will serve as a captivating archive of some rarely seen photos filled with unstaged and genuine scenarios from the old days.

So let's take a look at some historical moments — both big and small — that may just help us see the world in a different light. Continue scrolling, upvote your favorite entries and tell us in the comments which ones you loved the most and why. Then if you're interested in broadening your mental horizons even further, check out our earlier piece about historical photos that might change your perspective right over here.

#1

In 1969, When Black Americans Were Still Prevented From Swimming Alongside Whites, Mr.rogers Decided To Invite Officer Clemmons To Join Him And Cool His Feet In A Pool

In 1969, When Black Americans Were Still Prevented From Swimming Alongside Whites, Mr.rogers Decided To Invite Officer Clemmons To Join Him And Cool His Feet In A Pool

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#2

On February 8th, 1943, Nazis Hung 17-Year-Old Lepa Radić For Being A Yugoslavian Partisan During World War II. When They Asked Her The Names Of Her Companions, She Replied: “You Will Know Them When They Come To Avenge Me."

On February 8th, 1943, Nazis Hung 17-Year-Old Lepa Radić For Being A Yugoslavian Partisan During World War II. When They Asked Her The Names Of Her Companions, She Replied: “You Will Know Them When They Come To Avenge Me."

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#3

One Of The Earliest Photos Showing A Native American With A Wolf - Unlike The Myths Created About Wolves By Settlers, Indians Maintained A Close And Respectful Relationship With Wolves

One Of The Earliest Photos Showing A Native American With A Wolf - Unlike The Myths Created About Wolves By Settlers, Indians Maintained A Close And Respectful Relationship With Wolves

years_in_photos Report

The best thing about stumbling across historical pictures like these is how much they spark our interest. Many of us immediately feel the urge to do a few Google searches, quickly click on hyperlinks, and dive headfirst into the world of knowledge, all to learn more about these past eras, long-gone events, and people who created something out of them.

It’s amazing how one simple photo can lead to hours of research about something you might not even have known existed before. By exploring historical events through photographs, you have a chance to interpret and enhance your perception of the world in a visual way. You’re suddenly presented with new information about how individuals lived back then and how their actions molded our society.

#4

Harlem Grocer Standing In Front Of His Store, 1937

Harlem Grocer Standing In Front Of His Store, 1937

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

I don't know why I like this picture so much, maybe it's the casual pride of ownership in his stance.

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#5

Three Lads Play To The Camera, Jamaica

Three Lads Play To The Camera, Jamaica

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#6

Jewish Prisoners After Being Liberated From A Death Train, 1945

Jewish Prisoners After Being Liberated From A Death Train, 1945

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"Photography can definitely be a powerful tool in understanding history," Jo Romero, a writer, sketcher, and founder of the blog called Love British History previously told Bored Panda. "It gives us that link between us and people in the past — we can look into the person's eyes in a photograph and it creates that human connection between us."

#7

The Boy And His Car, 1930s.little Man's Got Style

The Boy And His Car, 1930s.little Man's Got Style

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#8

Japanese Couple Taking A Mirror Selfie, 1920s

Japanese Couple Taking A Mirror Selfie, 1920s

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Artsy Bookworm
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Seen this photo before on BP. I love this picture so sweet and adorable

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#9

Mother And Daughter Taking A Walk In New York City, 1970

Mother And Daughter Taking A Walk In New York City, 1970

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"From a photograph too, we can see body languages and poses within a group of people or the way a scene is laid out and this is much more than we could ascertain from reading a book," Jo added. "Photographs help make history seem more real. They're like a viewfinder into the past!"

And we can’t help but agree. Of course, oral traditions, artifact collection, and volumes of manuscripts and documents are essential sources of information for historical periods. But there’s something about photography that enhances our understanding of history. With each and every closing of the camera shutter, a moment is recorded and frozen in the past, and uncovering these gems makes them seem even more real.

