Strange History: Rare Vintage Photos You Might Not Have Seen Before

Since the invention of the camera, we have been able to document what life has looked like through the decades. These old photographs allow us to glimpse into the past to see just how much has changed in a relatively short amount of time. Take a look for yourself to see just how much our world has evolved over the years.

Save Gas Money…Drive An Ostrich

Picture of an ostrich
OldSchoolCool/Reddit
OldSchoolCool/Reddit

Gas has rarely been cheap, which is why few people could actually afford to drive cars and other engine-powered modes of transportation when they first came out.

This man was thinking outside the box and used an ostrich to serve as his engine. Apparently, they can run more than 40 MPH!

All Aboard The Dogmobile!

Man with dogs
frosty1965/Reddit
frosty1965/Reddit

From what’s written on this picture, it appears that this man traveled from Shelton to Nome, Alaska in what he called the “Dogmobile” back on July 28, 1912.

The good thing is that we definitely know that he wasn’t lonely on this journey, as one dog would have been more than enough company!

No Paper, No Problem

Picture of Sean Connery
eaglemaxi/Reddit
eaglemaxi/Reddit

Best known for his role of James Bond, Sean Connery was one of the biggest names in acting during the 1960s.

It seems that he was so popular, in fact, that he couldn’t even vacation on a tropical island without being recognized. Here he is signing a coconut for an eager fan.

Feeling The Music

Little girl dancing
shabbyrust23/reddit
shabbyrust23/reddit

Hosted in New York in 1969, also known as the Summer of Love, Woodstock was a three-day-long music and arts festival that has gone down as one of the most influential moments in music history.

Here, a young girl dances to the music in a crowd full of adults, a sight that might be less common to see today.

Checking The Length

Woman wearing a bathing suit
Reporter_at_large/Reddit
Reporter_at_large/Reddit

if you go down to the beach today, it’s almost like people are trying to wear as little as possible, with both men’s and women’s bathing suits getting smaller and smaller each year.

There used to be strict limitations as to how long women’s bathing suits would be, or else they would be fined.

It Was Him

Picture of Shaggy
GreatAmericanbaiter/Reddit
GreatAmericanbaiter/Reddit

Although most people probably don’t recognize him from the picture, this is Shaggy the reggae singer while he was serving in the United States Marines in 1991.

The most popular track by him was “It Wasn’t Me,” which was released on his album Hot Shot back in 2000.

Beautiful Day For An Atomic Bomb Test

Picture of atomic test
testovsky/Reddit
testovsky/Reddit

During the 1950s, the United States was frequently testing out new weapons, particularly atomic bombs in the Nevada desert.

Some of these test sites were just 65 miles away from Las Vegas. Here, we can see a group of people enjoying a beautiful sunny day with a mushroom cloud in the distance. That’s not something you see every day.

Not The Booze!

Men pouring out liquor
Buyenlarge/Getty Images
Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Although we may be surrounded by alcohol today, whether we’re at the grocery store, a restaurant, or other public places, consuming it used to be a crime.

Prohibition of alcohol in the United States happened between 1920 and 1933, but that didn’t mean people stopped drinking! Pictured here are New York City police officers pouring a confiscated barrel of liquor into the sewer.

Fresh Air For The Students

836a765c57bbbc809d05bb179c6474a1
sip404/Reddit
sip404/Reddit

Here is a picture of a classroom that’s been moved outside in the Netherlands to keep the students safe from tuberculosis and improve their overall health.

Although this may have been a smart solution back then, it’s hard to imagine many schools today doing this. Instead, most of us rely on the Internet to interact when we can’t see each other face-to-face.

Checkmate!

Picture of a chess game
Keystone-FranceGamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Keystone-FranceGamma-Rapho via Getty Images

By World War II, chess had become such a popular game in the Soviet Union that it turned into a major sport that spectators would come to watch.

Not only that, but the competitors would play against each other on a large board and use humans as the game pieces!

Ahead Of The Curve

Man with roller skates
Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Image
Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Image

Here is a man who clearly thought that walking was overrated. So, instead, he decided to strap on some motorized roller skates that allow him to roll along with ease.

We’re sure that he certainly got some looks on his commute to work each morning. But hey, at least he’s traveling in style.

They’re Going To Need A Large Grill

Girls next to corn
frosty1965/Reddit
frosty1965/Reddit

Corn has been a staple in the human diet for hundreds of thousands of years. It appears that our fascination with it hasn’t changed all that much either over the decades.

Here, two young women pose next to Pomona’s fake giant corn cob in Los Angeles, California, in 1936.

Visiting From Afar

Picture of babies
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

The Berlin Wall was a guarded concrete barrier that was erected in 1961. It separated the German Democratic Republic of East Germany from West Berlin.

The barrier created a physical divide between neighborhoods, families, and loved ones. Pictured here are parents holding up their babies so they can “visit” with their other family members.

No Air To Breathe

Picture of smog
PhotoQuest/Getty Images
PhotoQuest/Getty Images

Believe it or not, there was a time when the Environmental Protection Agency didn’t exist, which meant that companies were able to do just about anything they wanted in regards to pollution.

This is a picture of New York City in 1966. That year, industrial smog covered the city, likely killing 168 people. The EPA was established just four years later.

Irony At Its Finest

Picture of refugees
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

The Great Depression, which lasted between 1929 and 1933 saw the “American way of life” shatter before the public’s eyes. Unemployment was at an all-time high and people were struggling just to put food on the table.

