The 1950’s are often viewed as a golden era in U.S. history, a time of happiness and prosperity, despite the threat of nuclear annihilation, racial segregation and the looming Cold War.

While most photos from the time are in black and white, color photography was still a relative novelty at the time and the film was quite expensive for regular people, the photos below are in glorious color. This means that they are more relatable, and makes the period feel closer to us than ever.

Many of the photos were collected by Denis Fraevich, a New Yorker of Russian descent who loves to bring the era back to life. “The pictures were found at auctions, flea markets and yards, digitized and posted on the Internet,” he told Bored Panda. “Someone's happy life, someone's dreams, important events, holidays and travel, for some reason were thrown into the garbage and became penny goods in a neighborhood sale. Seeing this is incredibly sad, but thanks to enthusiasts who buy and digitize old slides, we can raise the curtain of time and look at that era through the eyes of ordinary Americans.”

It is Denis' hobby to search for these photos, he is fascinated by all things Americana and loves history, abandoned places and as you can see in many of the photos, classic American cars. “I am amazed at how often a car is present in the frame,” he said. “They obviously occupied a much more important position in the life of an American than in our time. Today, it is much less likely that someone would take pictures of their car or television.” Denis works as a Russian-speaking tour guide in NYC and has a fascinating blog, which you can find here. (Translate it from Russian)

Scroll down to check out the pictures below, it might just inspire you to dig out that old leather jacket and the Brylcreem!

#1

Colored Entrance, Alabama, 1956

Colored Entrance, Alabama, 1956

Gordon Parks Report

Poppy Fern
Community Member
2 years ago

This is so heartbreaking and sad :(

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#2

Ladylike In NYC, 1958

Ladylike In NYC, 1958

Sante Forlano Report

Poppy Fern
Community Member
2 years ago

This is actually a very beautiful photo <3

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#3

My Very Cool Grandpa In The 1950s Holding A Fish, Smoking A Cigarette, With A Book Tucked Into His Pants And Cigarette Pack In His Sleeve

My Very Cool Grandpa In The 1950s Holding A Fish, Smoking A Cigarette, With A Book Tucked Into His Pants And Cigarette Pack In His Sleeve

schants Report

MPTO TavasziD
Community Member
2 years ago

what a handsome guy!

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#4

A Drink, A Cigar And Not Giving A Good Goddamn, 1950s

A Drink, A Cigar And Not Giving A Good Goddamn, 1950s

B_Underscore Report

Poppy Fern
Community Member
2 years ago

No shoes and everything lol

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#5

My Grandma Had Such A Gorgeous Smile. 1950's

My Grandma Had Such A Gorgeous Smile. 1950's

omeccamonolith Report

Odette Boisvert
Community Member
2 years ago

oh god those frickles!!! LOVE!!!

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#6

An Officer With Hot Foot Teddy, The Real-Life Inspiration For Smokey The Bear, 1950

An Officer With Hot Foot Teddy, The Real-Life Inspiration For Smokey The Bear, 1950

DillyDylan Report

JenMC
Community Member
2 years ago

That poor little bear

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#7

Daytona Beach,1957

Daytona Beach,1957

J.Baylor Roberts Report

Ethan Hunter
Community Member
2 years ago

Check out this now! d29c2d4cf3...74fb-1.jpg d29c2d4cf3a4c6e7121bc6009fb874fb-1.jpg

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#8

James Dean At A California Gas Station With His Silver Porsche 550 Spyder, Named "Little Bastard," Just Hours Before His Fatal Crash. September 30, 1955

James Dean At A California Gas Station With His Silver Porsche 550 Spyder, Named "Little Bastard," Just Hours Before His Fatal Crash. September 30, 1955

unknown Report

Simone
Community Member
2 years ago

Cool and chilling at the same time...

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#9

Store Front, Mobile, Alabama, 1956

Store Front, Mobile, Alabama, 1956

Gordon Parks Report

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

Those old stores always has "product placement" coke signs.

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#10

Girl And Her Grandmother Window-Shopping In Mobile, Alabama, 1956

Girl And Her Grandmother Window-Shopping In Mobile, Alabama, 1956

Gordon Parks Report

Daria B
Community Member
2 years ago

The face expression of the lady clearly says how much she loves the little girl. Or at least, that's how it looks like to me. ^^

Issy
Community Member
2 years ago

I'm glad you described her expression. I have big problems with reading peoples expressions and emotions, faces always seem blank to me. Thanks to you I can appreciate this picture even more :)

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Terror from Beyond Space
Community Member
2 years ago

Segregation shows up even in the manikins.

Heather Cox
Community Member
2 years ago

Still does. When was a time you saw manikin with any other color than stark white? Mind you, even someone with fair skin would have to have some sort of nutrient depletion to be that pale. So, they're unrealistic on many levels.

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NK
Community Member
2 years ago

Amazing black folks even talk to us whites with all we have put them through :-(

deanna woods
Community Member
9 months ago

We know it wasn't every white person's fault.

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BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

The little girl seems like she would like to wear one of those dresses. Beautiful child.

Dena Lothamer
Community Member
2 years ago

I wonder what that little girl is doin today. Bet it's something good.

Honesty Olishia
Community Member
2 years ago

Notice that all the mannequins are white. That's why representation matters today.

ZombieGirl5591
Community Member
2 years ago

It sucks that a lot of people don't get that...or refuse to understand

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Heather Bateman
Community Member
2 years ago

This is where I live now. I wonder what part of town and which store this was? Curious as to what it's transformed to...

