How would you describe normal, everyday life? Well, for a modern person, it’s anything from brushing their teeth to… commuting to work. Oh wait, not anymore. Coronavirus has shaken up quite a few things, and made us work from home, stay in more, keep distances and whatnot. The change is dramatic and it’s only been like two years (almost three!, o-m-g) since it first started in late 2019.

So yep, time is flying like a hadron collider, changing things beyond recognition on the way. But today would look nothing like a day 20, 50, or even 100 years ago. And we mean it. Thanks to the miscellaneous corner of Reddit “The Way We Were,” which is home to a stunning collection of old photos, scanned documents, articles, and personal anecdotes, we can all secure our seat belts and travel to the past.

The community was created back in 2012, and will celebrate its ten-year anniversary in less than a month. As of today, it had 549k time travelers, I mean devoted members who, just like us, share a fascination with things that have gone with time. Upvote your favorite pics and be sure to check out part 1 of the post right here.

#1

Young Woman Dressed For An Evening Out, Detroit, 1968

Young Woman Dressed For An Evening Out, Detroit, 1968

Paul-Belgium Report

#2

My Kitty ... Harlem, NY, 1949

My Kitty ... Harlem, NY, 1949

GaGator43 Report

Lyone Fein
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Such a rich photo. Very full of details

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#3

"Sits Down Spotted"- Crow Nation, Fort Keogh, Montana, 1881. Photo By L.A. Huffman

"Sits Down Spotted"- Crow Nation, Fort Keogh, Montana, 1881. Photo By L.A. Huffman

DiosMioMan2 Report

Susie Elle
Community Member
11 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What a beautiful, characteristic face :O (that probably sounds weird but I feel this person's charm through the screen and I mean that in a non-creepy way :') )

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To find out more about the cultural and societal significance of old photos, as well as the meanings behind them, we reached out 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.

Lisa explained that old photos affect our perception of time in unique ways. They do that “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. 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

My Dad Died This Week, And I Was Going Through Photos For The Memorial Slideshow. Here Are My Parents In A Very Early 70's Kitchen, But Mostly I Really Like How They Are Looking At Each Other

My Dad Died This Week, And I Was Going Through Photos For The Memorial Slideshow. Here Are My Parents In A Very Early 70's Kitchen, But Mostly I Really Like How They Are Looking At Each Other

SusanaChingona Report

#5

A Young Woman Posing For A Studio Portrait, Kentucky, Circa 1890-1910

A Young Woman Posing For A Studio Portrait, Kentucky, Circa 1890-1910

Str33twise84 Report

#6

My Grandfather And His Horse, Ruby. 1940’s

My Grandfather And His Horse, Ruby. 1940’s

letstalkab0utit Report

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.”

She continued 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!”

#7

"Cairo Mary," Bouncer At Shanghai Reds (5th And Beacon In San Pedro, Ca) Escorts A Customer To The Door. 1953

"Cairo Mary," Bouncer At Shanghai Reds (5th And Beacon In San Pedro, Ca) Escorts A Customer To The Door. 1953

AxlCobainVedder Report

#8

This Is My Great Aunt In Front Of Their House In Boston, 1964. The House Was Bought On A Milkman's Salary

This Is My Great Aunt In Front Of Their House In Boston, 1964. The House Was Bought On A Milkman's Salary

mks113 Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And now nobody can afford houses, not even with two salaries

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#9

My Grandma And Uncle In Iran, April 1971

My Grandma And Uncle In Iran, April 1971

truly_anonymis Report

Lisa also enjoyed the photos of everyday people aiming to look their very best from all over the world. “Whether they are wearing traditional ethnic finery to celebrate a special event or all dressed up in contemporary fashion for a night on the town,” she added. According to the professor, “It’s touching to realize that no matter how different we seem to be from each other in terms of race or class or nationality, we all want to leave a good impression for posterity!”

“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,” she concluded.

