“Educating People By Sharing The Most Powerful Moments In History”: 57 Fascinating Images From The “History Photographed” Instagram Account

“Educating People By Sharing The Most Powerful Moments In History”: 57 Fascinating Images From The “History Photographed” Instagram Account

Learning about history is always fun; truth is stranger than fiction. But a history lesson is even more exciting when there are images to coincide with fascinating stories. Allow me to introduce the “History In Pictures” Instagram account. With 4.4 million followers and over 3,600 posts, @HistoryPhotographed is famous for sharing some of the most interesting pictures that you may have never seen before.

The page’s bio states that their aim is “educating people by sharing the most powerful moments in history”, while also noting that “history should not be censored". We’ve gathered some of the most captivating vintage photographs for you to enjoy, so sit back, relax and be glad we live in a time where information about the past is unlimited. Then if you’re looking for even more historical images later, check out this Bored Panda piece next.

#1 Women In Afghanistan During The 70s. Before Taliban

Image credits: historyphotographed

While enjoying all of these great historical images, let’s take some time to learn about the history of photography itself. According to an article on The Spruce Crafts written by Liz Masoner, a professional photographer and author, the “basic concept of photography has been around since about the 5th century B.C.E”. Back then, Liz explained, “cameras” could not quite record images, but they could project them onto other surfaces. The first camera obscura, “an optical device that creates an image by focusing rays of light onto a screen or sheet of paper”, used a pinhole in a tent to project images from outside into the dark tent. While they existed before, camera obscuras were not small enough to be portable until the 17th century. Liz mentions that “basic lenses to focus the light were also introduced” around the same time.

#2 Gay Pride Parade In New York City 1974

Image credits: historyphotographed

Photography as we know it today began in 1826 with the French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. Niépce created the first permanent photograph by using a portable camera obscura to “expose a pewter plate coated with bitumen to light”. Advancements in photography came rapidly in the following decades, with the daguerreotype, emulsion plates and dry plates being formed by the end of the 19th century. 

The daguerreotype was a forerunner of modern film but was replaced by emulsion plates, or wet plates, in the 1850’s. These were less expensive and required only 2-3 seconds of exposure time, but they became obsolete quickly as well, with the invention of dry plates. The new dry gelatine plates were as high quality as wet plates but could be stored, “rather than made as needed”. These were also a huge step forward in allowing for smaller, hand-held cameras. 

#3 "When I Told My Father I Was Going To Marry Jake He Said, ‘If You Marry That Man You Will Never Set Foot In This House Again"

"He was horrified that I could contemplate marrying a black man, and I soon learned that most people felt the same way. The first years of our marriage living in Birmingham were hell — I cried every day, and barely ate. No one would speak to us, we couldn’t find anywhere to live because no one would rent to a black man, and we had no money.⁣ ⁣ People would point at us in the street. Then I gave birth to a stillborn son at eight months. It wasn’t related to the stress I was under but it broke my heart, and we never had any more children.⁣ ⁣ We were at the same technical college. I was having typing and shorthand lessons and he’d been sent there for training by the Air Force. He was with a group of black friends and they called my friend and me over to talk. We didn’t even know they spoke English, but Jake and I got chatting. He quoted Shakespeare to me, which I loved.⁣ ⁣ Jake returned to Trinidad, but we carried on writing to each other, and a few years later he returned to the UK to get better paid work.⁣ ⁣ He asked me to marry him, quite out of the blue, when I was only 19. My father threw me out, and I left with only one small suitcase to my name. No family came to our register office wedding in 1948.⁣ ⁣ But gradually life became easier. I got teaching jobs, ending up as a deputy head teacher. First Jake worked in a factory, then for the Post Office.⁣ Slowly we made friends together, but it was so hard. I used to say to new friends: ‘Look, I have to tell you this before I invite you to my home — my husband is black.’⁣ ⁣ My father died when I was 30 and although we were reconciled by then, he never did approve of Jake.⁣ ⁣ Today we have been married for 63 years, and are still very much in love. I do not regret marrying him for an instant, despite all the pain we have suffered."

Image credits: historyphotographed

#4 Members Of The Polish Resistance During World War 2, Then To Now

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Photography was still an elite privilege until the 1880’s, when George Eastman started Kodak. Eastman invented a flexible roll film that no longer required photographers to constantly change the solid plates. He then went on to develop a small box camera, with one lens and no focusing adjustment, that could hold 100 film exposures. Photographers could take their own pictures then send the camera back to the factory to get their film developed and have photos printed. This was the first time cameras were accessible to the average person.  

