Sorting through dusty manuscripts and volumes of mysterious books is how many of us imagine finding evidence in history. But our past is far more than a string of names and dates. It is about how people lived in the past and molded our society. It is about their hopes and dreams, their fears and disappointments, and what pushed them to make the decisions and inventions they did.

But there’s something else that can offer us an intimate glimpse into the lives they led and make historical events seem more real, rather than merely stories. We’re talking about authentic pictures that documented the wonders of that time. Luckily for us, plenty of examples can be found in a heartfelt corner of the internet called the 'Old Photos Of The World' Facebook page.

While we can’t time travel back to the past (yet!), we can at least look at these pictures full of unstaged scenarios and build our own interpretations. So continue scrolling because we at Bored Panda gathered some of the best pictures for you to enjoy! And after you’re done, make sure to check out our earlier compilations full of important historical images and old photos in real life.

#1

Camberley Kate, And Her Stray Dogs In England. She Never Turned A Stray Dog Away, Taking Care Of More Than 600 Dogs In Her Lifetime (1962)

Camberley Kate, And Her Stray Dogs In England. She Never Turned A Stray Dog Away, Taking Care Of More Than 600 Dogs In Her Lifetime (1962)

Old Photos Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago

Aaaw, that's so nice.

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#2

An Officer Halts Traffic To Make Way For A Cat Carrying A Kitten Across The Street, 1925

An Officer Halts Traffic To Make Way For A Cat Carrying A Kitten Across The Street, 1925

Old Photos Report

dieter
Community Member
4 months ago

Bless his heart 😍

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#3

Settler Family On The American Prairie In The 1880s

Settler Family On The American Prairie In The 1880s

Old Photos Report

Stephanie Did It
Community Member
4 months ago

A well dressed, dignified family

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Photography has come a long way in its rather short history. When you think about it, cameras are everywhere today, helping us capture important occasions and put them into our visual collection of memories. But it was not always like that. A bigger part of history passed without people preserving memorable moments, and only when the French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce created the first permanent photograph in 1826/27, a breakthrough in the history of photography began. People started capturing their everyday life often without realizing future generations would look at this concrete evidence of a world long gone with immense fascination.

#4

This Mirror Portrait Was Taken 100 Years Ago In Japan

This Mirror Portrait Was Taken 100 Years Ago In Japan

Old Photos Report

June’s Very Own
Community Member
4 months ago

They were way ahead of there time 😂

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#5

Two Armenian Women Pose With Their Rifles Before Going To Battle Against The Ottomans, 1895

Two Armenian Women Pose With Their Rifles Before Going To Battle Against The Ottomans, 1895

Old Photos Report

Stephanie Did It
Community Member
4 months ago

Those look like two incredibly strong women.

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#6

Rare Photo Of A Remote Control From The 70's

Rare Photo Of A Remote Control From The 70's

Old Photos Report

Jo Johannsen
Community Member
4 months ago

Never needs batteries

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The 'Old Photos Of The World' Facebook page lets us in on this world. Ever since it was created, it has amassed history and photography lovers from far and wide to share opinions, have discussions and look for answers to the questions they have about that time. It is exactly the place for all history enthusiasts to get a peek into the early days.

"The purpose of this page is to remember history by sharing historic photos and videos from around the world," the creators wrote in the page description. "We post old photos from the 1800s and 1900s. We also love colorized photos and videos!" They invite more than 507K of their devoted fans to go on a trip with them to the past and offer a fair share of content to explore.

#7

Happy French Girl And Her Cat, 1959

Happy French Girl And Her Cat, 1959

Old Photos Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
4 months ago

Such a lovely grin!

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#8

Soldier Coming Home To His Daughter After WWII, 1945

Soldier Coming Home To His Daughter After WWII, 1945

Old Photos Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago

The happiness in this photo is wonderful.

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#9

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

Old Photos Report

Lizzie Smith
Community Member
4 months ago

Good man, David! You and your fellow campaigners made the world a better place. But there's still a long way to go.

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According to Anna Pegler-Gordon, associate professor at the University of Michigan, even when history textbooks are full of images that illustrate our past, we rarely spend time exploring these pictures and focus on the written content instead. "We do so 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," she explained.