#10

Children In A Traditional Minobashi Raincoat Going To A New Year's Event, Niigata Prefecture, Japan, 1956

Children In A Traditional Minobashi Raincoat Going To A New Year's Event, Niigata Prefecture, Japan, 1956

PatatasFrittas Report

#11

An Elderly Woman Reading A Book With A Cat On Her Lap, 1944

An Elderly Woman Reading A Book With A Cat On Her Lap, 1944

oldsoul8789 Report

#12

Adelaide Springett, Who Was So Ashamed At The State Of Her Boots She Took Them Off, Stand For A Photograph In London, 1901. Photo By Horace Warner

Adelaide Springett, Who Was So Ashamed At The State Of Her Boots She Took Them Off, Stand For A Photograph In London, 1901. Photo By Horace Warner

NihilisticNoir Report

Ola Pe
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is so sad! Still years go by and there are thousands of neglected, poor, malnurished, mistreated children in the World. Where is our humanity?

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When asked whether we tend to idolize the past and vilify the present, Lisa 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. 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!”

#13

Three Young Ladies Posing With A Friend. Circa 1930

Three Young Ladies Posing With A Friend. Circa 1930

MyDogGoldi Report

#14

My Great Grandmother In Her 50s Probably Taken Around The 70s Or 80s

My Great Grandmother In Her 50s Probably Taken Around The 70s Or 80s

freezingman00 Report

#15

Four Generations, Circa 1905, Location Unknown

Four Generations, Circa 1905, Location Unknown

Slow-moving-sloth Report

“So, it’s no surprise that photos were often taken to document special occasions like weddings, births, and funerals rather than the minutiae of everyday life,” the Regents Professor said and added that “it’s also no surprise that since photography was associated with special events, people worked hard to present themselves in the best light possible, regardless of their real situations.”

“So ultimately, the record we have of the past tends to focus on significant milestones rather than everyday life. Oddly enough, this is exactly what we say about social media these days! So maybe the more things change, the more they really do stay the same,” Lisa wondered.

#16

My Mother Rose, June 16, 1959

My Mother Rose, June 16, 1959

Zachcoss Report

#17

My Grandfather And Friends In The Amache Internment Camp In Colorado, Circa 1942. He Was About 15 When This Photo Was Taken; He Passed Away Last Month At 94

My Grandfather And Friends In The Amache Internment Camp In Colorado, Circa 1942. He Was About 15 When This Photo Was Taken; He Passed Away Last Month At 94

simpforthemoon Report

Tamra Stiffler
Community Member
11 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Most of the Japanese imprisoned here were also US citizens, and this was one of about ten prison camps for the Japanese.

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#18

A Young Man Demonstrating Against Low Pay For Teachers, Ca. 1930. “I Left School To Earn $21 A Week. My Teacher’s Pay Is $17.78 A Week.” Photo: Paul Thompson

A Young Man Demonstrating Against Low Pay For Teachers, Ca. 1930. “I Left School To Earn $21 A Week. My Teacher’s Pay Is $17.78 A Week.” Photo: Paul Thompson

Paul-Belgium Report

#19

Isaac And Rosa, Emancipated Slave Children From New Orleans, 1863

Isaac And Rosa, Emancipated Slave Children From New Orleans, 1863

oldsoul8789 Report

Daria B
Community Member
11 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Notice how they're both (former) slaves and how they look different each. It's tragic what these children went through, but it's an important document of the past as well. Never again.

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#20

1930 - My Second Great Aunt Sara (Right) And Her Mother Manuela (Sitting) And Aunt Emilia. Caja Espíritu, Huancavelica, Perú. The Only Photo That Exists Of Mama Manuela.

1930 - My Second Great Aunt Sara (Right) And Her Mother Manuela (Sitting) And Aunt Emilia. Caja Espíritu, Huancavelica, Perú. The Only Photo That Exists Of Mama Manuela.

ajicitoamarillo Report

#21

Butterfly Boy, New York City, 1949

Butterfly Boy, New York City, 1949

Str33twise84 Report

#22

(1964) Engineer Karen Leadlay Working On The Analog Computers In The Space Division Of General Dynamics

(1964) Engineer Karen Leadlay Working On The Analog Computers In The Space Division Of General Dynamics

johnnylgarfield Report

Julia Atkinson
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I saw this pic before I put my glasses on and thought "who needs that much spaghetti"

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#23

A Man With His Cat, Early 1900s

A Man With His Cat, Early 1900s

oldsoul8789 Report

#24

A Casual Portrait Of A Woman Smiling, 1880

A Casual Portrait Of A Woman Smiling, 1880

dittidot Report

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

Rare pic showing teeth for back in those days before Colgate minty fresh toothpaste was around

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#25

I Went My Whole Life Not Seeing Photos Of My Mexican Family, Until Today. Hope You Enjoy These Photos Of My Family In Nayarit, Mexico, In The Early 1900s As Much As I Do!

