ADVERTISEMENT

The art of photography has been around for over a century now, but the average image you’ll encounter in your day-to-day life is probably taken on a smartphone within the last year or two. So it can be interesting to explore the world before phones and even the internet and see the past through the actual lenses used at the time.

The “Vintage Photo Booth” Facebook page gathers interesting and historical images from before 1990. So get comfortable for your trip to the past, upvote your favorite pictures, and comment your thoughts and experiences below. 

More info: Facebook

#1

A Cat Named Buffins, Photographed After Winning The Award For "Most Attractive Expression" At A National Cat Club Contest, In Washington, 1958

A Cat Named Buffins, Photographed After Winning The Award For "Most Attractive Expression" At A National Cat Club Contest, In Washington, 1958

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#2

They Are The Carter Family Of Toronto, Ontario In 1936. Louise And John William Carter, Immigrants From Barbados, Went On To Have 9 Children Over A 10 Year Period

They Are The Carter Family Of Toronto, Ontario In 1936. Louise And John William Carter, Immigrants From Barbados, Went On To Have 9 Children Over A 10 Year Period

The oldest child of this couple George Carter went on to become the first Canadian born Black judge in Canada.

VintagePhotoBooth Report

While photography as an art and a practicality would come about later, a device commonly referred to as a camera obscura was used to project “images” onto walls in a darkened room. Han Chinese philosopher Mozi describes the physics behind this phenomenon in roughly the 4th century BCE. 

It can be thought of more like a projector, than a camera, creating a temporary image on a flat surface. The only way to preserve or replicate it, would be to manually trace the image, which is why they were commonly used as drawing tools for architects and designers

#3

Sigourney Weaver’s High School Yearbook Photo And Quote In 1967. “Please, God, Please, Don’t Let Me Be Normal.”

Sigourney Weaver’s High School Yearbook Photo And Quote In 1967. “Please, God, Please, Don’t Let Me Be Normal.”

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#4

A Beautiful Family Picture

A Beautiful Family Picture

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#5

The International Sweethearts Of Rhythm, The Pioneering All-Girl Jazz-Swing Group, With Bandleader Anna Mae Winburn, 1940s

The International Sweethearts Of Rhythm, The Pioneering All-Girl Jazz-Swing Group, With Bandleader Anna Mae Winburn, 1940s

VintagePhotoBooth Report

The first image from a camera was created in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, a French inventor. He managed to capture the view from his window, although the process did require eight hours of exposure on pewter coated with bitumen. Nevertheless, he achieved an image that wasn’t just some light on a wall. Over time, inventors would, bit by bit, reduce the time needed to capture something. 

ADVERTISEMENT
#6

Aboriginal Boy With Kangaroo Pet, Australia National Geographic | October 1955

Aboriginal Boy With Kangaroo Pet, Australia National Geographic | October 1955

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#7

"Invisible Dad, Result Of War" By Evaldas Ivanauskas 1926

"Invisible Dad, Result Of War" By Evaldas Ivanauskas 1926

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#8

Marlon Brando, A Cat Lover, Once Declared, “I Live In My Cat's House"

Marlon Brando, A Cat Lover, Once Declared, “I Live In My Cat's House"

VintagePhotoBooth Report

ADVERTISEMENT

The first camera that could be effectively manufactured was invented in 1839 by another Frenchman, Alphonse Giroux. His device cost around 400 francs, a solid chunk of change at the time, and would only take between half an hour to an hour to “create” an image. Unfortunately for Alphonse, others took his idea and quickly upgraded it, creating more popular products. 

#9

Two Girls Gallop Full Speed On Sheep In Cornwall, England 1969

Two Girls Gallop Full Speed On Sheep In Cornwall, England 1969

VintagePhotoBooth Report

Add photo comments
POST
alex_g_elliott87 avatar
StPaul9
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Tumblr says Aberystwyth, Wales 1956. https://historical-nonfiction.tumblr.com/post/629815918971731968/girls-racing-sheep-in-aberystwyth-wales-1965 Cornwall is easier to spell. And I love the picture.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#10

12-Year-Old Freddie Mercury At St Peter’s Boys School - Panchgani, India, 1958

12-Year-Old Freddie Mercury At St Peter’s Boys School - Panchgani, India, 1958

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#11

Ms Nora Washington With Catfish She Caught----With A Cane Pole, No Less----In The Colorado River, Bastrop, Texas 1950's

Ms Nora Washington With Catfish She Caught----With A Cane Pole, No Less----In The Colorado River, Bastrop, Texas 1950's

VintagePhotoBooth Report

Despite the venerable age of some of these cameras, they were still a highly niche product, expensive, unwieldy, and annoying to use. Drawing and painting were considerably easier solutions if you wanted to depict a portrait, plus then you could easily “improve” the image of yourself, which no doubt many rich folk did. 

