50 Important Historical Photos That Reveal What It Was Like To Live In the 1800s and 1900s (New Pics)
When thinking about the past, it feels like a surreal reality that sometimes could be more difficult to imagine than the future. But seeing photos from 1800 and 1900 feels even weirder since it is actual proof of it happening. And more importantly, people's lives don't seem to be boring or dull. On the contrary, they look risky, weird, fun, and simply put - entertaining to my futuristic human eyes. I am sure, if these people had the internet back then, we would be greeted with quality memes from past times. So, after all, we are not that different, just with other possibilities.
But I don’t want to romanticize the olden times. They did have pretty harsh legislation, and it wasn’t easy if you did not fit into the ideology of that time. And even though we have our own challenges nowadays, I’d rather be here and now. Though it feels interesting to see how the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower looked when they were still under construction, as well as simpler things, such as people's fashion, their lazy Sunday afternoons, and even dogs doing chores.
Thankfully, a Facebook page called 'Old Photos' keeps us posted on the past, and today we want to invite you to delve into these vintage photos part 2. Feel free to check out part 1 here, and for more, you can also visit our posts of important historical images and old photos in real life.
A Beautiful Little Girl In New York, 1958
A Snow Lady, 1892
It's Not About Where You Are, Its Who You're With
With the first camera, there came the first photo ever that was taken in 1826. French scientist Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, after taking a photo titled View from the Window at Le Gras, at his family’s country home, became the first photographer in the world.
Photography is an important part of our lives that has been used in a variety of ways up to this day. Unlike paintings of events or portraits of certain people, photography finally gave society an option to capture those true moments of what was happening.
Going through these old images allows us to travel to the craziest places, like the Saloon in 1890, where children were not only allowed but also could order child-sized beers. What a time.
Yellow Magpie, Arapaho Man, 1898
When going through images of olden times, you can also notice improvements in photo cameras by the quality of the pictures. But that is not the only thing that gives it away. Smiles can also be a factor. If you see a person refusing to smile in an old image, that does not necessarily mean that living in 1800, for example, was sad or depressing. Very early technology could not capture those beautiful smiles.
The explanation behind that is a long exposure - the time that the camera needed to take the picture in - which meant that people had to stay as still as possible to avoid blurriness.
Annie Oakley Shooting A Gun Over Her Shoulder Using A Hand Mirror, 1899
Apache Woman And Child, 1898
The other reason, which is also valid in explaining why people seemed so unhappy in the old photos, is because photography was heavily influenced by painted portraits. Paintings were used to immortalize a representation of a person in time, while today, it is used for capturing a moment in life. Even after technological advances in cameras made it possible to photograph people faster, the tradition hadn’t made that transition as quickly. If you think of it, that can be seen even today, where technology has advanced in milestones, while some people still choose to live by the traditions of the past.
A Cat's Life On The Farm, 1951
Kiowa Couple Lone Wolf And Etla, 1860
Some more bizarre ideas of early photography were that it was considered a passage to immortality. So instead of photographing alive, happy people, there are many portraits of individuals who recently passed.
Compared to today, when it is considered weird to take photos at funerals, it only shows how far we have come. It is interesting to think of how photography will evolve in the future, and maybe one day, we will be looking back at the photos from these days with confusion and relief that it is not ok to do what we did anymore.