I Went My Whole Life Not Seeing Photos Of My Mexican Family, Until Today. Hope You Enjoy These Photos Of My Family In Nayarit, Mexico, In The Early 1900s As Much As I Do!

laiiovlyvacuous Report

#26

Young Dutch Mother With Her Baby In A Wooden Pram. Netherlands, 1929

Young Dutch Mother With Her Baby In A Wooden Pram. Netherlands, 1929

frosty1965 Report

#27

Creole Woman C. 1860

Creole Woman C. 1860

oldsoul8789 Report

LONECOOLMAN
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I WOULD SAY LOOKS DEMURE. SHY. BEAUTIFUL TOO. WOULD LOVE TO KNOW HER STORY.

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#28

Two Women At A Bar, New York C. 1945. Photo By Weegee

Two Women At A Bar, New York C. 1945. Photo By Weegee

oldsoul8789 Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#29

Little Girl Roaring At A Stuffed Grizzly Bear At The Sportsman's Show In The Chicago Coliseum. Chicago, Illinois, 1967

Little Girl Roaring At A Stuffed Grizzly Bear At The Sportsman's Show In The Chicago Coliseum. Chicago, Illinois, 1967

frosty1965 Report

Julia Atkinson
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As if toddlers aren't already more scary than dead animals

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#30

This Kid Is A Water Heater For Halloween, Circa 1979

This Kid Is A Water Heater For Halloween, Circa 1979

Slow-moving-sloth Report

#31

Teddy Girls In 1955 - Their Subculture Centred Around A Still-Bomb-Damaged London

Teddy Girls In 1955 - Their Subculture Centred Around A Still-Bomb-Damaged London

CourtneyFish-Lately Report

#32

"World’s Largest Log Cabin". Portland, Oregon, USA, 1938. Built In 1905, Burned Down In 1964

"World’s Largest Log Cabin". Portland, Oregon, USA, 1938. Built In 1905, Burned Down In 1964

Pavel-Romanov Report

#33

Teenage Sisters Gertrude And Ursula Falke. Germany, 1906

Teenage Sisters Gertrude And Ursula Falke. Germany, 1906

frosty1965 Report

#34

My Parents In The Mid 1940s. I’ve Always Loved This Picture

My Parents In The Mid 1940s. I’ve Always Loved This Picture

MargieVH Report

Julia Atkinson
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Starlet on the left has just been signed by producer on the right

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#35

My Aunt Estie, Who Passed Away Today, High School Graduation, The Bronx 1945

My Aunt Estie, Who Passed Away Today, High School Graduation, The Bronx 1945

apikoros18 Report

#36

Rescuing A Horse That Fell In The Canal. Amsterdam, 1929

Rescuing A Horse That Fell In The Canal. Amsterdam, 1929

5_Frog_Margin Report

Viktor
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They should get the crane back to fish out drunk tourists who fall into the canal while pissing (that's a real problem btw and quite dangerous if nobody is around)

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#37

Glorious Kodachrome Shot Of A Lady All Dressed Up On Her Car. Guessing It To Be 1950s?

Glorious Kodachrome Shot Of A Lady All Dressed Up On Her Car. Guessing It To Be 1950s?

CourtneyFish-Lately Report

Tamra Stiffler
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Kodachrome produced some lovely, saturated color photos.

