Up until the 1970s, color photography was extremely rare, and so when we think about history prior to that time, we often envision it in black and white. Today’s technology now enables us to “colorize” historical photos, giving us our only chance at seeing what the world really looked like back then. And it was truly spectacular. Take a trip back in time through these photos below. It’s quite incredible to see Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein in living color.

1Sam Bartram

Goalkeeper Sam Bartram, alone on the pitch, not realizing that the game had been abandoned 15 minutes earlier due to heavy fog - 25 dec 1937.

2Carl Akeley

Carl Akeley posing with the leopard he killed with his bare hands after it attacked him, 1896.

3John and Jacqueline

Adoration of a President-to-Be - Newly engaged John F. Kennedy & Jacqueline Bouvier - Cape Cod, July 4th 1953.


June 6th, 1944: Into the Jaws of Death.


The most intelligent picture ever taken: Participants of the 5th Solvay Conference on Quantum Mechanics, 1927. They are, among others: Albert Einstein, Marie S. Curie, and Niels Bohr. 17 of the 29 attendees were or became Nobel Prize winners.

6Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin in 1916, at the age of 27.

7German Soldier

A German soldier with a saw tooth bayonet stands in a dugout wearing his brow plate slid down to his neck, World War I.

8Playing Cards

The tallest (Cornelius Bruns), shortest and fattest (Cannon Colossus) man of Europe playing a game of cards, 1913.

9Kiss of Life

A utility worker giving mouth-to-mouth to a co-worker after he contacted a low voltage wire - 1967.

10Mata Hari

100 years ago Mata Hari was shot after blowing a kiss at the French firing squad who executed her for accusations of being a spy.


Princess Elizabeth did her part for the war effort when she served as an ambulance driver for the Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II. 1945.

12Ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges escorted by U.S. Marshals to attend an all-white school, 1960. She was the first African-American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis.

13Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali standing on the deck of the S.S. Normandie as it docks in New York City - 1936.


Titanic Orphans, brothers Michel and Edmond Navratil, 1912. They were the only children to be rescued from the Titanic without a parent or guardian.


Rosa Parks & Martin Luther King - Montgomery, Alabama in 1955.

16Mona Lisa

Unpacking Mona Lisa at the end of World War II in 1945.


A group of bootblacks gathers around an old Civil War veteran in Pennsylvania, 1935.

18Eiffel Tower

American soldiers watch as the Tricolor flies from the Eiffel Tower again, c. 25 August 1944, Paris, France.


Eunice Hancock, a 21-year-old woman, operates a compressed-air grinder in a Midwest aircraft plant during World War II. August 1942.


Oregon, August 1939. Unemployed lumber worker goes with his wife to the bean harvest. Social Security number tattooed on his arm identifies him as Thomas Cave.


Tolstoy - Russian writer, regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. 1908.

22Lawrence of Arabia

Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia.


Winston Churchill as a Cornet in the 4th Queen's Hussar's Cavalry, 1895. He was 21 at the time.

24Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson takes the oath of office aboard Air Force One at Love Field in Dallas following the assassination of JFK.


A photographer uses his own backdrop to mask Poland's World War II ruins while shooting a portrait in Warsaw, November 1946.


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