Rare And Iconic Photographs That Show A Different Side Of History
There are many famous photographs out there that we’ve all seen a thousand times before. However, there are also just as many hidden gems that are so rare you probably haven’t seen them before.
Let’s take a look at some rare photos that show a different side of history.
The Titanic’s Staircase Before And After The Accident
That legendary Titanic boasted an impressive staircase as one of its standout features. Sadly, there are no known photographs of the staircase.
Thanks to the existence of the RMS Olympic, an almost identical ship of the same era that sailed until 1935, we can get a pretty close picture of what the staircase must’ve looked like before the crash.
The Stewardess Who Survived The Sinking Of Two Ships
Chances are her name doesn’t ring a bell, but Argentine stewardess and nurse Violet Jessop achieved a miraculous feat that no one else in human history could repeat.
She witnessed and survived the sinking of both the RMS Olympic and the Titanic, which took place in 1911 and 1912, respectively. She helped passengers get into lifeboats and rescued children during both events.
Norma Jean Dougherty
This was Norma Jean Dougherty, a young girl posing for a photo in 1943. Little did she know that she would become one of the biggest stars in the world a few years after this photo was taken.
This girl went on to become Marilyn Monroe. She started out as a model and slowly made her way into Hollywood. The rest is history.
Young Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson is regarded as one of the greatest late-night talk show hosts of all time. He built The Tonight Show and hosted it for an impressive 30 years.
It’s hard to imagine that he once was a young kid with big dreams. Here he was at age 15 in 1940. Little did he know he would become a huge star in the future.
Amelia Earhart was a pioneer in the aviation world. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and was afraid of nothing.
This is one of the last photos taken of her before she disappeared. As you can see, she was extremely stylish, especially at the time.
The Aqua-Trail Houseboat, 1959
After World War II ended, America’s consumerism skyrocketed. All sorts of products were mass-produced, and technology started advancing quickly.
The Aqua-Trail houseboat was the first attempt at a camping trailer that could turn into a houseboat. Only 32 were made, and if you manage to find one, you can buy it now for millions of dollars.
Civil War Veteran, 1863
There are many injuries that humans are prepared to survive, but a shot in the head isn’t among them. The chances of survival are extremely small, and in the 1800s, they were even smaller.
Jacob Miller defied all odds when he survived a shot in the forehead during the Civil War. He also sustained a number of other injuries but made a full recovery.
Sammy Davis Jr. & Clint Eastwood
This rare photograph shows Sammy Davis Jr. with a young Clint Eastwood backstage at the Sands Hotel after Davis’ concert in 1959. Back then, Eastwood’s career was just getting started.
What did these two legends have in common? Apparently, they were both gun lovers. The two were photographed while admiring a revolver.
Model Posing For Billboard Painters
Nowadays, we see billboards everywhere. They’re easy to set up, and they seem to change every couple of weeks. Back in 1947, however, everything was different.
Billboards were actually hand-painted by painters, who would have to risk their lives to get to that height. Models would sometimes be used too.
Bob Ross In The Air Force
If we didn’t have the side-by-side pictures, it would be almost impossible to recognize Bob Ross on the left. We are all so used to seeing him with his big hair and long beard!
In his younger years, Ross was a master sergeant. Instead of spreading joy on television, he served in the air force for 20 years. He left to pursue his passion for painting.
Abraham Lincoln & His Son
This was a very rare moment for President Abraham Lincoln, as he would usually be photographed with other powerful politicians or Heads of State.
Here, we see him joyfully posing for a picture with his son, Tad, who’s striking a very stylish pose. Ten weeks after this photo was taken, Lincoln was assassinated.
Priests Mingle With Hippies
When we think of a hippie festival, the last thing on our minds is a group of priests in attendance. And yet, these priests joined the Glastonbury festival in 1971.
However, they weren’t there to enjoy the music but to spread the word of Jesus to the attendees, who could not care less. The result was this amazing picture showing the contrast between two very different worlds.
A Geisha Without Makeup, 1905
This photograph looks quite modern, and if it weren’t in black and white, one would think it was taken just a few years ago. However, this photograph was taken over 100 years ago.
It shows a Geisha without traditional makeup and with her hair down, which was an extremely rare sight. These women were never seen or photographed like this.
Young Couple Near The Waterhen River
This beautiful picture shows a young couple in love posing near the Waterhen River in Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1931.
The two natives were not afraid to pose for Paul Coze, the photographer, which was very rare. Normally, native people were very reserved, as they were heavily discriminated against by the Caucasian population.
Marilyn Monroe As Theda Bara, 1958
Marilyn Monroe is unrecognizable in this photograph, albeit beautiful as ever. As the biggest sex symbol of her time, she paid tribute to the woman who came a few decades before her.
That woman was Theda Bara, a silent film actress nicknamed ‘The Vamp’ because of her sexual and exotic energy. Here, Monroe recreated Bara’s iconic look like Cleopatra.
Dinner Party At The Hotel Astor In 1904
Hotel Astor was one of the most expensive and refined hotels in New York City. You would only find very wealthy people staying there, and a room would cost a fortune.