However, there’s evidence of a "visual turn" in learning and teaching the subject because more academics are starting to pay attention to the paintings, illustrations, and photographs in history. Pegler-Gordon noticed that visual media often seems more accessible to her students than written records. They sometimes mention to her that images give a more concrete shape to a world that sometimes seems intangible. Moreover, historical pictures transmit information much quicker than words written in an old, unfamiliar, or even foreign language.

#10

Two Gentleman From The Early 1900s

Two Gentleman From The Early 1900s

Old Photos Report

Tony O'Brien
Community Member
4 months ago

Wow! Such elegance and class!!

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#11

A Man Getting To Hear Music On A Record Player, 1922

A Man Getting To Hear Music On A Record Player, 1922

Old Photos Report

Stephanie Did It
Community Member
4 months ago

Wonder what music they played for him!

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#12

Same Scene, Same Motorcycle, Same Woman, 72 Years Old After

Same Scene, Same Motorcycle, Same Woman, 72 Years Old After

Old Photos Report

Sandra Charlot
Community Member
4 months ago

Where is the doggo ?!

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"Our students are often sophisticated readers of visual media and, with guidance and support, they enjoy the process of viewing and analyzing historical representations," the historian wrote. "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," she added.

#13

The Top Of The Great Pyramid Of Giza, Egypt

The Top Of The Great Pyramid Of Giza, Egypt

Old Photos Report

Auntriarch
Community Member
4 months ago

I thought it was a Klimt at first

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#14

These Progressive High School Girls Learn The Finer Points Of Auto Mechanics In 1927

These Progressive High School Girls Learn The Finer Points Of Auto Mechanics In 1927

Old Photos Report

Pryjmaty
Community Member
4 months ago

While wearing heels!!!

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#15

Train Travel In The 1890s

Train Travel In The 1890s

Old Photos Report

June’s Very Own
Community Member
4 months ago

Wow. I’d love to ride in a train like that.

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To become better at reading images, we need to consider two things. The first would be to become more informed about our past and the context that surrounds it. Second, we should also learn how to distinguish when we're looking at an authentic photograph, and when we come across a manipulated one. Bored Panda previously reached out to the professor, writer, and amateur homesteader Joshua Wilkey who explained that while photography is a powerful tool for understanding history, it is also necessary to view all pictures with a critical eye.

#16

Helen, An American Indian Telephone And Switchboard Operator, Montana, 1925

Helen, An American Indian Telephone And Switchboard Operator, Montana, 1925

Old Photos Report

Jerry The Joker
Community Member
4 months ago

This is actually pretty mind blowing. To me at least. Old culture meeting new culture.

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#17

A Little French Girl Gives An American Soldier A Kiss On Valentine’s Day, 1945

A Little French Girl Gives An American Soldier A Kiss On Valentine’s Day, 1945

Old Photos Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago

The dog wants a kiss too!

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#18

Cat Taking A Photo, 1909

Cat Taking A Photo, 1909

Old Photos Report

R Z
Community Member
4 months ago

Dog took the photo of the cat taking the photo, 1909

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"While we might be accustomed to skepticism of photos in the age of Photoshop, photo editing isn't the only thing that should give us pause," Wilkey noted. He provided a few helpful questions people can ask themselves when analyzing old pictures. For example, is the photo lacking context? Or what is happening outside of the frame?

"There's always the chance that the viewer is seeing an intentionally skewed perspective," Wilkey told us. "A picture might be worth a thousand words, but sometimes it takes a thousand words to explain the context of a single photo. Some pictures are downright strange without context."

#19

Four Generations, Circa 1905

Four Generations, Circa 1905

Old Photos Report

Red Riding Hood
Community Member
4 months ago

The two.women in the middle, look like Sisters! Instead of mother- daughter

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#20

Woman And Her Dog In Her One Room House, Texas, 1938

Woman And Her Dog In Her One Room House, Texas, 1938

Old Photos Report

June’s Very Own
Community Member
4 months ago

Mama coco?

