header print

14 Historical Moments Documented Through a Camera Lens

Edited By: Natalie Smith

 History books are full of stories that are sometimes hard to believe, but you don’t have to rely solely on the words people have written or said to describe past events, at least when it comes to the last 150 years. Fortunately, history has also been documented in many pictures that depict moments that many have never been aware of. They not only tell whole stories but also prove the existence of various events that, if not photographed, might have been erased from the pages of history. Here are 14 events and moments from history captured by the camera lens.

 

1. The "St. Louis" passenger ship with about 900 Jewish refugees from Germany (1939)

history Caught on camera

In the picture we see the ship trying to dock at the Havana port of Cuba, but its entry into the country was refused. It was also refused entry into the United States and Canada. The ship then returned to Europe, and most of the refugees aboard eventually landed in Holland, France, Belgium, and England, but about a quarter of them died in the death camps.

2. An American engineer in the car he invented and assembled (1907)

history Caught on camera

John Walter Christie is known for inventing a car rack system, later used in some of the tanks and armored vehicles that participated in World War II. Additionally, many of his other automotive inventions advanced the industry throughout the war. 

3. Women fighters from the Hao-Hao organization training in the jungle (1948)

history Caught on camera

The photo was taken for Life magazine during the first Indo-China War when these women formed a unit for the French army to fight in the jungle terrain. They practiced with spears and swords, as well as rifles.

4. Khevsurs Warriors from Georgia (1914)

history Caught on camera

When World War I broke out, it took months for news to reach remote areas, and when they reached northeastern Georgia, fighters from the province of Khevsurs rode horses to the city of Tbilisi to volunteer and defend their homeland. 

5. A Russian soldier exploiting his power in Germany (1945) 

history Caught on camera

After the end of World War II, many Russian soldiers took advantage of their power and "harassed," to say the least, German citizens. The picture shows a Russian soldier trying to steal a bicycle from a German woman, but this is a light example of the horrors that the Russian soldiers would inflict on the country for the three years to come. The soldiers were estimated to have raped 2 million German women.

6. Members of an African tribe at an international bow and arrow competition in St. Louis, USA (1904)

history Caught on camera

The World Fair held in the United States during those years coincided with the Olympic Games, and scientists saw it as an opportunity to prove the supremacy of the white race over other races. Unfortunately for them, the contenders they brought in from other continents, such as Asia and Africa, sometimes refused to participate, and other times simply didn’t understand the rules of the games.

In the races, for example, the African runners waited before the finish line for the other contestants so they could cross it together, and eventually, the scientists failed, of course, in their attempt to prove the supremacy of the white race.

7. Four models exhibiting different forms of pajamas (1930)

history Caught on camera

This is exactly the time when clothing designers in the US began to dare to let women reveal more of their bodies, and traditional pajamas gave way to other, more liberal versions.

8. People Climbing a Pyramid in Giza (1890)

history Caught on camera

In the past, tourists could climb the pyramids in Giza with guides who encouraged them to take a piece of stone as a souvenir if they found one crumbling. In the 1980s, Egypt out-lawed this practice and stopped it out of concern for the integrity of the crumbling structures, but if you pay the right people, it is still possible to do so.

9. Zulu fighters from Zululand, South Africa, with their weapons (1879)

history Caught on camera

When Britain began to take control of territory in South Africa, the Zulu went out to fight against them in a number of battles, using primitive weapons and weak shields against soldiers armed with rifles. In numbers they were greater than the British at a ratio of 30:1, but they had to fight close to hit them, and even when they managed to take over British guns, the Zulu fighters were not able to use them properly. During the five months of war, they lost about 7,000 people, while the British lost about 2,000.

 

10. Japanese girls caring for their younger siblings (1901)

history Caught on camera

Even today, in traditional areas of Japan, it is customary for girls to raise their younger siblings before they are even ready to have children themselves. This is a tradition that is practiced throughout the world among poor families, in which parents have to work all day long to support and feed the family.

11. Snow-removal wagons in New York (end of 19th century)

history Caught on camera

A hundred years ago, the only way to clear entire streets of snow was with the help of thousands of people who worked in Snow-removal wagons. The process took two weeks or more, and many deaths of people stranded in their homes because of the heavy snow were documented.

12. Horse-drawn “bus" (1882)

history Caught on camera

Before the invention of the bus and the tram, and before cars began popping up everywhere, many cities in Europe and the US used horses to transport vehicles resembling a double-decker bus, which was very effective for several decades until the engine replaced animals.

13. Members of the Yakuza crime organization and their wives (1960)

history Caught on camera

To be accepted into the Yakuza, a centuries-old crime organization from Japan, members had to decorate their bodies with tattoos, as did their wives. Today there are estimated to be about 100,000 active Yakuza worldwide.

14. "Disco Granny" (1978)

history Caught on camera
"Disco Granny," whose real name is Sally Lippman, was a regular guest at Studio 54, a nightclub whose structure now serves as one of the Broadway theaters. Many famous celebrities danced with her, such as Dustin Hoffman and Bill Marie, and generally, she spent time with young people in their 20s.
image source: imgur
Sign Up Free
Did you mean:
By clicking "Join", you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
Sign Up Free
Did you mean:
By clicking "Join", you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy