Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that our grandparents used to be young, hip people with dreams and aspirations of their own.
These people posted photos online of their grandparents back in the day. Apparently, people in the ’40s and ’50s were way cooler than we are. These people had exotic pets, flashy motor vehicles, fancy guns, and interesting lives. These people were war heroes. What have we accomplished with our lives? We can only hope that in 50 years somebody will think the photos of our duck face selfies are worth looking at.
Is That A Tiger In Your Bag?
A Reddit user posted this image online with the caption, “If I could only be half as badass as my grandfather this Memorial Day, c. 1960.” We’d settle for being a quarter as cool.
This guy is literally carrying a baby tiger around in his backpack. We don’t know where the tiger came from or how this guy managed to get it into a backpack, but we do know that this is the coolest guy ever.
Putting On A Show
The man in this photo died recently, but his granddaughter posted this photo online to show everyone how cool he was back in the day. Are you a waterskiing champ? Didn’t think so.
Not only can this guy waterski, but he can waterski while balancing a beautiful woman on his shoulders. You’d think you’d need some circus training to be able to pull off this stunt, but nope, this guy was just that incredibly cool.
Up, Up And Away
Reddit user di11deux posted this photo online with the caption, “My grandmother with then-Mercury 7 astronauts John Glenn, Gus Grissom, and Alan Shepherd (September 14th, 1959).” What an out-of-this-world encounter!
Have you ever met anybody who’s been to space? We didn’t think so. The closes we’ve ever gotten is sitting next to some spaced-out kids in science class. This woman has a whole lot of class and she’s nowhere near a school in this photo.
Every Guy’s Tinder Pic
Reddit user schants posted this photo online with the caption, “My very cool grandpa in the 1950s holding a fish, smoking a cigarette, with a book tucked into his pants and cigarette pack in his sleeve.” Do you know how every guy seems to have a picture of himself with a fish on his Tinder profile? This is what they’re all trying to achieve.
Sorry, Tinder guys, you will never be as cool as this crew.
A Fancy Dress
Reddit user jewelsinme posted this photo of her grandmother online with the caption, “My favorite picture of my grandmother. 1942. She’s strong, raised six children on her own after leaving an alcoholic husband. Worked 7 days a week as a cook in a gas station from 3am-5pm. I would stay every weekend with her and sleep on the floor of the gas station back then. She’s amazing.”
That simple white dress is everything. This woman could really do it all.
You don’t want to mess with Reddit user iNikkor’s great-grandmother. Her name is Emma Hagen and she’s pictured here perfecting her aim. She was a homesteader in North Dakota in the 1910s.
Whoever took this photo is also a pretty great photographer— and this was before you could use digital cameras to check your work. It’s fair to say that everybody in the 1910s was just better than us in every way. I mean, we’re probably a little bit more progressive and equitable now but…
A Face Like A Movie Star
This photo of Reddit user FinneganWelles’ grandmother was taken in the 1940s. She looks like a movie star in this picture. She wasn’t actually an actress, but this photo could have fooled us.
This looks like the professional headshot of a real-life old Hollywood star. The lighting in this photo is everything. How can so much swag be contained in a single photo? She’s exuding class and attitude. Where do you think that dress is now?
A WWII Hero
Reddit user alexanderbatman posted this photo online with the caption, “My grandma (top) was a badass in WW2 (1940s).” This shot looks like something out of a Charlie Chaplin movie.
Back in the day, women started working in factories and they proved to everybody that they could work heavy machinery just like the men could. They have their hair tied back because they’re here to do important, dangerous business. This photo is so perfect it almost looks staged.
A Prize-Winning Beard
Reddit user jobernaut posted this picture online with the caption, “My grandfather after winning 1st place in the county beard contest. The hat was his prize. Circa 1954.” That is a stellar beard. He definitely deserved the win.
Is the hat the prize for winning first place? Because if so, he definitely deserved the hat too. What a friendly looking man. You have to have a good sense of humor to sign up for a county beard contest.
Is That A Young Susan Sarandon?
This isn’t a picture of Susan Sarandon from the past. It’s just her doppelganger standing between a plane and a lion. Reddit user Rizodominus posted this photo with the caption, “My grandmother (again) with Sultan, her favorite lion from her troop, in front of her plane she flew just after WW2. 1947.”
Who is cool enough to have a favorite lion that you can just lean on whenever you feel like it? Not us, that’s for sure.
A Girl Has No Name
Reddit user Gamble_MK9 posted this picture online because he felt like his grandmother bore a striking resemblance to Arya Stark when she was younger. This photo was taken in 1936.
This girl does have a name, but we reckon she probably knows her way around a thin sword and she could destroy a white walker with a single glance if given the chance. It’s crazy how much detail you can clearly see in this photo.
