25 Rare Historical Photographs That Were Left Out Of School Books For Obvious Reasons

We live in a world that’s forever changing. As hard as it might be to think now, a day will inevitably come when iPhones look as out-of-date as VHS players. That’s why photographs are so important, because they provide us with a way to reflect on days gone by.

However, as is the case with so many things in life, only selected moments from history make their way into the public domain. There are certain things which humankind as a whole would rather forget and that’s why rare historical pictures are so fascinating.

To see pictures of how women in bikinis were treated in the 1950s, check out the video below:

Whether it’s once acceptable celebrations that would now be a societal no-no, bizarre children’s games that would inspire horror today, or unflattering pictures of famous faces, rare historical photographs show us snippets of life that would otherwise be lost.

So, without further ado, here are 24 rare historical photographs that you won’t see in the majority of history books…

1. A father meets his triplets for the first time, New York, 1946

He probably imagined how much their college tuition was going to cost him.

2. A boy on a demon’s back during a Krampus parade, Austria, 1954.

He looks a lot happier than I would in that situation.

3. A Victorian couple trying and failing to pose together in the 1890s.

Our ancestors aren’t that different from us, after all.

4. The Queen Elizabeth returning US troops to New York after WWII.

This gives a whole new meaning to being packed in like sardines.

5. Freddie Mercury on Darth Vader’s shoulders, 1980. 

He knew how to rock the force.

6. Stephen Hawking with his future wife, 1964. 

The theory of everything.

7. A boy and mounted lobsters, 1916. 

Fun fact: these lobsters were caught off the coast of New Jersey.

8. The Mona Lisa being uncovered after WWII. 

The painting was hidden in 1939 to protect it from German troops.

9. The construction of Longacre Square, 1902.

Recognise this place? That’s because it was renamed Times Square in 1903.

10. Eight-year-old Mark plays Monopoly on a bed of nails, London, 1976. 

His parents have a lot of explaining to do as far as I’m concerned.

11. London’s West End, 1949. 

Amazingly, the theatre district doesn’t look that different from this picture today!

12. Inside the 1936 Imperial Airlines airplane


13. Survivors of the Titanic approaching the RMS Carpathia, April 15, 1912.

Of the ship’s 2,208 passengers, only 706 survived.

14. Children playing with a toy guillotine, France, 1959.

This is far too violent for kids if you want my opinion.

15. Actors dressed up as animals for a play, London, 1894.

Can you imagine how uncomfortable this would be?!

16. A 1950s air-conditioned luxury lawn mower.

It’s straight out of a sci-fi movie.

17. The opening of the first Gucci store, New York, 1953. 

A historical moment in the world of fashion.

18. Cool air pumped into a car at a drive-thru restaurant, Texas, 1957.

Personally, I’d rather have an extra side of fries.

19. A public demonstration of König’s fire helmet, Germany, 1900s. 

Absolutely terrifying.

20. Dakko-chan toy on a woman’s arm, Japan, 1960. 

I’m not going to lie, it wouldn’t be my choice of accessory.

21. Victorians doing the cakewalk, 1890.

They look like they could be in the music video for Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’.

22. A barber’s shop in Alabama, 1920s. 

Because a slick haircut was a must-have back then.

23. Fidel Castro and friends, Cuba, 1940. 

He’s the boy with the lollipop.

24. A photographic plate that featured Queen Victoria, 1852.

This is the Victorian equivalent of deleting a bad selfie.

25. A very early pin-up model (19th century)

Proving that our ancestors weren’t as prudish as we often think they were.

Well, I don’t know about you, but these photographs have definitely given me a new insight into what life was like in the past. Most importantly, I’m glad I’m not the only one who has gone to extreme lengths to destroy a bad picture of myself. Good job, Queen Victoria.

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