ADVERTISEMENT
#12

The Old Cincinnati Library, Before It Was Demolished In 1955

The Old Cincinnati Library, Before It Was Demolished In 1955

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#13

La Policemen Disguise Themselves As Women To Catch A Purse-Snatcher In The 1960s

La Policemen Disguise Themselves As Women To Catch A Purse-Snatcher In The 1960s

VintagePhotoBooth Report

Add photo comments
POST
artturf avatar
XenoMurph
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You just know this initiative was made up as a frantic excuse when the sergeant was spotted on a Friday night dressed like this and calling himself Shirley.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#14

Audrey Hepburn Photographed By Art Zelin On The Streets Of New York, 1990

Audrey Hepburn Photographed By Art Zelin On The Streets Of New York, 1990

VintagePhotoBooth Report

Another issue was the need for a specialist to handle the camera and the materials to produce the picture. At best, most people of the time saw cameras as a weird niche machine that made blurry, black-and-white images, which tended to not be particularly durable or strong compared to most alternative visual mediums of the time. 

#15

Battersea Fun Fair, London, England C.1952

Battersea Fun Fair, London, England C.1952

VintagePhotoBooth Report

Add photo comments
POST
andycran avatar
Andy Cran
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

great to see true joy instead of alot of falseness (social media I'm referring to you)

View more commentsArrow down menu
#16

NY Public Library Bookmobile – Bronx, 1950

NY Public Library Bookmobile – Bronx, 1950

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#17

1940s.....i Would Love To Know What's Going On.....her Joy Is Infectiou

1940s.....i Would Love To Know What's Going On.....her Joy Is Infectiou

VintagePhotoBooth Report

A major breakthrough was the invention of mass-produced film and 35mm film in particular. Multiple brands and inventors based cameras around this film, allowing for “regular people” to more easily take and process photos. While not dirt cheap, an average working person could buy a camera and supply it with film if they really wanted to. 

ADVERTISEMENT
#18

Found This On Another Site ...atlantic City 1939

Found This On Another Site ...atlantic City 1939

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#19

London Children And Dog..... Approx 1955

London Children And Dog..... Approx 1955

VintagePhotoBooth Report

Add photo comments
POST
russelllarsen avatar
Hokuloa
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love pics like these. They are so refreshingly candid for the time

View more commentsArrow down menu
#20

Ladies At The Gateways Club In Chelsea, London

Ladies At The Gateways Club In Chelsea, London

VintagePhotoBooth Report

Soon photographs were no longer a novelty, but a staple, as newspapers began to print images. Just a few decades ago, Polaroid came out with the very first instant image cameras, cutting out the wait period between taking photos and the negatives being developed. While the quality was not amazing, it’s a far cry from the multi-hour waits associated with cameras in a previous era. 

#21

Girl Learning Photography And Cinema In Bali, 1934

Girl Learning Photography And Cinema In Bali, 1934

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#22

Fred With Tires From The Body Shop Series, 1984 By Herb Ritts

Fred With Tires From The Body Shop Series, 1984 By Herb Ritts

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#23

Delivering Newspapers In Mexico City, 1977, By Frans Stoppelman

Delivering Newspapers In Mexico City, 1977, By Frans Stoppelman

VintagePhotoBooth Report

While amateur photographers could easily document anything they could capture, professionals had already learned how to edit and manipulate images. This practice existed long before digital images, photoshop, and filters, going all the way back to the 20th century, when photographers would “insert” their work into paintings or create a “montage” of multiple images. 