#10

Bobbi Gibb, First Woman To Run The Boston Marathon In 1966, She Ran Without A Number Because Women Were Not Allowed Into The Race

Bobbi Gibb, First Woman To Run The Boston Marathon In 1966, She Ran Without A Number Because Women Were Not Allowed Into The Race

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#11

" Please, God, Please, Don't Let Me Be Normal". Sigourney Weaver's High School Yearbook Picture.1967

" Please, God, Please, Don't Let Me Be Normal". Sigourney Weaver's High School Yearbook Picture.1967

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#12

22-Year-Old Wasp Pilot Shirley Slade In Her Flying Helmet, Goggles, And Gloves, 1943

22-Year-Old Wasp Pilot Shirley Slade In Her Flying Helmet, Goggles, And Gloves, 1943

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"We have so much we can learn from the visual evidence that we have, whether that's a portrait of a person or a snapshot captured of a group or scene," the blogger pointed out that history is an extremely varied topic. Jo added that visual media helps make the past seem more accessible and that we can see photos like we see historical artifacts. "They add interest and give us context."

According to Jo, it’s one thing to read about your great-great-grandfather on a page but then to see a photograph of him and look into his eyes, it's completely different. She believes that "photos of people or scenes evoke a much stronger emotional reaction, and it's great that they can be used alongside written sources for context. Not everyone wants to learn just by reading, and using different visual sources can help keep our interest and curiosity up and make the topic a lot more engaging."

#13

Photograph Showing Inventor Charles S.l Baker And His Assistant Demonstrating Heating/Radiator System. 1906

Photograph Showing Inventor Charles S.l Baker And His Assistant Demonstrating Heating/Radiator System. 1906

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M O'Connell
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The actual heat source was mechanical friction inside the cylinder. The concept was that any mechanical power could be used to generate heat (waterwheel, windmill, compressed air, anything) as opposed to just burning fuel.

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#14

A Jewish Hanukkah Menorah Defies The Nazi Swastika, 1931

A Jewish Hanukkah Menorah Defies The Nazi Swastika, 1931

On Hanukkah 1932, just one month before Hitler came to power, Rachel Posner, wife of Rabbi Dr. Akiva Posner, took this photo of the family Hanukkah menorah from the window ledge of the family home looking out on to the building across the road decorated with Nazi flags.

On the back of the photograph, Rachel Posner wrote in German (translated here): Chanukah 5692 (1932)
"Death to Judah"
So the flag says
"Judah will live forever"
So the light answers. -.

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#15

Bride Leaving Her Recently Bombed Home To Get Married, London, Nov 4, 1940

Bride Leaving Her Recently Bombed Home To Get Married, London, Nov 4, 1940

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As Anna Pegler-Gordon, an associate professor at the University of Michigan, explained in a piece called Seeing Images in History, we rarely spend time exploring pictures that illustrate history. Most of the time, we focus on the written content "because of the way that images are presented in many historical texts and also because of the way that historians are trained to view images — as illustrations of written history rather than sources of history themselves."

But this seems to be changing as Pegler-Gordon mentioned evidence of a "visual turn" in learning and teaching the subject in the last few years. It looks like more academics and historians now give more attention to visual images. By using photographs to teach, the professor noticed that students often see media as more accessible than written records. "Students themselves mention that images make the past seem more accessible, giving concrete shape to a world that sometimes seems intangible," she added.

#16

The Real Meaning Of "Keep Calm And Carry On." Milkman During The London Blitz 1940

The Real Meaning Of "Keep Calm And Carry On." Milkman During The London Blitz 1940

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Uncanny
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A vital job.People needed that milk for their restorative cups of tea after a less than ideal night.

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#17

Hippie Dad Walking With His Daughter. Amsterdam, 1968

Hippie Dad Walking With His Daughter. Amsterdam, 1968

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"The learners who arrive in our classrooms today are not only immersed in technology, but also in visual ways of learning. They appreciate the immediacy of the image, which often conveys information more quickly than a primary document written in unfamiliar, or even a foreign, language." Another benefit is that this immediacy leads to a shared experience of viewing a picture together that can contribute to a lively group discussion.