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#21

Sophia Loren, Circa 1955

Sophia Loren, Circa 1955

Old Photos Report

June’s Very Own
Community Member
4 months ago

She’s totally stunning

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Moreover, you should determine whether the photo is representative. In other words, can the photo indicate something bigger than itself? "For example, the internet has, for years, made fun of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un for marveling at seemingly cool but likely fake things like modern and well-stocked grocery stores. These photos are meant to be representative images portraying for Kim's people and for foreigners that North Korea is a modern and well-nourished society," he explained. However, "the reality is a bit different."

#22

Men In Harlem Gather In Front Of A Shop To Listen To The Radio, 1940

Men In Harlem Gather In Front Of A Shop To Listen To The Radio, 1940

Old Photos Report

Lothriel
Community Member
4 months ago

This picture is pure gold. So much happiness

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#23

A Housewife Taking Frozen Long Johns Off The Washing Line, 1940s

A Housewife Taking Frozen Long Johns Off The Washing Line, 1940s

Old Photos Report

June’s Very Own
Community Member
4 months ago

“Not again!”

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#24

Anne Frank, With Her Mother, Edith, Circa 1932-33

Anne Frank, With Her Mother, Edith, Circa 1932-33

Old Photos Report

Stephanie Did It
Community Member
4 months ago

She had her mama's eyes

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#25

Do Your Bit! Skate To Work. Save Gas, NYC, 1940s

Do Your Bit! Skate To Work. Save Gas, NYC, 1940s

Old Photos Report

June’s Very Own
Community Member
4 months ago

A peaceful fun protest! Now I wanna skate to work

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#26

“Mother And Son” Ireland, 1890

“Mother And Son” Ireland, 1890

Old Photos Report

Lizzie Smith
Community Member
4 months ago

He's holding what looks to be a ticket for a ship. After the horrors of the famine, I hope they had some happy years. So many people left Ireland in the 19th century, but most left their heart behind.

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#27

Easter Bunny Bringing Joy To Children, 1955

Easter Bunny Bringing Joy To Children, 1955

Old Photos Report

Jo Johannsen
Community Member
4 months ago

They look very...joyful.

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#28

The Use Of Masks During The Spanish Flu Pandemic, 1918

The Use Of Masks During The Spanish Flu Pandemic, 1918

Old Photos Report

Angry And Small
Community Member
4 months ago

Yet people these days will moan about wearing them

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#29

Testing Out The Latest Flight Helmet In A Highly Scientific Way, 1912

Testing Out The Latest Flight Helmet In A Highly Scientific Way, 1912

Old Photos Report

Stephanie Did It
Community Member
4 months ago

Why women live longer than men #378

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#30

Charlie Chaplin Meeting Deaf-Blind American Author Helen Keller, 1919

Charlie Chaplin Meeting Deaf-Blind American Author Helen Keller, 1919

Old Photos Report

A.J Milne
Community Member
4 months ago

Deaf-blind American author? How does she write? I'm not being offensive, I just really need to know

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#31

Drying The Pasta, Italy, 1929

Drying The Pasta, Italy, 1929

Old Photos Report

June’s Very Own
Community Member
4 months ago

The smiles are so precious

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#32

This Farmhouse Once Stood In Manhattan Where 84th Street And Broadway Now Cross (1879)

This Farmhouse Once Stood In Manhattan Where 84th Street And Broadway Now Cross (1879)

Old Photos Report

Wilf
Community Member
4 months ago

The farmhouse where Edgar Allan Poe wrote The Raven!

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#33

Unusual Portrait Of A Victorian Lady

Unusual Portrait Of A Victorian Lady

Old Photos Report

Stephanie Did It
Community Member
4 months ago

Never mind the silly expression, look at that tiny waist!

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#34

Samurai Warriors Taken Between 1860 And 1880

Samurai Warriors Taken Between 1860 And 1880

Old Photos Report

oktopus
Community Member
4 months ago

One of them later sent a fax to Abraham Lincoln.