ADVERTISEMENT
#24

A Covey Of Young Nerds Compete For The *national 'Space Invaders' Championship, *hosted By Atari - NYC, 1980

A Covey Of Young Nerds Compete For The *national 'Space Invaders' Championship, *hosted By Atari - NYC, 1980

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#25

Newly Completed World Trade Centre 1973

Newly Completed World Trade Centre 1973

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#26

A Couple Of Students Hang Out In Their College Dorm Room At The University Of Illinois In 1910

A Couple Of Students Hang Out In Their College Dorm Room At The University Of Illinois In 1910

VintagePhotoBooth Report

Add photo comments
POST
sarahoug12 avatar
Bella
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Look at their amaaaazing wall! That is just so freaking cool how they did that

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
See Also on Bored Panda

Despite its age, photography is still considered a new medium, as it still requires an interplay between the human creator and technology. While the photographer can choose how to frame what they take, they can’t manipulate or control the image nearly as much as an artist, painter or sculptor can. 

#28

Bowmont Drive Entrance Of Frank Sinatra’s Home In The 1960s

Bowmont Drive Entrance Of Frank Sinatra’s Home In The 1960s

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#29

Marilyn Monroe Attends The Premiere Of The Film "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof", 1955

Marilyn Monroe Attends The Premiere Of The Film "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof", 1955

VintagePhotoBooth Report

With the advent of the smartphone, the entire plant can take and share images faster than ever, so when you are snapping your next pic, be grateful for the machine in your pocket. If you have been enjoying this collection of vintage photos so far, why stop? Bored Panda has other articles on old images that you can check out. Alternatively, feel free to look through our article taking old photos of a location and comparing it to what it looks like now

ADVERTISEMENT
#30

Coal Miner's Wife And Three Of Their Children. Company House In Pursglove, Scotts Run, West Virginia, September 1938

Coal Miner's Wife And Three Of Their Children. Company House In Pursglove, Scotts Run, West Virginia, September 1938

VintagePhotoBooth Report

Add photo comments
POST
jeannemiller avatar
JM
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

the older boy’s musculature looks like he’s already been working. what a difficult life.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#31

Kristen M. Shared This Photo From 1978. She Says This Is What Her Life Was Like Having Big Brothers

Kristen M. Shared This Photo From 1978. She Says This Is What Her Life Was Like Having Big Brothers

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#32

Girl Talk At The Corner Of East End Avenue And 81st Street, NYC, 1950's

Girl Talk At The Corner Of East End Avenue And 81st Street, NYC, 1950's

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#35

The Maryhill Olympics, Glasgow 1980

The Maryhill Olympics, Glasgow 1980

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#36

Polka Dotted Beach Pajamas, Deauville - 1930's

Polka Dotted Beach Pajamas, Deauville - 1930's

VintagePhotoBooth Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#37

June 1938. "Butter Bean Vines Across The Porch. Negro Quarter In Memphis, Tennessee."

June 1938. "Butter Bean Vines Across The Porch. Negro Quarter In Memphis, Tennessee."

VintagePhotoBooth Report

Add photo comments
POST
rayceeyarayceeya avatar
Ray Ceeya (RayCeeYa)
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Any city with a "negro quarter" has something seriously wrong with it and it isn't the people being forced to live in that quarter.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#40

The Original Ronald Mcdonald Photographed Here In The 1970s. You’re Welcome. Sweet Dreams

The Original Ronald Mcdonald Photographed Here In The 1970s. You’re Welcome. Sweet Dreams

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#42

Charleston, Sc, Photo By Baldwin Lee, 1984

Charleston, Sc, Photo By Baldwin Lee, 1984

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#43

This High School Girl Has The Jean Jacket And Hair Style That Were Popular In The '70s

This High School Girl Has The Jean Jacket And Hair Style That Were Popular In The '70s

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#46

Playing Cards In The Back Of A Car. (1950s)

Playing Cards In The Back Of A Car. (1950s)

VintagePhotoBooth Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#47

Bunny Yeager · Self-Portrait

Bunny Yeager · Self-Portrait

VintagePhotoBooth Report

#48

Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Journalist Murray Kempton. He Never Learned To Drive

Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Journalist Murray Kempton. He Never Learned To Drive

VintagePhotoBooth Report

Add photo comments
POST
horsebonds21 avatar
hwatinternation
Community Member
9 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm not sure why his not learning to drive is relevant to a photo taken of him mid-jump.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#49

Jane Evelyn Atwood: Paris Red Light 1976–1979 Pigalle, Paris, 1978

Jane Evelyn Atwood: Paris Red Light 1976–1979 Pigalle, Paris, 1978

VintagePhotoBooth Report

Note: this post originally had 79 images. It’s been shortened to the top 49 images based on user votes.