These Black And White Images Were Brought To Life In Color

Albert Einstein At The Beach, 1939

Albert Einstein was one of the most famous scientists to ever live. Although he is very well-known, many people don’t realize that he was still alive a few decades ago.

The German physicist was born in 1879. During WWII, he had to flee the country and move to the US, where he lived for the rest of his life. Here, we can see him enjoying a day at a Long Island beach.

First Photo From Space, 1946

Although it is a very grainy, confusing picture, this is one of the most important photographs in human history. On October 24, 1946, a missile was launched into space carrying a 5-millimeter motion picture camera.

This camera took the first shots of planet Earth in history. This photo was taken at an altitude of 65 miles, which is just above the beginning of outer space.

Nashville Capitol During The Civil War, 1864

This breathtaking picture shows the Capitol building of Nashville, Tennessee, under a beautiful starry sky. Although the picture is beautiful as it is, it is more interesting when you find out it was taken during the Civil War.

It was probably taken during a rather peaceful day since there’s no soldiers or weapons in sight. It may also have been the calm before the storm, but we’ll never know.

Microsoft, 1978

You’ve already read the title, so you now know that this is a picture of the Microsoft staff in 1978. You can even spot Bill Gates, who wasn’t wearing his glasses, in the bottom-left corner.

Without knowing this information, however, it is virtually impossible to guess. They look more like a music group or a group of artists, don’t they? You might even say they look like the teaching staff at a school.

Big Jay McNeely, 1953

Big Jay McNeely was one of the biggest saxophonists in the 1950s. He was known for his stage presence and his flamboyant way of playing his music.

Here, we can see him driving the crowd wild during a concert, as he is lying on the floor playing the sax like his life depends on it. The reactions of the audience are priceless.

‘Old Gold,’ Country Store, 1939

This photo was taken in Gordonton, North Carolina, in 1939. It depicts a lazy Sunday afternoon at a country store called ‘Old Gold.’

You can see the store owner, his brother, and some customers hanging out. The building is still standing, surprisingly, but it looks very different today.

Eyes Of Hate, 1933

Although it looks like an ordinary picture, it has a great story behind it. The man in the center of the photo is Joseph Goebbels, a Nazi propaganda minister who was very close with Hitler.

Goebbels was very friendly to the photographer, Alfred Eisenstaedt, and let him take several pictures of him before learning that he was Jewish. Once he did, his smile faded from his face and he looked at him with profound hatred in his eyes, as captured by this very picture.

Nikola Tesla, 1893

When you hear the name Tesla nowadays, you instantly think of the multi-million-dollar car company run by Elon Musk. Younger generations should know, however, that the company was named after Nikola Tesla.

Tesla was a Serbian-American engineer and inventor whose work paved the way for most scientists today. Without him, technology would not be the same.

British Troops Before The War, 1939

World War II was the most devastating conflict in history, where millions of people lost their lives. But before the battles began, soldiers were looking forward to fighting for their beliefs.

Here, we can see a group of British soldiers smiling for the camera before heading to their first battle on the Western Front in 1939.

Young Woman with Umbrella, 1937

This picture looks like it could have been taken this year, but it is actually from 1937. It depicts a young woman absent-mindedly holding an umbrella and looking at her hands.

Nothing is known about the woman in the photo or the context behind it, and yet, it has become a very famous picture because of its beauty.

Oscar II, King Of Sweden And Norway, 1880

For centuries, royals had their portraits painted by the greatest artists in their kingdom, but once photography was invented, they adapted to the newest technology available.

This is one of the first photographs of royals ever taken. Oscar II was the King of Sweden and Norway for most of his life and was known for supporting industrialization and technological progress.

Charlie Chaplin, 1916

If you hadn’t read the title, would you have guessed that this young man was actually Charlie Chaplin? Before he began sporting his iconic mustache, he was a very handsome, curly-haired man.

Chaplin grew up poor and became an orphan at fourteen. He began performing at a young age, and at nineteen years old, he was scouted by a famous production company and brought to America.

Car Accident In DC, 1921

Car accidents have always existed. Even though cars are much more sophisticated now, there are still car accidents every single day all over the world.

This picture shows a car wreck in 1921, where luckily, no one was harmed. Just as it happens nowadays, several people gathered around the wreck to see what had happened, and someone even decided to just take this picture. Humans have always been the same!

Girls Delivering Ice, 1918

Although it seems unbelievable nowadays, there was a time when people did not have refrigerators and had to buy actual ice to keep their groceries cool. For this, ice delivery workers were needed.

While this type of work was a man’s work for centuries, during WWI, women had to take over these roles. Here, we see two young girls doing some heavy lifting and being excellent at it.

Broadway At The United States Hotel Saratoga Springs, 1900

This photo was taken outside the United States Hotel on Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York. This hotel was extremely luxurious, and only the wealthy could afford to stay there.