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#35

Unusual Portrait Of A Victorian Lady

Unusual Portrait Of A Victorian Lady

Old Photos Report

Stephanie Did It
Community Member
4 months ago

Must be an ancestor of mine

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#36

Berlin Zoo Handler Gives Roland, A 4,000 Pound Elephant Seal, A Snow Bath, 1930s

Berlin Zoo Handler Gives Roland, A 4,000 Pound Elephant Seal, A Snow Bath, 1930s

Old Photos Report

Mihai Mara
Community Member
4 months ago

Roland: "scrub it, yes, scrub it all around, and I won't eat you".

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#37

Grandma Patching The Only Pants Of Her Grandson, 1907

Grandma Patching The Only Pants Of Her Grandson, 1907

Old Photos Report

Jan Eivroc
Community Member
4 months ago

I have so many questions but yeah, great grandma!

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#38

In 1839, Robert Cornelius Took The World's First Selfie

In 1839, Robert Cornelius Took The World's First Selfie

Old Photos Report

June’s Very Own
Community Member
4 months ago

And what a handsome selfie that was

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#39

Bavarian Boy Enjoying His Camera, 1910

Bavarian Boy Enjoying His Camera, 1910

Old Photos Report

Stephanie Did It
Community Member
4 months ago

So mischievous!

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#40

Three Old School Archers In Japan, 1860s

Three Old School Archers In Japan, 1860s

Old Photos Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
4 months ago

Them bows are taller than the men!

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#41

A Soldier Coming Home From War, 1940s

A Soldier Coming Home From War, 1940s

Old Photos Report

Sue Lynn Chan
Community Member
4 months ago

Such beautiful moment…

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#42

So Young & So Happy, 1920s

So Young & So Happy, 1920s

Old Photos Report

Auntriarch
Community Member
4 months ago

I love this picture. And I'm not even going to speculate about where her other hand is

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#43

Two Ladies And A Local Man Watching The Sunset, 1925

Two Ladies And A Local Man Watching The Sunset, 1925

Old Photos Report

MellonCollie
Community Member
4 months ago

In high heels, ar that.

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#44

An Angry Kangaroo Is Seen Knocking Out A Woman For Trying To Photograph Him, 1960's

An Angry Kangaroo Is Seen Knocking Out A Woman For Trying To Photograph Him, 1960's

Old Photos Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
4 months ago

Skippy got increasingly frustrated with the paparazzi intrusion into his life.

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#45

Queen Elizabeth And Prince Philip Share A Laugh While Watching A Rope Acrobat, 1963

Queen Elizabeth And Prince Philip Share A Laugh While Watching A Rope Acrobat, 1963

Old Photos Report

T Simmons
Community Member
4 months ago

Long live the Queen! 🇬🇧

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#46

The Last Known Photo Of The Titanic Afloat. April 12, 1912

The Last Known Photo Of The Titanic Afloat. April 12, 1912

Old Photos Report

Kayla J
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

This is from Francis Browne's collection but Snopes has done a detailed explanation on what they consider to be the final photograph of the Titanic if you want to see the one experts believe it is https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/final-photograph-titanic/ And Time Magazine about Browne and other photos of inside the Titanic which have been used as references https://time.com/3787439/titanic/

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#47

Robert Wadlow, The Tallest Man In History (8 Ft 11 In)

Robert Wadlow, The Tallest Man In History (8 Ft 11 In)

Old Photos Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
4 months ago

Which one's Robert Wadlow?

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#48

Davide Chislagi Testing His Single-Wheel Engine, 1933

Davide Chislagi Testing His Single-Wheel Engine, 1933

Old Photos Report

Lisa T
Community Member
4 months ago

Made me think of a certain South Park episode lol

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#49

King George VI Of England Enjoying A Slide, 1925

King George VI Of England Enjoying A Slide, 1925

Old Photos Report

Hseed
Community Member
4 months ago

Enjoying, ok... his face tho... :D

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#50

Bonnie Parker And Clyde Barrow In Arkansas, 1933

Bonnie Parker And Clyde Barrow In Arkansas, 1933

Old Photos Report

Brandon Marlowe
Community Member
4 months ago

They've been glamorized by Hollywood and legend but they were murderous criminals who don't deserve their fame or our admiration.

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Note: this post originally had 103 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.