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

Heather b: you made me think of that scene in "The Time Machine" (the old 1960's movie). He sees the storefront manikin display change thru the years.

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Carole Olson
Community Member
2 years ago

Those times HAD to be very tough...living in an all white world! Hard to imagine! But it happened! This is a very sweet but thought provoking picture!

Eddie77
Community Member
2 years ago

these clothes remind me of my childhood

Florence Hastings
Community Member
2 years ago

I remember window-shopping with my mum. Wonderful to think back on ... I hated it at the time! Haha!

Sanne H.
Community Member
2 years ago

The dress dolls look a bit scary to me, but I like the level of detail of the heads

Richard Carr
Community Member
1 year ago

YEAP.

Valerie Treichel
Community Member
1 year ago

All the white mannequins.....

Retta van auken
Community Member
2 years ago

Long live grandmothers. They love us like no others can.

Leonard Guillory III
Community Member
2 years ago

Too bad ever go in bad they couldn't go in. get-off-me...0b026d.gif get-off-me-5ad93df0b026d.gif

Karen Westphal
Community Member
2 years ago

Yes indeed!

VT1000
Community Member
2 years ago

All of these comments are so anachronistic. You can't look at a photo of the 1950's and project your closed-minded, leftist views on it. Stop. Doing. That. America has come a long, LONG way. Why can't you give credit where it's due? Why do you want to continue to live like it's STILL the 1950's? JUST! STOP! IT! How in bloody hell are we EVER going to get passed THE PAST, if deliberate antagonists are ALWAYS DREDGING IT UP?! Do you HONESTLY believe this solves ANYTHING? REALLY?! WRONG!

Ryan Brenizer
Community Member
2 years ago

Also Gordon Parks. Amazing, important photos and glad they were credited but these ran in Life Magazine, not something that had to be found at a garage sale.

Sophster
Community Member
2 years ago

prolly no neon lit entrance sign for them

Moomooz
Community Member
2 years ago

:(

Janet Waring
Community Member
1 year ago

The poor little girl seeing just white mannequin kids, things are different now, thank goodness

Pattie Kelly
Community Member
2 years ago

The grandmother is thinking how hard it will be to explain why all the manikins are white.

Beverly Strassner
Community Member
2 years ago

A sea of white where is the role model for a young person of color?

Lisa Greene
Community Member
2 years ago

Sad that all the manaquins are white...

Fayna Riedel-Bernabela
Community Member
2 years ago

And she know she does't have the means to buy anything for her little girl!

Janet Allison
Community Member
2 years ago

The little girl sees beautiful clean thes tgat she wants and the grandmother sees beautiful clothes that society won’t let her have.

Janet Allison
Community Member
2 years ago

Holy cow fix that! The little girls see beautiful CLOTHES THAT she wants....

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Lyone Fein
Community Member
2 years ago

And yet today, most mannequins are STILL caucasian...........

endelbendel
Community Member
2 years ago

How to feel left out.

Michelle Erba
Community Member
2 years ago

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All white mannequins, of course :(

Cece Venticinc
Community Member
2 years ago

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Child is shocked with what she is looking at. Mom is happy the child notices what's wrong there.

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#11

Anne St. Marie, New York City, 1959

Anne St. Marie, New York City, 1959

Report

eleven's eggos
Community Member
2 years ago

Stunning, you don't see that style anymore

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#12

Alabama, 1956

Alabama, 1956

Gordon Parks Report

Chicago Kitty
Community Member
2 years ago

Oh the history they must have seen...

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#13

The Streets Of San Francisco. 1957

The Streets Of San Francisco. 1957

unknown Report

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

Nice shot. All those old cars. Wonder how many are still on the road?

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#14

Girl Portrait. Shady Grove, Alabama, 1956

Girl Portrait. Shady Grove, Alabama, 1956

Gordon Parks Report

MammaG
Community Member
2 years ago

I want to boop her nose to make her smile. She looks so tired.

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#15

At The Party, 1956

At The Party, 1956

unknown Report

Nadja Lambacher
Community Member
2 years ago

Stunning Beauty

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#16

Showgirls Playing Chess Backstage At The Latin Quarter Nightclub - New York, NY (1958)

Showgirls Playing Chess Backstage At The Latin Quarter Nightclub - New York, NY (1958)

Gordon Parks Report

Apollo
Community Member
2 years ago

Why was everyone so classy back then? The girl in the front looks like she's a 16th century Italian painting.

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#17

Outside Looking In, Mobile, Alabama, 1956

Outside Looking In, Mobile, Alabama, 1956

Gordon Parks Report

Wanda Queen
Community Member
2 years ago

This is the shit we mustn't forget, especially in this day when people want to keep telling us we need to get back to some imaginary "good old days".

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#18

A Slightly Surrealistic Photo Of My Grandma And Some Dude Somewhere In Florida, 1957

A Slightly Surrealistic Photo Of My Grandma And Some Dude Somewhere In Florida, 1957

shesafox Report

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

Trying to empress her, and she's not even looking. That's why he's "some dude' instead of "Grampa."

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#19

South Side Snack. 1953, Chicago

South Side Snack. 1953, Chicago

unknown Report

ItsYaBoi
Community Member
2 years ago

I love this photo, so powerful!

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#20

Child In A Car Seat

Child In A Car Seat

unknown Report

Brivid
Community Member
2 years ago

That thing looks pointless .

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