This photo was taken in 1904, a few months after the hotel had opened. It shows a fabulous dinner party where all the men sat at one table while the women sat all the way in the back.
Little Jewish Boy
This little boy was Istvan Reiner, a Jewish boy that lived in a ghetto in Hungary. He was just four years old when this picture was taken, and he was smiling because he had no idea what was actually happening around him.
As you can see, he was wearing the striped uniform that people in concentration camps were forced to wear. This photo was taken just before he was sent to Auschwitz.
The Three Stooges At Yellowstone, 1969
The Three Stooges was a comedy team that was active from 1922 until 1970. Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and “Curly Joe” DeRita made history in the comedy world, and their biggest goal in life was to make people laugh.
In 1969, the group visited Yellowstone and posed for this photo with three park rangers. They were there to film a pilot for a new series, but sadly, Fine suffered a stroke a few weeks later and had to retire.
Police Officer Guarding A Pharmacy During A Flood
The last thing one would think to do during a massive flood would be to stay at their post, but this police officer took his job extremely seriously. In 1974, a deadly flood struck Cambridge, Ontario, and people were up to the waist in water.
Constable John Shuttleworth, the man in the picture, was sent to protect this pharmacy from looters, who were stealing everything they could from shops in the area. Seeing him standing there with so much commitment is impressive.
Princess Diana & Prince Harry
It is no wonder that Princess Diana was known as The People’s Princess, given that she always behaved in a kind, sweet, and compassionate way.
This photo of Diana cradling her youngest son, Prince Harry, is one of the best photographs of the royal ever taken. Unlike other royals, she was not afraid to show affection to her children in public.
An Eccentric Look From 1895
Fashion trends have existed since the dawn of time, and people have followed them blindly every single time, regardless of how ridiculous they may end up looking.
This photo is a prime example of this phenomenon. A man was photographed in 1895 with a hair-and-beard combo resembling the shape of the moon. Should this look make a comeback?
World War II was a devastating war that took the lives of millions of people in several countries. Given the number of casualties, most people expected their loved ones to perish rather than come home.
This Russian soldier was photographed as he was reunited with his sisters, who thought he was killed in action. The soldier also thought his sisters had died since he hadn’t heard from them in months.
Dolly Parton And Mick Jagger
Dolly Parton and Mick Jagger need no introduction, as both are two of the biggest musicians in the world. Seeing them together, however, is pretty rare since they make very different music.
The country legend and the rockstar posed together for a picture backstage at New York’s Bottom Line in 1977, and you can just tell that the two shared a beautiful friendship.
A Very Upset Patient
Many children and even adults are afraid of the dentist because of how painful a consultation can be. This young patient, who seems to have just had a procedure done given their bandaged head, was not happy with the dentist’s service.
Although vandalizing the wall with the word liar is not the healthiest approach, the dentist should have never put up that sign. It’s a bald-faced lie!
A Young Don Knotts
Before he became a famous comedian, Don Knotts struggled to find success. His first attempt at comedy came as a ventriloquist, and his dummy was named Danny “Hooch” Matador.
After a while, he felt trapped in the ventriloquist act and felt that he could not move forward with his career if he kept doing the same thing. His manager did not want him to give it up, so he lied and told him that he had lost the dummy. In reality, he threw it overboard while on a ship. Strangely, he confessed to a friend that he heard the dummy cry for help.
Female Fighters, 1895
Women were historically forbidden to join the army, but there have been a few examples of defiant ladies who decided to take up arms anyway, even if that would bring them negative consequences.
These Armenian women posed for a photograph during the Hamidian Massacres of 1895, where the Turkish killed thousands of Armenians. These women were ready to defend their country.
Lisa Fonssagrives On The Eiffel Tower, 1939
People who are afraid of heights might be terrified to look at this picture, especially after learning that it is 100% real. Lisa Fonssagrives fearlessly posed while hanging from the Eiffel Tower in 1939 and did so beautifully.
The beautiful Fonssagrives did this photoshoot for Vogue without any kind of security measure in place. Luckily, she was unharmed, and the pictures made history.
John F. Kennedy Campaigning Door-to-door In West Virginia, 1960
We’ve all seen politicians campaigning on newspapers, television, and nowadays, on the internet, but John F. Kennedy went all out and actually did it door to door.
During the Democratic Primary for the 1960 Presidential race, Kennedy realized that the people of West Virginia weren’t very fond of him because he was a Roman Catholic. So, he decided to fly there and actually talk to the citizens eye to eye. This made him win in the state.
Steve McQueen’s Mugshot, 1972
Getting arrested is not cool and should never be something to emulate, but Steve McQueen’s mugshot became iconic because of how smug and confident he looked. He smiled and threw a peace sign as if he didn’t care he was getting arrested.
McQueen was known as the coolest man in Hollywood and usually played the antihero in movies. People either wanted to be him or with him.
Hopi Girl Smiling, 1912
The Hopi tribe is native to Arizona. Its society has been preserved all these years due to the fact that they are a closed community and do not marry outside of the tribe.
In 1912, however, this girl very kindly agreed to pose for a photograph. She is wearing a hairstyle known as the squash blossom, which indicates that she is of marrying age.