#5 Bernie Sanders Being Arrested In Chicago For Protesting Segregation In 1963. He Was Charged With Resisting Arrest And Fined $25

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#6 In 1912, Jim Thorpe, A Native American, Had His Running Shoes Stolen On The Morning Of His Olympic Track And Field Events

"He found this mismatched pair of shoes in the garbage and ran in them to win two Olympic gold medals that day. He was also the first Native American to win a gold medal for the United States."

Image credits: historyphotographed

Since then, photography has developed and adapted over time to capture cultural events and allow individuals to record their own milestones. In the 1930’s, Henri-Cartier Bresson and others began photographing “life as it occurred” rather than only staged portraits, and once World War II began, photojournalists ran with this style. A couple decades later, Polaroid released their Model 95, which blew the public’s minds by developing photos instantly. Polaroid has had a complicated history, reaching its peak in the 1960’s and 70’s, filing for bankruptcy twice between 2001 and 2009, then making a revival over the past few years, with a successful online store today.

#7 A Goodbye Between North- And South Korean Relatives After A Family Reunion, Who Were Separated For Over 57 Years

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#8 Robbin Williams As A Cheerleader For The Denver Broncos, 1979

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#9 27-Year-Old Soviet Doctor, Leonid Rogozov, Performing Surgery On Himself To Remove An Infected Appendix During A 1961 Expedition To The Antarctic, Where He Was The Only Doctor On The Team

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After the peak of instant images, the digital age was soon approaching. But first, SLR-type cameras became all the rage after being made widely available in the 1950’s by the Japanese brands Pentax and Nikon. These cameras made image control much easier for photographers, with new accessories like interchangeable lenses. Then, in the late 70’s and early 80’s, “compact cameras that were capable of making image control decisions on their own were introduced”. “Point and shoot” cameras allowed amateur photographers to take pictures without having to worry about controlling the shutter speed, aperture and focus. Then finally, in the 80’s and 90’s, digital cameras became widely available, leading to the advanced cameras we know and love today.    

#10 Holocaust Survivor And The Soldier Who Rescued Her In 1944

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#11 Mary Ann Bevan Entered And Won An “Ugliest Woman” Contest

Mary was born in 1874 and became a nurse in 1894. In 1903, she married Thomas Bevan and they had four children. In 1906, Mary began suffering from acromegaly, a rare condition that causes enlarged bones in feet, hands, and the face. After her husband died in 1914, Mary was unable to find work due to her appearance. To support her children she entered an “Ugliest Woman” contest; her win brought her enough attention that she was hired as a sideshow performer. Mary provided for her family working at Coney Island Dreamland Show and Ringling Brother’s Circus. She died on December 26. 1933. She endured ridicule and humiliation to selflessly take care of her family. She was a feminist icon and example of beauty being more than skin deep.

Image credits: historyphotographed

#12 New York In The Early 1900s. Colorized By Sanna Dullaway

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You might be wondering why photography is so important, but it has greatly impacted our lives in ways we don’t even realize. Federico Alegria, photographer and professor, explored this topic in his piece “How Photography Changed The World”. One point Alegria mentions is how “photography changes history” and “alters our perspective of the past”. Being able to broadcast events worldwide instantly allows our world to be more in sync, but having images of historical events also deepens our understanding of them. Having photos of our own lives is a great blessing as well, allowing us to better remember events and loved ones and enjoy the nostalgia of looking back whenever we want. 

#13 "Everyone You Meet Always Asks If You Have A Career, Are Married Or Own A House As If Life Was Some Kind Of Grocery List. But Nobody Ever Asks If You Are Happy" - Heath Ledger

Image credits: historyphotographed

#14 Patrick Swayze Once Said: “I’ve Now Ceased To Worry About Image, Because I Don't Care What People Think Of Me Anymore. Because I've Had Such A Battle With What I Think Of Me And With Trying To Find A Way To Like Myself”

Image credits: historyphotographed

#15 Behind-The-Scenes Photos From Titanic, 1997

“We were kind of the two goofy kids on the set,” Kate Winslet told Rolling Stone in 1998. “Y’know, working with Leonardo DiCaprio — he’s a bit gorgeous, and I was worried that I was going to be bowled over by him, or that he was going to find me all stuffy and Shakespearean and English. But the second we met, we just completely clicked.” Leonardo DiCaprio said, “She was my best friend for seven months. We’d unload the stresses of the shoot to each other, vent to each other, watch out for each other....We were partners.”

Image credits: historyphotographed

Photography has also affected how we experience social events. Wedding photos are one of the most exciting aspects of many people’s big days, and holding onto family photos is an excellent way for us to connect with our heritage. We photograph the most exciting days of our lives, our children as they grow and our travels that we want to remember for years to come. Nowadays, we can share all of these images on social media for friends and family to see as well. While Instagram has probably given some too much confidence in their photography skills, it has made sharing images with loved ones extremely accessible (not to mention that many of us find it fun too!).

#16 Rome, Italy In The 60s Was A Vibe

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#17 The Models Of The "American Gothic" Painting

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#18 In 1969, When Black Americans Were Prevented From Swimming Alongside Whites, Mr.rogers Invite Officer Clemmons To Join Him And Cool His Feet In A Pool, Breaking A Well-Known Color Barrier

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When it comes to pictures helping tell stories, photojournalism has become crucial to news sources in the past century. Modern photojournalism developed in Germany in 1925, followed by another German innovation: the photo magazine. But once Hitler began to gain power in Germany, many of these magazines were suppressed, and most of the editors ended up fleeing the country. By 1936, however, American magazine magnate Henry Luce launched Life Magazine in the US. Life became incredibly influential, especially during World War II, and photojournalism became an important way of documenting global events.    

#19 Guardsman Fainted During A Ceremony, But Other Guards Kept Their Attention. London, 1966

Image credits: historyphotographed

#20 The Man Behind The Iconic Photo

"Never thought about it before, but you know that famous picture of a bunch of construction workers sitting on a girder way up in the sky and having lunch? Well here's the photographer who took that picture: Charles C. Ebbets"

Image credits: historyphotographed

#21 3 People Pose For A Photo Whilst Wearing Face Masks During The Second Wave Of The Spanish Flu In California; 1918

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Some regard the golden age of photojournalism as 1935-1975. For the first time in history, startling images of war and other historical events were widely available with captivating stories alongside them. Famous images from the years between the Great Depression and World War II live on in many people’s minds. One of the most iconic examples is “Migrant Mother from Nipomo”, a photograph taken by Dorothea Lange in California in 1936. The photo, featuring a mother with two of her children turning away from the camera, was taken during a project “commissioned by the Farm Security Administration in the pursuit of capturing the impact of the Great Depression on the American families”.

#22 Lady Norman On Her Scooter/Autoped, 1916

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#23 Discovering The Mona Lisa, After Ww2

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#24 That Time When Princess Diana Broke The Royal Rules For Her Son William By Taking Part In The Sports Day Running Race At Her Son’s School

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Another iconic image that came after the end of World War II is “V-J Day In Times Square” taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt in 1945. The photo features a nurse and a sailor enjoying a passionate embrace in celebration of the war being over. It’s safe to assume that both individuals witnessed horrific sights during the war, but thanks to photojournalism, one moment of pure joy was able to be captured as well.

#25 Economy Class On Pan Am 747 In The Late 60's

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#26 Temple Of Kukulcán (El Castillo)

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#27 Ris Scharoun-Deforge And Paul Deforge, A Couple With Down Syndrome Who Celebrated Their 25th Wedding Anniversary On August 13, 2018

"Kris met Paul at a dance in 1988 and she knew she had found the man she wanted to spent the rest of her life with. According to Today, Kris remembered that moment and said, “I looked into Paul’s eyes and saw my future.” After dating for five years, they decided to get married. "I proposed to him. I whispered in his ear, "Would you marry me?" And he looked up at me with this big beautiful smile and he shook his head "Yes!" And that's when I knew. He got me laughing, he was the one for me," said Kris to CBS. ⁣ Paul passed away from complications of dementia at the age of 56 less than a year after their 25th anniversary. Even during Paul's last moments, as his memory faded, his face would brighten up when he saw his wife and her overall presence would calm him."

