Some Cool Old Photos I Hadn’t Seen Before

On May 7, 2014 by Tim Newman

Interesting Old Photos Rare - swimming mask 1920s

There’s a lot of posts on the internet showcasing old photos from history. I find them fascinating. A tiny crack in the door that leads back to a hint of how life was just a few decades ago.

There’s a lot of repetition in these sorts of posts of course, that’s the internet for you, but I think some of these are relatively unseen, but who knows. All of these sorts of posts say that the photos are rare, but I don’t think there can be such a thing as a rare photo anymore. So I hope there’s some that you haven’t seen before…

This is quite possibly the photo with the most kings in it ever. They were gathered to mourn the passing of Edward VII in 1910. We’ve got the kings of GB, Germany, Norway, Bulgaria, Portugal, Greece, Belgium, Spain and Denmark. What a good looking bunch, no?

Interesting Old Photos Rare - 9 kings 1910

A zookeeper sprays his penguins with water. Possibly it was a hot day, possibly their pool had a leak and had emptied or perhaps the zoo keeper was a bit mental. Who knows.

Baby cages were installed to help infants get sunlight in dingy flats. I suppose it also helped dispense of any chance they may develop vertigo at a later date. The cage was patented in 1922 and appears to have had some success in the 20s and 30s. It was a reaction to the new and cramped living conditions of the time, every bit of extra space counted.

Interesting Old Photos Rare - baby cages 1930s

Beauty pageant winners in 1922:

Interesting Old Photos Rare - beauty pageant 1922

1959 – Fidel Castro lays a rather massive wreath at the feet of Abraham Lincoln:

Interesting Old Photos Rare - Castro and Lincoln 1959

In the 1930s when the double-decker bus was first conceived there was widespread concern that it was a tipping hazard. This brave demo proved otherwise.

Interesting Old Photos Rare - double decker 1930s

Taken in 1939 this image is a visual representation of function over form. Apparently people would wear these face cones in blizzards.

Interesting Old Photos Rare - face cones 1939

A family bike designed in the late 1930s, it could cater for four people and a sewing machine. Ideal.

Interesting Old Photos Rare - family bike 1939


In the early 1900s the iPhone had not yet been invented, so they had guys called “knocker ups” who would give you alarm calls instead. There were large numbers of these knocker ups, especially in places like Manchester where there was a lot industry and hence a lot of people who needed to get to work on time. These guys would get a few pence a week and were also responsible for putting out the gas lights in the streets when it got light.

Knocker ups were generally older gents, but sometimes policemen on their early rounds would perform the same task.

Interesting Old Photos Rare - knocker up early 1900s

Apparently this is a woman from the early 1900s mid-sneeze. I’m not sure I believe this is genuine. It looks too good to be true?

Interesting Old Photos Rare - mid sneez early 1900s

Miss Atomic Bomb Pageant 1950s. A time before humans had fully realised just how much horror the atom bomb would cause.

Interesting Old Photos Rare - Miss Atomic Bomb Pageant 1950s

“Model T” Elevator Garage, Chicago 1936:

Interesting Old Photos Rare - Model T Elevator Garage 1936

The smiley looking guy in the green sweater, second from the right is Osama Bin Laden with his family in Sweden in the 1970s.

Interesting Old Photos Rare - Osama Bin Laden Sweden 1970s

Russian troops with puppy:

Interesting Old Photos Rare - puppy russian

Salvador Dali and Coco Chanel:

Interesting Old Photos Rare - salvador dali and coco chanel

People posing with the Statue of Liberty as it was unpacked in 1886:

Interesting Old Photos Rare - Statue of Liberty 1886

Swimming mask with added protection from the sun’s rays, 1920s:

Interesting Old Photos Rare - swimming mask 1920s

1967 – Utility worker gets mouth to mouth after being electrocuted on the job:

Interesting Old Photos Rare - utility worker mouth to mouth 1967

Refreshing whisky dispenser from the 1950s. These were a common sight in offices back then. I find that hard to believe, but if it is true then I’m a little bit jealous too.

Interesting Old Photos Rare - whisky dispenser 1950s


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