We’re All Jealous
These amazing grandparents had their photo taken in California in 1955. Are these the two hottest people you’ve ever seen in your life, or what? Just look at those biceps!
They must have had some incredibly attractive children. Were these people models or did everybody in 1955 just look like they walked straight out of an Abercrombie ad? These people have to be exceptionally good looking, right? Otherwise, society is really heading in the wrong direction.
Meeting A Literary Genius
Reddit user mattmanatee posted this photo online with the caption, “Ernest Hemingway and my grandma having a chat in Havana, Cuba 1952.” Yup, his grandma was friends with Ernest Hemmingway.
Unfortunately, Hemmingway’s life ended rather tragically. This woman had a much happier life. We know she went on to have kids and grandkids and she got to tell her family about Hemmingway’s genius. They look like they’re in the middle of a deep conversation in this photo.
A Real Stud
Reddit user i_hate_pennies posted this photo online with the caption, “My stud grandfather circa WWII. He watched Pearl Harbor happen in Hawaii, joined up and fought on a gunboat at Iwo Jima that was hit by enemy fire. He surfed with legends in Honolulu. He was a barber for 60 years.”
He might not look like a young stud anymore, but back in the day, the girls were all over him. Look at that face!
A Rockin’ Wedding Night
This is the last photo in Reddit user bluestofwaffles’ grandparents’ wedding album. They seem like they have a good sense of humor. Hopefully, their wedding night was full of laughs and lots of love. This photo was taken in 1954.
Clearly, something went down that night or in the nights following because they have kids and grandkids now. They look so happy and in love. Also, what a stylish couple! That headband looks amazing on her.
A Real Seat Belt Model
Reddit user Mashedbymachines posted this photo of his grandmother online with the caption, “My grandmother demonstrating the three-point belt as a model for Volvo in 1959.” His grandmother was a literal model.
Not only was she a model, but she was a model for car safety. That’s an important job. She looks like she stepped right off of the set of Mad Men, only this is what real life was like for her back in the day.
Looking Like A Film Noir Detective
Reddit user sw00n might just have the coolest grandpa on this list. He posted this photo online with the caption, “My grandpa’s FBI Academy photo. He worked as a spy recruiter during the Cold War.”
The way his hat is casting a shadow over his face might be the most cinematic thing we’ve ever seen. Of course this guy was an FBI spy. What else could he possibly be? The trench coat says it all.
Yes, That’s A Bear
Reddit user AdventurousHuman’s grandfather ran into a bear while he was out riding his motorcycle back in the day. He doesn’t seem too phased about the fact that there’s a large, dangerous animal behind him.
It looks like the bear is walking closer. There is a bear approaching this guy and he’s just standing there like the bear is an old friend that he hasn’t seen in a while. That’s a pretty cool motorcycle too.
A Fox For A Friend
Reddit user TheKingStacker posted this photo of his very cool grandfather online with the caption, “My Finnish grandfather smoking a cigarette and holding a wild fox that he befriended. (Circa 1975).”
I’m sorry, but who can just pick up a wild fox? Did they not care about rabies in 1975? Were wild foxes much less wild? We have so many questions about this photo. One thing is for sure, though— this guy definitely had style.
The Look Of Love
Reddit user atothego posted this adorable photo online with the caption, “My grandma recently passed. My Grandpa sent me this picture so I could know what a man looks like when he is in love. They were married 60+ yrs.”
This is so incredibly sad and so incredibly beautiful at the same time. We can only hope to have a love like this in our lives. Excuse me while I go cry in a corner to the music from Up for a little while.
A Welder Chick
This is a photo of Reddit user anonymous-horror’s stunning great-grandmother. This woman worked as a welder during the Second World War. She looks like she’s way too cool for school.
She also looks like she loves her job. It must feel pretty empowering to be able to literally melt steel. This is the face of a woman who has found a new passion. This photo was taken during a rare moment when she actually had her mask up.
An Actual Pin-Up Model
Reddit user wefoundeachotherinthedark posted this photo of her grandmother online. She added the caption, “I recently lost my grandmother to cancer. This will always be one of my favorite photos of her.”
The world lost this legendary, magnificent woman recently, and it really is our loss. She looks like she had a lot of sass and charisma. Also, she was more beautiful than most of us could ever hope to be. We hope her life was full of fun and adventure.
A Stolen Car
It doesn’t get much cooler than Reddit user ksm2721’s grandfather. The grandfather in question is pictured above, along with a car that he stole from the Nazis during World War II.
If you steal a car from the Nazis, then you deserve all of the awards and all of the cool points. We hope he held onto that car. It’s probably worth a lot nowadays. Owning that car would be like owning a piece of history.
