Historical events

These colorized photos bring historical events to life


A good photographer can make any photo stand out, whether it’s taken in color or black and white. But in the 1960s, a color photograph was a bit unusual. So when most people see a black and white photo, they automatically think there is something historic about it.

And in some cases they are! But the photos on this list represent a precious moment that truly comes to life through the power of colorization. These turn-of-the-century photographs portray an era before modern technology and many modern conveniences, but they look as vibrant as if they had been taken yesterday.

Flip burgers, 1938

Library of Congress / Public domain | Reddit / photojacker

Flipping burgers for minimum wage is by no means a modern construct. This photo shows a young black man flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant in 1938 as his supervisor looks to the far left.

Mark Twain, 1900

Public domain | Reddit / Ranko August

This photo of Mark Twain was taken in 1900, but Twain was not his real name. He was actually born Samuel Clemens, but used Twain as a pseudonym. He was best known as a travel writer and as the man who wrote “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”.

Girls deliver blocks of ice, 1918

Public domain | Dana Keller via Reddit

Is delivering ice packs a man’s job? Said who? These girls put their muscles in it and move large blocks of ice from what looks like a car, proving that women are just as valuable to the workforce as men in a time when it was not common knowledge. public.

Country store, 1939

Library of Congress / Public domain | Imgur / henriksen1

This photo of a country store in Gordonton, North Carolina was taken in July 1939. The colorization of this black and white image makes the signs outside the store much more vibrant, as do the people seated on the porch. while waiting for a customer to enter by car.

Helen Keller and Charlie Chaplin, 1918

Public domain | Imgur / Silbonito

Helen Keller, who was blind, deaf and mute at the same time, used her hands to know the face of comic actor Charlie Chaplin in 1918. Keller was also considered an advocate for the deaf and blind, and she wrote several books During his life.

British soldiers, 1939

Shutterstock | Reddit

British soldiers were pictured returning from the war in 1939. But whether the photo is black and white or in color, the joy these men feel at home is evident in their pearly white eyes and smiles.

Young Lee Harvey Oswald

National Archives / Public Domain | Reddit

This photo of Lee Harvey Oswald was taken before 1963 and shows the man long before he was questioned before his trial. Oswald became infamous for being the guy who shot President John F. Kennedy.

The Hindenburg disaster, 1937

Public domain | Reddit / unidan

The Hindenburg airship caught fire when it hit the mooring mast in Lakehurst, New Jersey. This resulted in the death of 36 crew and passengers, including one ground crew member, on May 6, 1937. Ironically, 62 of the 97 people on board survived.

Times Square, 1947

Library of Congress / Public domain | Reddit / photojacker

This colorful photo of Times Square in New York City shows what this iconic tourist spot looked like in 1947. While it certainly didn’t have as many twinkling lights as it does today, it already showed great potential.

Madison Square Park, 1900

Public domain | Reddit

Anyone who thinks Madison Square Park in New York is chic today will realize that it has been so since the 1900s or so. This colorized photo shows ladies walking the sidewalk on the outskirts of the park, while gentlemen wait in horse-drawn carriages to move passengers around.

Clint Eastwood, 1962

Public domain | Reddit / holyshtitsjonhawkns

No. He’s not actor Scott Eastwood. It’s actually her father, Clint Eastwood. You know, the guy who made all those westerns back then? This might explain why he looks so handsome while checking his gun to see if there are any bullets in it.

Brooklyn Bridge, 1904

Public domain | Reddit

They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. Well, that certainly seems to be true in this photo of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City that was taken in 1904. While the massive skyline we’d expect was still in its infancy, the bridge was a symbol of big things. that were yet to come.

The dust bowl, 1939

Library of Congress / Public domain | Reddit / ExtraNoise

This photograph was taken during the Dust Bowl, a time when horrific dust storms and drought devastated American prairie agriculture. The colorized photo shows an Oklahoma farmer and his family sitting in a car and looking worriedly at their plight.

Gas station in Washington, DC, 1924

Public domain | Reddit

Gas stations have come a long way since 1924. This photo was taken in the 1920s and shows a group of guys waiting for a man to get ready to fill the gas tank. And at that time, gas stations were called gas stations.

Louis Armstrong, 1946

Library of Congress / Public domain | Reddit / danarkeller

Louis Armstrong was pictured practicing with his musical instrument backstage. Armstrong was a trumpeter and singer among others. Some of his genres included Dixieland and jazz. He was also known as Satch and Satchmo.

President Lincoln, 1862

Public domain | Reddit

The Battle of Antietam is a battle fought on September 17, 1862 during the Civil War. It was also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg. And this photo shows President Lincoln, Major General McClernand and Allan Pinkerton at base camp.

Louis Armstrong in Egypt, 1961

Public domain | Reddit / GratefulD86

Once again, Louis Armstrong honors our presence on this list. And this time he shows his romantic side by playing the trumpet for his beloved wife, Lucille, in front of the Pyramids and the Sphinx in Cairo, Egypt in 1961.

A car accident, circa 1921

Public domain | Reddit / AlleyBarber

This car crash was photographed in Washington, DC around 1921. The passenger looks shocked, but unharmed. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the front bumper of this classic vehicle. There also appears to be side damage.

Woodworker, 1939

Library of Congress / Public domain | Reddit / zuzahin

What does a forestry worker do when he is married and unemployed? Apparently he takes off his shirt and smokes a pipe. He doesn’t look very upset, unlike his wife in the background who is wondering how they’re going to make ends meet.

Albert Einstein, 1939

Public domain | Reddit / LilBadApple

Everyone knows that Albert Einstein was one of the greatest theoretical scientists in history, but most people don’t realize that he had really beautiful legs. This photo was taken of Einstein in shorts as he crossed his legs on the beach on Long Island.

Easter eggs for Hitler, unknown

Public domain | Reddit

Although the exact date of this photo is unknown, it happened during WWII. And these soldiers eagerly celebrate Easter by making an explosive Easter egg basket for none other than Nazi leader Adolph Hitler.

Gassed in Virginia, 1942

Library of Congress / Public domain | Colorized by Ryan Urban

Looks like this soldier is in the middle of a terrible war, but Sergeant George Camblair is actually in Fort Belvoir, Va. Training with his gas mask in case the real thing happens.

Newspaper boy, 1912

Public domain | Hulton Deutsch Collection

This photo was taken on April 16, 1912 and depicts a boy named Ned Parfett selling the evening newspaper which made the headlines of the horrific sinking of the Titanic which left several dead.

Henry Ford meets Thomas Edison, 1923

Public domain

In 1923, two of the greatest minds in American history met. Thomas Edison, who was the originator of inventions such as the phonograph, the modern cinematic camera, and even the light bulb, met Henry Ford, the man who founded the Ford Motor Company and conceptualized the assembly line. modern. It may seem strange that the two men lived around the same time in American history, but it is true. Edison was born in 1847 and lived until 1931 and Henry Ford was born in 1863 and died in 1947.

Charlie Chaplin, 1918

Public domain

Charlie Chaplin was one of the greatest actors of the 1920s and he helped transform movies into the art form they are today. Not only was Chaplin a talented comedian on camera, he also helped score his own violin films during post-production. This photo was taken while filming the 1918 movie “A Dog’s Life” and the dog star in the photo was named Mut, although in the movie he plays a dog named Scraps. The image was only 33 minutes long and also features an appearance by Chaplin’s brother, Sydney.


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