The hotel grew over the years and expanded to serve over 2,000 guests. After gambling was forbidden by law, the casino and horse races hosted at the hotel closed, which caused its bankruptcy. It was demolished in 1950.

Lincoln Meets General McClellan, 1862

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln traveled to Maryland to meet with General McClellan to congratulate him on his latest victory. This was also an opportunity for them to discuss future strategies.

But that’s not what makes this picture special. A fun fact about this photo is that it was used as a model for Lincoln’s face in the penny because it shows his side profile perfectly.

Marilyn Monroe, 1957

Marilyn Monroe had an illustrious career as one of Hollywood’s most beloved actresses during the 1950s. She was known for her charisma, talent, and beauty.

Sadly, her personal life was very tumultuous. This photograph was taken in 1957, right around the time she suffered two miscarriages. Five years later, she passed away.

The Titanic Sinks, 1912

Nowadays, news travel so fast that we find out about things as they are taking place. A hundred years ago, however, people had to wait for the newspaper to deliver the news.

The Titanic tragically sank at 2:20 am on April 15, 1912, but most people did not learn about it until the following day, more than 24 hours later. The news shocked the country.

Ralph E. Madsen And Senator Morris Sheppard, 1919

Ralph E. Madsen was known as The Tall Cowboy because… well, he was very tall. He was one of the tallest people to ever live, standing at 7.6 feet tall.

It is not very easy to see how tall he was in most pictures until you look at this one in particular, where you can compare him with Senator Morris Sheppard.

Helen Keller meeting Charlie Chaplin, 1919

This photo shows the epic meeting of two beloved figures from the 20th century: Helen Keller and Charlie Chaplin. At the time, this was a huge event, as they were both very famous.

Helen can be seen touching Charlie’s face, as this was her way of communicating since she was deaf and blind. This precious moment was thankfully caught on camera.

Making Of Propaganda Posters, 1942

During World War I, posters were a very efficient way for the government to communicate with the masses. They were used to inform, inspire, persuade, and motivate those who saw them.

The posters were designed by numerous artists and then copied by workers. In this picture, we can see these workers copying the design that is on the wall.

Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, 1935

Although it seems like the famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has been there forever, it hasn’t even been a century since its construction.

Construction began in 1933 and took four years to be completed. It is considered one of the Wonders of the Modern World for its incredible design.

Louis Armstrong, 1946

Louis Armstrong was one of the most influential figures in jazz, with a career spanning five decades and several eras in the history of jazz.

He gained recognition for his incredible talent as a trumpeter, and he played the trumpet so powerfully that he often split his lip. Here, he is rehearsing in his dressing room before a show.

Dancers of the National American Ballet, 1924

This picture shows a group of dancers from the National American Ballet taking a break during practice in 1924. Photos of this group have become famous because of how beautiful they were.

The scenery, their clothes, their hairstyles; everything makes this picture look fascinating. Images like this make you want to travel back in time just to see them in person.

Mark Twain, 1900

Mark Twain was one of the most famous writers to ever live. He was also a humorist, an entrepreneur, a publisher, and a lecturer.

His most famous works are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. There are many pictures of him, but this one of him just sitting in his garden is particularly charming.

Otto Frank, 1960

Otto Frank was a German businessman, but does his name sound familiar? That is because he was Anne Frank's father and the only survivor of his family.

The Franks famously hid in an attic during WWII for years until they were found by the Nazis. Here, we see Otto visiting that same attic in 1960.

Audrey Hepburn Cooking, 1950s

Audrey Hepburn was known for her elegance, charm, and style. While she was a beauty icon for decades, she also had many other things to offer.

She did a lot of humanitarian work even before she was famous. For example, when she was young, she helped people escape WWII. She also loved to cook, as shown by this photo.

Peatwy Tuck of the Meskwahki, 1898

This is a picture of Peatwy Tuck, a man who belonged to the Meskwahki tribe. It was taken in 1898 by Frank A. Rheinhart as part of an exposition about Native Americans.

The Meskwahki are a tribe that resulted from the amalgamation of two other tribes. They were politically independent until years of war displaced them to a small reservation in Oklahoma.

Boys Buying Eater Flowers In Union Square, 1908

Union Square in New York is now a beautiful park, but back in the day, it was a market.

Here, we can see a group of young boys buying Easter flowers and posing for a picture.

Halloween, 1920

Halloween has been a fun tradition for people of all ages for decades. Most people will dress up in a spooky costume and either go trick-or-treating or go to a party.

One hundred years ago, the tradition was very similar, only that the costumes looked very different. People looked actually scary in their costumes!

The Eight-Nation Alliance, 1900

This photo showed soldiers of the Eight-Nation Alliance (minus Russia) in 1900. From left to right, we can see a soldier of each country: Britain, the United States, Australia and India (which belonged to Britain at the time), Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Japan.