Moreover, students are often advanced readers of graphic media, and with proper guidance and support from their teachers, they can truly enjoy the process of looking at and analyzing historical visual representations.

#19

Inuk Man Teaching A Boy How To Shoot. Circa 1920

Inuk Man Teaching A Boy How To Shoot. Circa 1920

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#20

Kiss Band With Their Parents, 1976

Kiss Band With Their Parents, 1976

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#21

Showgirls Playing Chess Before A Show , 1958

Showgirls Playing Chess Before A Show , 1958

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"However, visual images are also inaccessible for the same reasons that they are accessible. The apparent legibility of the image hides its historical construction, the ways in which the image was made, distributed, and read at the time it was produced and since." Pegler-Gordon added that to become better at reading images, we must become informed about the history and the theory of images.

#22

"Easter Eggs For Hitler" Two African American Gi's Pose At Easter Time With Personalised Infantry Shells. Ww2, 1940s

"Easter Eggs For Hitler" Two African American Gi's Pose At Easter Time With Personalised Infantry Shells. Ww2, 1940s

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Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Though ironically they often weren’t treated much better at home than they would have been treated by Nazis…

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#23

David Isom, 19, Broke The Color Line In A Segregated Pool In Florida On June 8, 1958, Which Resulted In Officials Closing The Facility

David Isom, 19, Broke The Color Line In A Segregated Pool In Florida On June 8, 1958, Which Resulted In Officials Closing The Facility

years_in_photos Report

Ange Marsden
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is really brave - less than a decade after the Anacostia Pool Riot

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#24

Susan Kare, Famous Apple Artist Who Designed Many Of The Fonts, Icons, And Images For Apple, Next, Microsoft, And Ibm. (1980s)

Susan Kare, Famous Apple Artist Who Designed Many Of The Fonts, Icons, And Images For Apple, Next, Microsoft, And Ibm. (1980s)

years_in_photos Report

Once we arm ourselves with knowledge, photos can be a great tool to expand our mental horizons even further. "We establish a connection with not only the subject but also the photographer, so we see exactly what they saw through their lens that day as if we're seeing it now and are part of the scene in a way," blogger Jo Romero added. She concluded by saying that discovering the past through historical photographs simply makes it seem "much more relatable to us and we want to discover more."

#25

Couples In A Bar, 1959 Pittsburgh

Couples In A Bar, 1959 Pittsburgh

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

I hope they did not get c**p for being "mixed-race" couples. There is one race, the human race.

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#26

The Two Kashmir Giants Posing With The American Photographer James Ricalton, 1903

The Two Kashmir Giants Posing With The American Photographer James Ricalton, 1903

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#27

Father And Son Bonding Time 1980s

Father And Son Bonding Time 1980s

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#28

Shooting The Original Mgm Logo, 1928

Shooting The Original Mgm Logo, 1928

Old Photos Report

John Carr
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This lion was born in Dublin Zoo...... https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_the_Lion_(MGM)

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#29

That’s A Genuinely Happy Looking Family, USA, 1959

That’s A Genuinely Happy Looking Family, USA, 1959

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#30

Marina Ginestà, A 17-Year-Old Social Activist, Journalist, And Translator, On The Rooftop Of The Hotel Colón In Barcelona In 1936

Marina Ginestà, A 17-Year-Old Social Activist, Journalist, And Translator, On The Rooftop Of The Hotel Colón In Barcelona In 1936

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#31

Learning To Ride A Bicycle, 1961

Learning To Ride A Bicycle, 1961

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Donnie Mc00
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

so thats what Groucho marx did in his later years..

