If we could have just one wish, it would be that someone would invent the time machine. We know that it wouldn't be possible to interfere in our past, but we'd just like to see what it was actually like to live in the world of yesterday.
However, as it looks like the laws of physics aren't going to grant our wish, we're going to turn to the next best thing. The early photographic record which gives us many fascinating insights into the past. So join us and let's see what surprises they have in store for us today.
1. Playing At Being Marilyn Monroe
These two little girls are recreating the famous scene with Marilyn Monroe in the movie The Seven Year Itch. It was one of the defining moments of cinema in the 1950s.
2. The First Astronaut And The Actress
The handsome gentleman is Yuri Gagarin and he would become the first man in space. Looking on is Gina Lollobridga, and the photo was taken in Moscow in 1961.
3. The Toughest Marine In The World
The chap at the center of this rather frightening looking display is Colonel Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle. He was famous for his hand to hand combat skills and would regularly disarm his trainees, also pictured here, when they tried to use a bayonet on him.
4. The Smallest Shop In The World
This is considered to be the smallest actual shop in the history of the world. It was in London in 1900 and covered only 1.2 square meters of floor space.
5. The Noble Native American
This incredible portrait is of a Native American and it was taken in 1926. The androgynous appeal of the subject would be particularly popular with movie producers today.
6. The Siren Call Of Peter Pan
No, there has never been a time when there were real mermaids. These ladies are on the set of the movie Peter Pan which was shot in 1924.
7. So, The Beatles Or The Rolling Stones?
The whole world once found itself choosing between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, but the bands weren't really rivals as you can tell from this shot of Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger on a train.
8. The Roots Of Soccer
This is where two of the world's biggest soccer clubs began, in the filth and the mud. It's the very first game played between Real Madrid and Barcelona back in 1929.
9. The Baby Bonnie And Clyde
The Perfect Pleasure
This is a fantastic early example of cosplay as two small children dress up for a day's motoring fun. We'd love to know what was in the case.
10. The Manlike Marsupial
This may be the cutest photography to come out of Australia at the turn of the 20th century. It's a domesticated koala taking a drink from a spoon.
11. The World's Most Famous Escapologist In Action
This is, indeed, the best-known escapologist in history: Harry Houdini. He's been caught on camera before performing his act in public back in 1899.
12. Frida Kahlo Suited Up
Frida Kahlo is one of the most famous Mexican artists of all time. Here she is pictured wearing a suit while posing with some friends.
13. Switching Lanes In Sweden
This is a photograph from Sweden on the morning that the country changed the law requiring people to drive on the right, rather than the left.
14. The Ultimate Massage Therapy
In 1940s rural Romania, if you wanted a massage, you simply had a bear sit on your back to take your aches and pains away.
15. The Super Santa School
These men are at school to learn how to be a good department store Santa Claus. This fascinating image was taken in America in 1961.
16. Changing In Public Was Sometimes Awkward
If you wanted a swim in the 1920s and you couldn't afford access to a private beach, you would use one of these wonderful contraptions to ensure your privacy while you changed.
17. Charlie Chaplin In Love
This is the silent movie era great Charlie Chaplin as seen with the love of his life, his wife Oona, in the United States in 1944.
18. The Emirate Before It Got Big
Travels and Observations
This is Dubai in 1965 and there's not a hint of skyscraper anywhere along the creek. Today, this is nearly unrecognizable, as the city has been swallowed whole by modern buildings.
19. The Ultimate 80s Hard Couple
These two actors were the ultimate bad guys in 1980s action movies. It is, of course, Dolph Lundgren and Grace Jones enjoying each others' company.
20. The World's Most Famous Spy
This lovely lady is famous for rather more than her elegant costume. She is Mata Hari who is possibly the most famous spy in history.
These really are quite incredible images, aren't they? Which time period would you visit if you had a time machine?
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