Here are two dust bowl refugees walking past a sign from a different life when people had the luxury of taking the train.

Fixing The Phone Lines At All Cost

Man repairing phones
Historica Graphica Collection/Heritage Images/Getty Images
Historica Graphica Collection/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Here, a man effortlessly balances on telephone wires as he makes a repair in London in 1940.

We’re not sure how he got up there or how he’s going to get down, but we tip our hat to his work. Clearly, this was before workers’ safety was ever really taken into consideration.

Even Men Of The Cloth Condemned The War

Priests burning draft cards
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

It’s no secret that a great number of the American public were against the Vietnam War. Priests weren’t excluded from this group, either.

This image was taken of two brothers, Daniel and Philip Berrigan, who were also priests, burning two baskets of stolen draft board records in Catonsville, Maryland, in 1968. Both were arrested for their actions.

Two Film Icons Having Tea

Picture of Alfred Hitchcock
HellsJuggernaut/Reddit
HellsJuggernaut/Reddit

Although it’s unlikely that many film directors would be willing to sit down and have a cup of tea with a fully-grown lion, that wasn’t the case for Alfred Hitchcock.

This is a picture of him not only having tea with a lion but with Leo the Lion, the mascot for MGM that appeared at the beginning of each of their films.

The Future Is Now

Picture of Bill Gates
mocosoft/Imgur
mocosoft/Imgur

When was the last time that you used a CD or even a DVD? Was it years ago? Well, this is a picture of Bill Gates sitting on two massive piles of paper in 1994 while holding a CD-ROM.

He did this to show just how much information could be fit into one of these discs. Times have changed!

Working With What They Had

Children eating a carrot
Reorter_at_large/Reddit
Reorter_at_large/Reddit

Although most children today might turn up their noses at eating a carrot on a stick, during the 1940s, this was a treat for some children.

When rationing was at an all-time high, many of the simple luxuries of life had to be sacrificed for the greater good. However, none of these children seem to be too bummed out about their treat! Then again, everything is better on a stick!

Learning To Swim?

Girls learning to swim
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Today, learning to swim is something that most of us take for granted, whether it’s because we had access to a pool or some other body of water.

However, when pools weren’t as widely available as they are now, people had to get creative when it came to learning how to swim. Here, girls at a school in Oxford practice their stroke on dry land in preparation for the real thing.

Enjoying The Rare Luxury Of Ice

Boys licking ice
Buyenlarge/Getty Images
Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Believe it or not, there was a time that you couldn’t walk to your freezer and fill your glass with ice.

In fact, ice was an incredible luxury to have as it was expensive to make and keep frozen. Featured are a group of young boys in New York enjoying some ice on a hot day.

Work, (Maybe) School, Work

Picture of two girls
Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Unfortunately, there was a time in the United States when many children worked as soon as they were able to perform a job. They would usually work in the morning, go to school if they were lucky, then return to work.

This meant horrible working conditions, long hours, and minimal schooling. This is a picture of two young girls that work as shrimp pickers in Mississippi in 1911.

Duck And Cover Drill

Picture of teacher and students
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

While some schools on the West Coast of the United States may have duck and cover drills for earthquakes, back in the 1950s, there were duck and cover drills for air raids in the midst of the Cold War.

This image shows a teacher and her students performing the drill during New Jersey’s first state-wide air raid test in 1952.

Leave No Baby Behind

Couple ice-skating
Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

In this day and age, most parents would hire a babysitter to watch their baby while they went on a romantic ice-skating date, but not in 1937.

This is a picture of Jack Milford, the Wembley Monarchs’ forward player, with the device he designed so he and his wife could go ice skating with their baby. Don’t slip!

Beating The Heat

Kids playing in water
Photo 12/ Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Photo 12/ Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Currently, manipulating a fire hydrant like this would be considered to be breaking the law, but back in the day, this was a common activity during the heat of summer.

Taken in 1943 on the East side of New York City, this picture shows children playing in the water of a fire hydrant to cool off.

Getting Your Steps In No Matter What

Woman with gas mask
Central Press/Getty Images
Central Press/Getty Images

As we see here, mothers have always been very serious about getting outside to take their babies on a walk.

This is a woman walking with a gas mask, with one on her child as well, in 1941. Clearly, she wasn’t going to let such an inconvenience stop her from her daily routine.

Daily Dose Of Sunlight

baby in a cage
Fox Photos/Getty Images
Fox Photos/Getty Images

While everyone knows how important it is to get a regular amount of sunlight, apparently, people took this seriously back in the day, especially when it came to their children.

Featured here is a baby in a cage that allowed for the child to receive sunlight and fresh air when living in an apartment building in 1937.

Last prisoners Leaving Alcatraz

Picture of Alcatraz prisoners
Ted Streshinsky/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Ted Streshinsky/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Although Alcatraz might be a popular tourist destination in the San Francisco Bay Area, back when it was in operation, it served as one of the most notorious maximum-security prisons in the United States.

These are some of the last Alcatraz prisoners being loaded on a boat before the prison’s closure.

Trying To Finish the Race

Picture of Kathy
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

Unfortunately, there was a time when women didn’t have the right to do something as commonplace as competing in the Boston Marathon.

This picture was taken in 1967 as trainer Jock Semple (man in the suit) is trying to pull Kathy Switzer out of the race. Luckily, the other male competitors helped to form a shield around for her to finish.