This coalition was created to fight the Boxer Rebellion in China. The conflict lasted for a year and ended with the signing of the Boxer Protocol in 1901.

Times Square, 1947

Times Square is one of the most famous spots in New York City. Several decades ago, it didn’t look so different from what it looks like now.

It was still a large area with many billboards and advertisements, most of them with neon lights. Some things never change!

Lunch Atop A Skyscraper, 1932

This is arguably one of the most famous photographs ever taken. It shows workers during the construction of the Rockefeller Center in Manhattan having lunch while sitting on a girder 840 feet above the street.

Contrary to popular belief, this photo was not spontaneous. It was actually staged to promote the skyscraper, but the men are real workers.

Quagga, 1870

When you look at this picture, you instantly think that this animal is a zebra whose stripes kind of faded away. It looks like the printer ran out of ink on this one!

But this is actually the last living quagga, photographed shortly before its extinction. The quagga was a subspecies of the zebra endemic to South Africa.

Norma Jeane, 1943

This is a lovely photo of a young girl wearing a gorgeous outfit, which was very trendy at the time, posing for a picture at the beach. Her name was Norma Jeane. Does she look familiar?

If the answer is yes, that is probably because this girl was Marilyn Monroe, before she changed her name and became a superstar.

1920s Fashion

During WWI, society was in a bad place, but once the war ended, people became abundantly optimistic and just wanted to have fun. People started living in the moment, rather than worrying about the future.

This reflected in the fashion of the time, which was very different from previous decades. Women wore loose clothes, lots of jewelry, and high heels.

Training Ship, 1916

This is a picture of a ship, believe it or not. Although it looks more like a houseboat, it is actually a traditional frigate with broadside guns.

This ship was used in the navy from 1867 to 1877, and in the 1900s, it was used as a training ship for new recruits.

First Photo Ever Taken, 1826

This might not have been what you expected the first photo ever taken to look like, is it? The thing is, since it was the first photograph ever, the technique hasn’t been perfect yet.

In case you need help figuring out what is going on, the photo depicts the view outside a window. The photo took eight hours to be finished, so the sun moved a lot during that time and that’s why there are so many shadows.

A Boxing Match On Board The USS New York, 1899

The USS New York was a massive battleship that was used between 1896 and 1919. The ship participated in many conflicts, such as the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War, the Boxer Rebellion, and WWII.

Its sailors had to spend weeks and even months inside the ship, so they needed to pass the time somehow. Here, we can see them having a boxing match.

Che Guevara, 1960

You have probably seen this one photo of Che Guevara a million times, plastered in all sorts of posters, t-shirts, and more. Although there are other pictures of him, this portrait in particular has become somewhat iconic.

It was taken by photographer Alberto Korda who, at the time, had no idea who Guevara was. It was many years later that this photo became famous, once Guevara became a symbol of the Cuban Revolution.

Original Ronald McDonald, 1963

McDonald’s is the largest fast-food restaurant chain in the entire world. It was founded in 1940 and started as a small hamburger stand. In 1953, the Golden Arches logo was created, and the company became a franchise.

Ronald McDonald became the restaurant’s mascot in 1963 and was played by Willard Scott. He first appeared in an ad in the Washington D.C. market.

Samurai Warriors, 1860

When we think of the Samurai, we may think they existed several centuries ago in the middle ages, but they were active until 1876.

Here, we can see a group of traditional Samurai warriors posing for a photo wearing their uniforms and holding their swords. What made the Samurai stand out from other warriors was that they each wore two swords.

Migrant Mother, 1936

This photo was taken by Dorothea Lange, who was tasked to take pictures for the Resettlement Administration during the Great Depression in 1936.

Of the 16,000 photographs that Dorothea took, this one in particular caught people’s eye. It depicts a migrant mother with her two children clinging to her, and you can see the pain and exhaustion in her face from all she has been through.

Machu Picchu, 1912

Machu Picchu is one of the greatest wonders of the world. It is a 15th-century citadel built by the Incas. It was abandoned only a century after it was built when the Spanish invaded the Americas.

The city remained forgotten and undiscovered by the outside world for centuries, until American historian Hiram Bingham found it in 1911. This was the first picture of it ever taken, in 1912.

Tasmanian Tiger, 1933

Have you ever seen a Tasmanian Tiger? Of course not! It has been extinct since 1933. The one in this photo is actually the last specimen to ever live.

It was a species native to Australia and was the largest known carnivorous marsupial in the world at the time. After 2 million years of evolution, it went extinct.

Walt Whitman, 1887

Walt Whitman was one of the most influential poets in America. At the time, his poems were seen as controversial, but nowadays, people appreciate them for what they are.

He wrote some of the best poetry in history despite dropping out of school at age eleven. This picture was taken in 1887, five years before he passed away.