Here are 30 fascinating photos from history that you probably had no idea existed

Our understanding of history changes when we’re exposed to images that we never knew existed.

1. French neurologist Duchenne de Boulogne electrocutes a man’s face in order to study facial muscles (1862). old 1
2. Jackie Mitchell with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. She was the only female pitcher to ever strike out the two (1931). old 2
3. Indian scientists transport “The Apple,” India’s first satellite (1981). old 3
4. The Beatles play for 18 people in the Aldershot club before they rose to fame a year later (1961). old 4old 5
5. Cubs catcher Gabby Hartnett signs a baseball for Sonny Capone, Al Capone’s son (1931). old 6
6. Confederate veteran Billy Lundy, stands in front of an F-100 Super Sabre (1955). old 7
7. A priest prays for Titanic victims before they are buried at sea (1912). old 8
8. A beggar runs alongside King George V’s coach (1920). old 9
9. The unbroken seal on Tutankhamun’s tomb, left untouched for 3,245 years (1922). old 10
10. A 5MB hard drive is loaded onto a PanAm plane (1956). old 11
11. The East Bay Dragons, the first black motorcycle club in Oakland, California (1960s). old 12
12. One of the first flight simulators (1942). old 13
13. Test pilot George Aird narrowly escapes death by ejecting sideways from a British prototype jet (1962). old 14
14. Che Guevara and Fidel Castro fishing (1960). old 15
15. A Pakistani soldier, during Bangladesh’s War of Independence, checks to see if a man is circumcised, determining whether or not he’s Hindu. [c. 1971]old 16
16. People having a picnic on a deserted highway during the Great Oil Crisis (1973). old 17
17. Queen Elizabeth II firing a British L85 battle rifle (1993). old 18
18. The glasses John Lennon wore when he was assassinated (1980). old 19
19. Alfred Hitchcock and his grandchildren catch snowflakes on their tongues (1960). old 20
20. Hiter and his henchmen marvel at the Schwerer Gustav, the largest piece of artillery ever used in combat. It weighed 1,350 tons (1941). old 21
21. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg during a water gun fight in Kandy, Sri Lanka (1983). old 22
22. Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin., Jr takes a selfie while in space on Gemini 12 (1966). old 23
23. A dove lands on Fidel Castro’s shoulder during a speech. The photo became an iconic image of Cuba’s revolution (1959). old 24
24. Douglas Fairbanks holds up Charlie Chaplin in front of a huge crowd to promote Liberty Bonds on Wall Street in New York City (1918). old 25
25. Women practice their swing with golf lessons from a “robot” trainer (1925). old 26
26. A game of human chess with actual soldiers in St. Petersburg, Russia (1924). old 27
27. Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father and only surviving family member, returns to the attic where they hid from the Nazis (1960). old 28
28. The only known photo of a living Quagga, a now extinct species of zebra, at the London Zoo. (1870). old 29
29. A group of French citizens are introduced to Coca Cola for the very first time (1950). old 30
30. The only known photo of Billy the Kid (1879). old 31 h/t: Distractify



  1. Avatar


    November 25, 2014 at 6:42 am

    I’m 99% confident that the aircraft in photo 6 is an F-100 not an F-86.

  2. Avatar


    November 25, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks for fixing that!

  3. Avatar


    November 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Some very interesting photos there, thanks for sharing them.

  4. Avatar

    Nathan Larsen

    November 25, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Photo 20 – *Hitler

  5. Avatar


    November 28, 2014 at 11:10 am

    The image on picture 30 is flipped, making people think Billy the Kid was left handed since the gun is on his left hip. But in that picture the rifle has its loading port on the left side, but they were only on the right side. So the image is flipped. The loading port is on the right and Billy’s pistol is on his right hip, and he was right handed.

  6. Avatar

    Susan Paxton

    November 30, 2014 at 2:10 am

    I am fairly certain that the man standing to Hitler’s right looking at the Gustav railway gun is Albert Speer, his Minister of Armaments. Very interesting shot; there are very few photographs of this weapon in existence.

  7. Avatar


    November 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    The Billy the Kid image is flipped. The buttons on his vest should be on his right side.

  8. Avatar

    Debra Kemp

    January 7, 2015 at 4:36 am

    24 is wrong. That would be Douglas Fairbanks Sr, not Jr. Hope you fix that too.

  9. Avatar


    January 7, 2015 at 4:59 am

    #16 is false and has been debunked a million times. (Ok, maybe not a million, but a LOT.)

  10. Avatar

    Michael Ryland

    January 7, 2015 at 6:52 am

    It’s just amazing. We have presented to us 30 photographs, many one-of-a-kind, and still some can do nothing but find fault and make corrections. Where is the wonder? Where is the whimsey? Can we not even look at a collection of rare photographs without being critical? What a pity.

  11. Avatar


    January 7, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Accuracy in moments of history and historical artifacts is not a bad thing. In fact it’s a necessity.

  12. Avatar

    Katibu Maduka

    January 8, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Were the the military leaders under the U.S. President at that time henchmen also?

  13. Avatar


    January 9, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Did the u.s. commit systematic genocide?

  14. Avatar


    January 9, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Is that what defines a Henchman?

  15. Avatar


    June 3, 2015 at 1:50 am

    You are sooooo right.

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