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. ^^

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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".

MammaG
Community Member
2 years ago

This is hat they mean by "Make America Great Again."

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Bonnie Blue Bird
Community Member
2 years ago

This is so sad.

pret atva
Community Member
2 years ago

This pic is the worst. Adults segregating black and white in bars can be a bitter pill to digest. But this pic with longing looks of innocent children,who just want to ride a see-saw/ferris wheel, and have been told they are not worthy enough to ride them, just breaks my heart. Its so horrible. The worth is measured even before birth, which puts them below a white bum. While some of the black kids might have an IQ higher than the worthy kids there, or can win an Olympic medal in athletics given a chance.

Kjorn
Community Member
2 years ago

that's the kind of stuff i can't understand why people act like that.

Amina Hays
Community Member
2 years ago

Thus is heartbreaking.

Furious_Lover
Community Member
2 years ago

You sound like a poet

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Ojberretta Berretta
Community Member
2 years ago

we all human we should not forget these times were bad now we can look to a brighter future stop identity politics and grow as human beings race should not matter anyone who is racist in 2018 should get a mental health check

jevais
Community Member
2 years ago

The human race is not like that of animals that can't be breed together because of different ADN and genes. For instance it is not possible to breed a giraffe with a canary. All humans ethics do breed out of their ethical groups.

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NK
Community Member
2 years ago

Imagine white folks not but 40 years later tell black folks to "GET OVER IT"....lol such a caring world we live in.

varwenea
Community Member
2 years ago

These kids ought to be inside. Never again.

Dee Star
Community Member
2 years ago

Seeing these pictures makes me wonder more about the world I was born into... things were pretty bad. But then I wonder if my grandchildren born recently have been born into a better world. Some stuff has gotten better but some stuff is so much worse....

Furious_Lover
Community Member
2 years ago

Segregation was shit (sorry for my profanity but it’s true!)

Azure Adams
Community Member
2 years ago

These poor kids weren't allowed to play at that park simply because of the color of their skin. Don't forget the real stuff, this is not nostalgia!

Odette Boisvert
Community Member
2 years ago

this is soooooooooooooo sad!!!

Retta van auken
Community Member
2 years ago

Heart breaking. Those were painful days. We must be the change we see so needed now

sharron lynn parsons
Community Member
2 years ago

Yes Wanda, some things should not be forgotten, there were some horrific situations. Being white and poor, in no way compares to the suffering of others !!!

Sandra Field
Community Member
1 year ago

So sad😢

Maureen Kick
Community Member
1 year ago

History forgotten is doomed to be repeated.

Lloiid Thomas
Community Member
1 year ago

The hurt they must have felt, the exclusion.

Bill Combs
Community Member
2 years ago

Even in those days, kids dressed better than they do today . . .

Janet Allison
Community Member
2 years ago

Children should never suffer for the bad behavior of adults.

Charlotte Ayers
Community Member
2 years ago

I just don't get people who exclude others.

George Kavakas
Community Member
2 years ago

Damn..

Ivy Ruonakoski
Community Member
2 years ago

This makes me feel so sad.

Randy Inbred
Community Member
2 years ago

Why do people use the word "sad" rather than "disgusting" or "inhumane" to describe scenes like this??? It really makes me "sad".

Vicki Donaldson
Community Member
2 years ago

sad

Jillian Shreves
Community Member
2 years ago

So sad! As a nation, We don't want to regress to that ever again.

jevais
Community Member
2 years ago

Well the last time i went to the states i didn't see so much progress.

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Mickey Scheuring
Community Member
2 years ago

Poor kids.

TC
Community Member
2 years ago

I've seen this before. They are looking at a playground for whites only.

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

Can you imagine how that made them feel?

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

MammaG: (???) How did the children in the photo feel?

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Thies Schaper
Community Member
2 years ago

Think beyond the square. As heart braking as it looks, this pix is very inspiring for these kids. They are banned from a "bum wiping comfy white club", but more observant and creative than their white counterparts to build THEIR OWN entertainment world with far simpler means to make them feel more happy, having achieved that under the circumstances at a natural waterhole.

Lulik
Community Member
2 years ago

Poor kids =< so heartbreaking

Anilda
Community Member
2 years ago

White people were so (and some still are) scared of black people... why I still can't figure out. Glad I am in a new generation.

RaY1
Community Member
2 years ago

To be honest here, we could be reading this picture completely wrong. It looks like they are setting up for a fair or carnival. These kids could just be excited watching the setup. We are ASSUMING that they weren't allowed in there.

Rich Auntie Skeleton
Community Member
2 years ago

No, it was a white's only carnival. The children weren't allowed inside. This photo is from Life Magazine. https://www.artinamericamagazine.com/reviews/gordon-parks/

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Dan Carter
Community Member
2 years ago

We need to bring this concept back.

Ojberretta Berretta
Community Member
2 years ago

this site does not like dissent and its sad my comment got hidden why cuz i stated facts cuz im latino? check it on google who founded the kkk who was against abolition of slavery if yall dont like facts or latinos or blacks keep hidin my comments

JoJo G
Community Member
2 years ago

You pointed out facts, and as we know, some people would rather deflect, deny, project and bury their heads in the sand, rather than admit that us 'right-wingers' might actually have a valid point. Hell, even when historical facts are used, as incredible as it is, they will try to say it didn't happen that way. That's the one thing that boggles my mind the most! I will admit that I used to be a leftist. However, over the last 5 years I've really begun to educate myself politically. I realized that the views I had were because I had taken on my parents viewpoint and I stuck with them for a solid 40+ years. Sad, I know. Needless to say, I will NEVER go back to backing a party that has their 'values' & ideologies. Enough from my soapbox. I wish you and your gf the very best. Stand firm on your convictions and keep fighting for what's just. As long as you have one of those 'tolerant', 'loving' leftists telling you that you're wrong, you'll know you're right!

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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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