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#38

Kids Protesting The Dst. New York, 1939

Kids Protesting The Dst. New York, 1939

frosty1965 Report

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

And it is still a stupid idea that needs to go away.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#39

Me Circa 1965 In A Suit And Bow Tie Made By My Mom. She Made All Our Clothes Back Then

Me Circa 1965 In A Suit And Bow Tie Made By My Mom. She Made All Our Clothes Back Then

trophyguy Report

#40

Portrait Of A Young Woman From Denmark. Photographed In 1895

Portrait Of A Young Woman From Denmark. Photographed In 1895

littlefairywingz Report

#41

The Fate And Feet Of Three Chinese Girls - A Bare Footed Slave, A Girl With Bound Feet, And A Christian With Unbound Feet - Ca. Early 1900s

The Fate And Feet Of Three Chinese Girls - A Bare Footed Slave, A Girl With Bound Feet, And A Christian With Unbound Feet - Ca. Early 1900s

nashamagirl99 Report

Kira Okah
Community Member
11 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not entirely accurate in the description. The girl in the centre is a noblewoman, the two unbound feet girls are her maidservants - the one on the right being a friend and personal maid, the one on the left a cleaner for the girl's room. Their parents would be servants of the household too. The girl in the middle is likely in agony and won't be able to walk well, horrific stuff. Thing is too, when this photo was taken, foot binding was ILLEGAL. It was declared illegal six times throughout the Qing Dynasty, beginning right at the start of the Dynasty, but was unenforceable due to lack of manpower. The rulers of the Dynasty found it horrifying too, but couldn't stop it.

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#42

Mother And Son. Lisdoonvarna, Ireland C. 1890

Mother And Son. Lisdoonvarna, Ireland C. 1890

oldsoul8789 Report

Julia Atkinson
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Twist: they're only 30 and 50

Misty Rose
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's very possible that the son was unable to stand/ or stand for a long period of time. Otherwise the mother would of been offered the seat. Unless this photo was intended to be captured, this way, a proud mother standing over her son. If it was reversed, it would look like a married couple and would not have the same visual impact.

Bettye McKee
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That looks like a knitted jacket. Or shawl. This is a lovely picture.

LONECOOLMAN
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

AMAZING PHOTO. SO MUCH GOING ON IN IT. JUST FROM THE CLOTHES TO THE HOME. THAN THE FACES ARE A ROAD MAP OF HARD LIFE.

Alex the Country Dog
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hi. Not sure how long you have been on the internet, but it's considered really rude to post in ALLCAPS. Thought you would want to know that--especially if you are going to be posting a lot.

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Linda McGuigan
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Poor souls the living conditions where horrendous I often wonder how they had the strength to survive

Thomas Sweda
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He’s holding his “Loving and Caring Son” award.

tmw
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

that piece of paper does look important to him.

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Nadja Lambacher
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why doesn't Mum have a chair to sit?

Elmie Pumpkinbush
Community Member
11 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

Zozo🤟
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That woman looks so sweet😊

EEF🤓
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I bet she still battered him with that cane 🤣

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Layla Corman
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She looks like she gives amazing hugs!

Terry
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The son is a ballad singer, and holds a printed poem with the heading 'Lines on the Scenery round St. Bridget’s Well in the County Clare'. They would have survived, (...been quite young, I guess?...) the Famine (1845 - 1852) and are clearly extremely poor but putting on their best front for the photo.....I love her smile.

Miss Frankfurter
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

At the bottom left of the photo, they are mother and son.

Stella Goldfish
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And of course HE is sitting while poor elder mama steadies herself with a walking stick.

Viv Hart
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Irish sons could only marry after Mother died!

Iara Ra
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She has to stand and he sits.

Caroline Driver
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She reminds me of a doll in a national costume I saw, in a collection, many years ago. The doll's head was made from a dried out little apple with black headed pins for eyes

Cybele Spanjaard
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Mother looks like Methuselah her son very elderly..a fine photo

sari swick
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

his mother should be sitting, not him.

Mickie Shea
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Tis the Irish whiskey, being as he is pushing 90, she'll be some over 100.

Suzy the observer
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Going my way" when Father Fitzgibbon is reunited with his mother. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036872/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_58

Terry
Community Member
11 months ago

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Etuk Akan
Community Member
11 months ago

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If this was in Africa, the son will be standing

June Gem
Community Member
11 months ago

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Should he not let his mom have the seat?

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#43

'i Love You So Much!' Boy And Dog Circa Mid 1950s

'i Love You So Much!' Boy And Dog Circa Mid 1950s

MyDogGoldi Report

#44

A Photo Of Central Park In NYC During The Great Depression (1933)

A Photo Of Central Park In NYC During The Great Depression (1933)

BufordTeeJustice Report

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