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#32

An Ojibwe Native American Spearfishing, Minnesota, 1908

An Ojibwe Native American Spearfishing, Minnesota, 1908

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chiizu !!
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love photography because you get to see these little captured moments in time. I'm watching a person from 1908, it's incredible to just feel so close to something that happened over a century ago

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#33

No Dog Biscuits Today, London, 1939

No Dog Biscuits Today, London, 1939

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troufaki13
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Awww the disappointment in both their eyes... :(

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#34

Dad: Let's Take A Picture That Will Make Mom Angry. 1970

Dad: Let's Take A Picture That Will Make Mom Angry. 1970

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#35

Oasis In Giza, 1917

Oasis In Giza, 1917

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#36

A Chippewa Indian Named John Smith Who Lived In The Woods Near Cass Lake, Minnesota Claimed To Be 137 Years Old Before He Died In 1922. Photo Taken In 1915

A Chippewa Indian Named John Smith Who Lived In The Woods Near Cass Lake, Minnesota Claimed To Be 137 Years Old Before He Died In 1922. Photo Taken In 1915

Old Photos Report

Paul C.
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's a face that's seen some sh!t. Amazing image.

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#37

Not Everyone Likes Bikini, Miami Beach, 1980s

Not Everyone Likes Bikini, Miami Beach, 1980s

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Chich
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If people like you are in heaven why the f**k would I want to go there?

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#38

Paris - 1950

Paris - 1950

Old Photos Report

David Wheater
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hollywood has been lying to us, the Eiffel tower can't be seen in the background of every picture of Paris.

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#39

Central Park, New York City, 1973

Central Park, New York City, 1973

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Susan S
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I can't help but stare at the dad's hair, or kind of lack of.

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#40

New York Children Sleeping On The Fire Escape To Keep Cool At Night. Early 1900 ‘S

New York Children Sleeping On The Fire Escape To Keep Cool At Night. Early 1900 ‘S

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Chich
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It must have been awful in cities in that heat with no AC. Toss in the number of draft animals in use and wowzers! The heat and smell must have been something.

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#41

Zuya Hiyaya (Goes To War) And His Daughter, Sicangu, 1905

Zuya Hiyaya (Goes To War) And His Daughter, Sicangu, 1905

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Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She doesn’t look too happy about her dad’s name - but I’m not sure Sicangu is his daughter’s name. Zuya Hiyaya was chief of the Sicangu Lakota people. It means burnt thigh, apparently.

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#42

A Dude Gets Arrested For Growing Marijuana In The Mid 70s

A Dude Gets Arrested For Growing Marijuana In The Mid 70s

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Chich
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Thats right boy! and Imma keeping this... for uh, 'evidence'

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#43

Couple Viewing The Apollo 8 Spacecraft Launch, 1968

Couple Viewing The Apollo 8 Spacecraft Launch, 1968

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

Looks like that rocket has got him feeling frisky.

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#44

New York City, September 11th, 2001

New York City, September 11th, 2001

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Sonja
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Did they know at the time the photo was taken abou what's happening, or find it out just after that?

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#45

Bushy Ladies Of The 70s

Bushy Ladies Of The 70s

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#46

A Teenager At An Elvis Presley Concert At The Philadelphia Arena In Philadelphia (Pa), April 6, 1957

A Teenager At An Elvis Presley Concert At The Philadelphia Arena In Philadelphia (Pa), April 6, 1957

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#47

French Riviera, 1974

French Riviera, 1974

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

She has injured her nipple! Poor lass, needing plasters on her chest.

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#48

New York City’s Subway System, 1980

New York City’s Subway System, 1980

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Corey Smith
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

BP had a whole gallery of NYC subway photos: https://www.boredpanda.com/hell-on-wheels-new-york-underground-photography-80s/?page_numb=1

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#49

Cleaning Women Washing A Crucifix, 1938

Cleaning Women Washing A Crucifix, 1938

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#50

Teenagers At A Party In 1947, Tulsa , Oklahoma.photo By Nina Leen

Teenagers At A Party In 1947, Tulsa , Oklahoma.photo By Nina Leen

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Note: this post originally had 65 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.