Reddit user bringdoughnuts posted this photo online along with the caption, “My grandma smoking her cigarette on the farm. Wearing pants and doing whatever the hell she wanted. 1938.” What a smoke show!
She is definitely wearing the heck out of those pants. The army boots really pull the whole outfit together. We can only hope to be this cool and this well dressed. I’ve never been so jealous of an old lady’s wardrobe before.
The Original Chicken Man
This guy was the original cosplayer. Apparently, people dressed up as chickens back in the 1930s. All you hipsters probably wouldn’t be caught dead in a true vintage outfit like this one.
This guy looks like he’s taking his chicken outfit very seriously. That’s not the face of a man who’s here to play games. He’s strutting his stuff like a rooster who knows exactly what he wants and what he’s here for. What a boss.
A True Hero
Reddit user gettingthere52 posted this absolutely epic photo of his grandfather online. He added the caption, “Photo of my grandfather exiting his plane after getting shot down.” His plane is in the ocean, people!
Amazingly, this man managed to survive his plane being shot into the ocean, He went on to have kids and grandkids and he lived a perfectly normal life as a very cool human being. Whoever took this picture deserves some kind of award.
Yes, That Is Albert Einstein
Reddit user TheTimeIsChow posted this photo of his grandfather standing next to Albert Einstein on the internet for our viewing pleasure. It looks like Einstein had just finished playing the violin.
You must have to be pretty smart to be in Einstein’s inner circle. We bet he probably didn’t talk to people unless they could keep up with his brainpower. This mustachioed man must be a pretty smart guy. It doesn’t look like he plays the violin, though.
Reddit user wlyff posted this photo of his grandmother online with the caption, “My grandmother right after she ran away from communistic Bulgaria to Germany (1978).” Germany gained an absolutely stunning citizen that day.
The way the light is bouncing around this photo is absolutely gorgeous. There’s something about film that just captures light way better than a digital camera ever could. This woman looks like she’s ready for a new adventure and a new life.
There’s nothing like a photo of your absolutely shredded grandpa to make you feel inadequate. Reddit user jbob5059 posted this photo online with the caption, “Grandma sent me a picture of my grandpa at my age to make me feel like ****.”
Well, now that you know you’re genetics are better than okay, you have no more excuses. You can’t say “I’m just naturally pudgy” when your grandfather looked this chiseled and muscular. What a hunk!
The Old Switcheroo
Reddit user howdidyougetin posted this photo of his grandparents wearing each other’s clothes back in the day. This photo was taken in 1943. His grandfather looks stunning in that dress.
It’s amazing that they can even fit into each other’s clothes. That dress must be pretty loose and long on his grandmother who looks to be a head shorter than the man on her left. She can definitely rock an army jacket, though. Maybe she should wear blazers more often.
Granny On A Cropduster
Imgur user silvervendetta shared this incredible photo and had this to say about it. “Granny on the wing of my Dad’s cropduster plane. She did this a few times that I know of.” Wow, that’s a daredevil grandmother!
Is she blindfolded too? What kind of craziness is this? Why would anybody climb on the wing of a moving plane? We’re glad she survived this stunt, but come on, this is just ridiculous. Chill out, grandma!
The Day Before Shipping Out
Wow, what a hunky grandpa! Redditor aking25 posted this pic of their model-esque grandfather and wrote that this was the day before he shipped out with the Marines in 1941.
He went into the Marines looking like a boy and came out looking like a man. It was a long and difficult journey, but he learned a lot from his life experiences. Now he can pass those valuable lessons on to his grandkids. This photo is amazing.
Redditor orion12 sure loved their grandma and were kind enough to share this stunning picture of her in her days as a Naval nurse! What a stunner. They wrote, “Grandmother died last week, she was a naval nurse.” The photo is from WWII.
Thank you for your service, you wonderful whirlwind of a woman. So many men were able to return safely to their families because she mended their wounds on the battlefield. She’s the real MVP.
So Your Grandparents Had Horses Too?
Did they look anything like this? We doubted it. Redditor FutureMillionaire_ says this photo is of their grandfather, who is “showing off one of the horses he trained for World War 1.” The picture was taken in 1921. That’s incredible.
Maybe your grandpa had horses, but we’re pretty sure he didn’t have war horses. These horses were elite animals who were trained to win major battles. You definitely don’t want to mess with a well-trained war horse.
Posted by Reddit user not_blinking, this photo shows a now-grandfather taking an epic swan-dive off a building and into a lake, circa 1930. What is he, part merman or something?
Whoever took this photo had major photography skills. It’s not easy to get a clear shot of a body in motion with our current digital technology. Imagine how difficult it was to do in the 1930s. What an incredible shot. We hope he didn’t belly flop.