History Lifestyle

35 Famous Historical Photos You Won’t Find In Textbooks

Famous Historical Photos

May 24th, 2017   |   Updated on February 28th, 2024

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. It’s a simple notion that applies to many aspects of our lives, but especially to historical photography. Sometimes, one simple picture can tell you more about history than any story you might read or any document you might analyze.

We compiled this collection of iconic & famous historical photos, taking into account cultural significance, news value and overall aesthetics. Check out below.

1. A priest praying over the victims of the Titanic (1912).

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2. The first “The Apple”, India’s first satellite being transported manually.

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3. Hitler and Speer were mesmerized by the Schwerer Gustav, one of the largest piece of artillery ever used in Combat (1941).

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4. Known as Little Nap, the “Napoleon of the Chimpanzee World”, this chimp became a popular tourist attraction (1915).

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5. Racing cars on the roof of the Fiat Factory in Turin, Italy (1923).

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6. Elephants know how to have fun. Just ask Queenie, the first one to water surf (circa 1950).

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7. Back in 1956, a PanAm plane was needed to to transport a 5 MB hard drive.

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8. The 1937 “walking machine” tested wear on shoes (1937).

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9. The only known photo of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address. John Wilkes Booth can actually be seen in the center of the top row of the top platform (March 4, 1865).

famous photographs


10. Queen Elizabeth II fires a British L85 battle rifle (1993).

rare historical photos


11. A well-dressed beggar running alongside King George V’s coach (1920).

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12. The real life Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh (1928).

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13. Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev as a young gentleman.

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14. One for the movies: a stripper entertains some Wall Street employees.

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15. Gabby Hartnett signs a baseball for Al Capone’s son (1931).

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16. The Man That Refused To Give The Nazi Salute, 1936

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17. Nikola Tesla In His Laboratory, Sitting Behind His “Magnifying Transmitter”

picture of the world


18. Austrian Boy’s Moment Of Pure Happiness After Receiving New Shoes During WWII

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19. Race Organizers Attempt To Stop Kathrine Switzer From Competing In The Boston Marathon. She Became The First Woman To Finish The Race, 1967

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20. The Unbroken Seal On Tutankhamun’s Tomb, 1922 (3,245 Years Untouched)

amazing historical photos


21. Painting The Eiffel Tower, 1932

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22. Unknown Soldier In Vietnam, 1965

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23. First Morning After Sweden Changed From Driving On The Left Side To Driving On The Right, 1967

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24. Animals Being Used As Part Of Medical Therapy, 1956

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25. Annette Kellerman Promotes Women’s Right To Wear A Fitted One-piece Bathing Suit, 1907. She Was Arrested For Indecency.

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26. Elvis in the Army, 1958

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27. Testing of new bulletproof vests, 1923

famous photos in history


28. Hindenburg Disaster, May 6, 1937

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29. Circus hippo pulling a cart, 1924

old historical photos


30. Disneyland Employee Cafeteria in 1961

famous historical pictures


31. Soldier shares a banana with a goat during the battle of Saipan, ca. 1944

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32. Little girl with her doll sitting in the ruins of her bombed home, London, 1940

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33. Bookstore in London ruined by an air raid, 1940

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34. Suntan vending machine, 1949

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35. Measuring bathing suits – if they were too short, women would be fined, 1920’s

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source : boredomtherapy.com, pulptastic.com, boredpanda.com