Up until the 1970s, color photography was extremely rare, and so when we think about history prior to that time, we often envision it in black and white. Today’s technology now enables us to “colorize” historical photos, giving us our only chance at seeing what the world really looked like back then. And it was truly spectacular.
Take a trip back in time through these photos below. It’s quite incredible to see Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein in living color.
1. Claude Monet in 1923.
2. Brigadier General and actor Jimmy Stewart. Stewart flew 20 combat missions over Nazi-occupied Europe, and even flew one mission during Vietnam.
3. Pablo Picasso.
4. Lou Gehrig, July 4, 1939. Photo taken right after his famous retirement speech. He would pass away just two years later from ALS.
5. Times Square 1947. Jordan J. Lloyd
6. Lee Harvey Oswald, 1963, being transported to questioning before his murder trial for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
7. Helen Keller meeting comedian Charlie Chaplin in 1918.
8. Girls delivering ice, 1918.
9. Burger Flipper 1938. Jordan J. Lloyd
10. Winston Churchill, 1941.
11. Albert Einstein, 1921.
12. Madison Square Park New York City around 1900.
13. Marilyn Monroe.
14. Samurai Training 1860. Jordan J. Lloyd
15. American Poet Walt Whitman, 1868.
16. Hindenburg Blimp crash.
17. British Soldiers Returning from the front in 1939.
18. Joan Crawford on the set of Letty Lynton, 1932.
19. Country store in July 1939. Gordonton, North Carolina.
20. Mark Twain in 1900.
21. Albert Einstein on a Long Island beach in 1939.
22. Audrey Hepburn.
23. Union Soldiers taking a break 1863.
24. Charles Darwin.
25. WWII soldiers on Easter.
26. Clint Eastwood, 1962.
27. W.H. Murphy testing the bulletproof vest in 1923.
28. Charlie Chaplin at 27 years old in 1916.
29. Elizabeth Taylor in 1956.
30. Big Jay McNeely, Olympic Auditorium, 1953.
31. Louis Armstrong practicing backstage in 1946.
32. Red Hawk of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on horseback, 1905.
33. Babe Ruth’s 1920 MLB debut.
34. A Washington, D.C. filling station in 1924. Patty Allison
35. Boys buying flowers in 1908.
36. An Oklahoman farmer during the great dust bowl in 1939.
37. Louis Armstrong plays to his wife, Lucille, in Cairo, Egypt 1961. Jordan J. Lloyd
38. Brooklyn Bridge in 1904.
39. Two Boxers after a fight.
40. 1920s Australian mugshots from the New South Wales Police Dept.
41. Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield.
42. Brothers Robert Kennedy, Edward “Ted” Kennedy, and John F. Kennedy outside the Oval Office.
43. Clint Eastwood working on his 1958 Jag XK 120 in 1960.
44. Cornell Rowing Team 1907.
45. View from the Capitol in Nashville, 1864.
46. Baltimore Slums, 1938. Jordan J. Lloyd
47. Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels scowls at a Jewish photographer, 1933.
48. Henry Ford, 1919.
49. An RAF pilot getting a haircut while reading a book between missions.
50. Unemployed Lumber Worker and His Wife 1939.
51. Alfred Hitchcock.
52. A car crash in Washington D.C. around 1921.
53. President Lincoln with Major General McClernand and Allan Pinkerton at Antietam in 1862.
Seeing these photos in color for the first time makes it easy to imagine we could all have been part of a world that we’ve never even seen. It literally changes our perspective of history.
Share these amazing photos with others. They’re incredible.