20 Thought-Provoking Photographs From Historical Archives You've Never Seen Before

A picture tells a thousand words, and there are some photos that you find yourself staring at for a long, long time. In particular, historical photographs tend to fascinate me the most, because they show a world I would otherwise have never seen for myself.

We recently came across these rare photos from historical archives and decided to share them with you.

1. The ocean liner S.S. Normandie tips over on February 9, 1942 at New York City’s Pier 88.


he S.S. Normandie was seized by US authorities during World War II. After being renamed  to the USS Lafayette, it while it was converted into a troopship. During this process, the ship caught fire and capsized. Restoration proved to be too costly so it was scrapped.

2. A 16-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger flexes at his first bodybuilding competition.


Before he was The Terminator, Governor of California or even Mr. Olympia, Arnold Schwarzenegger was an amateur bodybuilder. After teenage years, he went on to win Mr. Olympia first at the age of 20 and went on to hold seven titles.

3. Russian fishermen show off their impressive catch on the banks of the Volga river, 1924.


The Volga river is the longest river in Europe and widely considered to be the national river of Russia. Judging by the size of these fish, it was also a source of large sturgeon and perhaps even caviar.

4. Surfers in 1922.


1922 was a different time. Both in terms of the world as a whole, but even in smaller subcultures like surfing. From the looks of it, these surfboards were literally boards. And the swimsuits were nothing like we're used to today.

5. Young Inuit girl with her husky, 1949.


While this picture is incredibly cute, it's much deeper than pictures of puppies and kids we see from modern times. Dogs were integral parts of the Inuit culture. Helping with hunting and other types of work.

6. Bikers in the 1960s.


Despite being around for almost a century, motorcycle culture has always had a particular fashion that goes along with it. Even now, after all these years, there's something timeless about black leather jackets and motorcycles.

7. A young boy sees a television in a store window for the first time, 1948.


These kinds of images and ideas are always fun and important to think about. Televisions are no longer something of the future and most households have multiple. Heck, at this point, many of us have grown up with computers and Internet being ubiquitious.


8. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, has some fun with his wife.


There's no doubt people had probablybeen playing games that involved throwing for many, many years, but basketball as we know it today was invented in 1891 by James Naismith as a way to condition young athletes during the cold months.

9. Here's what graduation ceremonies looked like in 1895.


By the looks of it, this may have been Vassar College, my alma mater (before they went co-ed). These dresses are gorgeous. They're also a far cry from the black graduation cap and gowns that we are all used to today.

10. An Iranian woman visits the beach in 1960.


It was a very different country back then. Iran has gone through many changes and this image is very telling of how quickly the culture can change in a country in a relatively short period of time.

11. Poet Joseph Brodsky and his students, 1980s.


Brodsky was a Nobel Prize winning poet and was appointed United States Poet Laureate in 1991. Born in the Soviet Union, he emigrated to the United States in 1972 and taught at numerous universities in the US and England.

12. Margaret Hamilton was the principal software engineer for NASA in 1969.


Margaret Hamilton lead the software development of the Apollo Moon missions, some of the most important space missions in the 20th century. In November 2016 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

13. Linda Christian, the first-ever "Bond girl," 1945.


Linda Christian was a Mexican actress and, amongst other roles, set the tone for Bond girls in the television adaptation of "Casino Royale" in 1954.

14. King George VI of Britain looks rather serious on this slide, 1938.


The juxtaposition of this image is beautiful. Slides are usually associated with fun, but he doesn't seem to be having any at all. Perhaps it has something to do with looking regal in all aspects of life. 

15. The stunning Fawzia Fuad, Princess of Iran and Queen of Egypt, in 1939.


Fawzia Fuad was last of a royal line in Egypt. Her beauty often drew comparisons to film stars of that era. She almost looks like Elizabeth Taylor in this photo.


16. Players of the Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs pause mid-game to search for a player's lost contact lens in 1962.


For being such a violent game, it's nice to see everyone stop for a bit fo help out their fellow players. They're definitely in a "needle in a haystack" situation... I can't imagine trying to find a small piece of glass on the ice.

17. Brothers Adolf and Rudolf Dassler, who founded Adidas and Puma, respectively.


I'd love to be a fly on the wall at these family meals. Both men created athletic empires and for that, sneakerheads everywhere are grateful. It's now evident where the name "Adidas" came from...

18. Soldiers of the Caucasus pose for a photo in the early part of the 20th century.


This picture was taken in a time where transportation methods seemed to be at an inflection point. The horse and carriage in the left part of the image looks like it's for more than just decoration.

19. Japanese Geishas, 1920s.


These Maiko girls are checking out a camera. I'll admit, my brain immediately went to the idea that they were looking at the picture for a brief second. Then I realized this was taken decades before digital images were even a dream.

20. Opening ceremony of the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympic Games


The 1980 Olympic Games was a controversial one, but one thing is for certain: the opening ceremonies have always been a show of impressive skill and beauty.

21. Princesses Olga and Tatyana, members of the Russian royal family, 1913.


A few years later, they would be captured and killed in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Be sure to SHARE these fascinating images with your family and friends.

H/T: Bright Side

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