Image credits: historyphotographed

Learning about history through images is an amazing way to better understand our world. We’re so fortunate to live in a time where we can hop on Instagram and find out about the amazing people and stories featured in this list. Be sure to upvote your favorite photos and stories and let us know in the comments if you learned anything from this list!  

#28 In 1979, 16 Year Old Brenda Ann Spencer Was Arrested After Killing Two People In California. When Asked Why She Did It, Her Reply Was "I Just Don't Like Mondays"

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#29 A Llama In Times Square, 1957

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#30 A Man Begs For His Wife’s Forgiveness Inside A Divorce Court, Chicago, 1948

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#31 Father Faints When He Meets His Triplet Babies For The First Time In 1946. This Was Before Ultrasound Was Invented

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#32 A Knocker-Upper Was Someone Whose Purpose Was To Wake People Up During A Time When Alarm Clocks Were Expensive And Not Very Reliable. They Earned About Six Pence A Week Using A Pea Shooter To Shoot Dried Peas At The Windows Of Sleeping Workers In East London, 1930s. She Would Not Leave A Window Until She Was Sure That The Workers Had Woken Up

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#33 “An Empty Stomach, An Empty Wallet And A Broken Heart Can Teach You The Best Lessons Of Life” - Robin Williams

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#34 Job Hunting In 1930's

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#35 Rms Queen Elizabeth Returning 15,000 Soldiers To New York At The End Of Ww2 1945. The Ship Was Not Overcrowded, Soldiers Simply Ran To The Deck As They Arrived

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#36 Brad Pitt In 1991, Montana

Photographer George Holz was told of “an assignment from People magazine with a relatively young, unknown actor who had just had a small part in 'Thelma and Louise.' His name was Brad Pitt, and would I be interested? Brad was playing the lead in a movie adaptation of one of my favorite books, Norman Maclean’s 'A River Runs Through It.' It was the bible of fly fishing, and Robert Redford was the director.” About the meeting, George said Brad “was there with his parents and hound dog, Deacon—no entourage at all. Nobody recognized him. He came out into the river, chewing tobacco, just in his khakis and an inside-out t-shirt. I liked the way it looked, so I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was inside out. The water wasn’t that warm, but it didn’t seem to phase him.”

Image credits: historyphotographed

#37 Old Photos Of The Cast Of "Friends"

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#38 Downtown Los Angeles Photographed In 1901, And Again In 2001, Exactly 100 Years Later

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#39 Beautiful Photo Of The Twin Towers In 1979

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#40 Tobey Maguire And Leonardo Dicaprio Bowling, 1989

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#41 A Beach In Iran A Few Months Before The Islamic Revolution. 1978/79

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#42 Ladies Going Shopping In Colorful Shorts, Los Angeles, 1960. Photograph By Allan Grant. Colorized By Kostas Fiev

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#43 The Simpsons" Writing Room, 1992

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#44 A Woman Celebrating Birthday In Tehran, Iran In 1973

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#45 More Than 40 Years Later!

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#46 Goodbye Kiss At Penn Station, NY, Between A Soldier And His Loved One, And No Assurance He Ever Comes Back. 1944

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#47 George Lucas Surrounded By Star Wars Props

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#48 Vikki Dougan Photographed By Ralph Crane, 1957

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#49 Jerry Stiller- Takes His Son Ben Stiller To A Play (1978)

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#50 California Street, San Francisco. 1964

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#51 A Man Browsing For Books In Cincinnati's Cavernous Old Main Library. The Library Was Demolished In 1955

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#52 A Skateboarder Zipping Through Central Park In The 1960s

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#53 The Montparnasse Train Wreck In Rare Photos, 1895

"This extraordinary accident occurred on October 22, 1895 at Montparnasse, then known as Gare de l’Ouest. The drive of the express train from Granville to Paris, hoping to make up time for its 131 passengers, increased the train’s speed and the air brake failed. Smashing through the track buffers, the express careered across the station concourse, broke through the station wall, and crashed to the street below, where it remained for four days drawing crowds of curious onlookers."

Image credits: historyphotographed

#54 A Portrait Of Bob Ross, 1983

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#55 Head Of The Statue Of Liberty On Display At The World's Fair In Paris, 1878

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#56 A Troupe Of Elephants And A Zebra Walk Down 33rd Street In Manhattan For The Arrival Of Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus, 1968

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#57 Elizabeth Taylor In “Cleopatra” 1963

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