Most Beautiful Colorized Images In History
When you place a colorized image next to one that is black and white, it becomes evident that color adds a depth of contextual visualization to photos. One may wonder why colors add so many differences to images, especially in throwing more illumination to past visuals. You will discover that the following color images that once lacked colors are now easier to understand. All thanks to a group of committed digital editors who were able to transform the original photos. These early 20th-century images, in their original black and white form, could reveal only little about past events. However, adding color to the photos now helps viewers to gain more insights about the past, leading to an increased appreciation of historical figures or significant world events. Check how Richard James Molloy colorized world-famous pictures and how different they look now.
1907: The Royal group (with Kaiser Wilhelm II and Edward VII) at Windsor Castle
The photo shows the “who is who” in Europe seven years before the world war resulting from the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand. The English and Russian royal families are well represented in the photo. Notable among them are King Edward VII, Princess Beatrice of Great Britain, German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Grand Duke Vladimir of Russia. The Crimson Drawing-Room hangout of both royal families could not have been free from tension considering that some people were at loggerheads. However, most of them had to stand wholly to allow the photographer to take the photo.
1881: Constructing the Statue of Liberty
In the early 19th century, the president of the French Anti-Slavery Society, Édouard René de Laboulaye proposed the construction of the US Statue of Liberty. It took several decades to finish the statue, which was to serve as a memorial to the United States’ independence. In a bid to unite the countries, the workers that built the statue were from the US and France.
The figure chosen for the statue is Columbia combined with Libertas known as the goddess of freedom. On completing the building of the statue in France, it was moved to America via a steamer. It was in America that other pieces were constructed to form the actual statue that several tourists visit today.
1963: Separated by The Berlin Wall, two german brothers are reunited
The Berlin Wall of 1961 cannot be forgotten so soon, at least not by those it severely impacted. In the photo, are two brothers that were separated for two years by the wall. The original motive of the wall was to curb a significant crisis between places in Germany controlled by the Soviet Union and West Berlin.
However, the fact that many members of different families were separated from one another because no one could pass the checkpoints left the wall without fans. In 1963, a border pass agreement was put in place after many complaints. Thus, people who lived in the West were able to travel to the East to see their relatives. It was not until many decades later that the wall was finally put down.
1955: Walt Disney and a map of "Disneyland", his first theme park
Have you ever thought of the brain behind the famous "Disneyland"? Well, we have got Walt Disney to credit for it. He decided to create a safe space for families after noticing that alcohol and other unsafe things were common in most amusement parks in the '50s. Building the park around Disney characters like Donald Duck and Mickey was reasonable since they were famous in the '40s and still are till date. Disney used those characters in a way kids find interesting with parents not left out of the fun all over the park.
"The one thing for me... the important thing... is the family, and keeping the family together with things. That's been the backbone of our whole business, catering to families… The park means a lot to me. It's something that will never be finished, something I can keep developing".
1956: The smallest man in the world, Henry Behrens, with his pet cat
Although 2-foot tall Henry Behrens happens to be the smallest man worldwide in 1956, comparing his height with the 30-inch standing height of the cat shows that the cat is huge. In the 1950s, smaller people had few ways they could make money like being part of a midget troupe. Behrens was part of the "Burton Lester's midget troupe" then. Behrens' huge cat complimented his shenanigans lifestyle. His small stature did not deny him from enjoying life like other people. Apart from cooking, he was able to clean like us. He referred to himself as "Colonel Peewee."
1947: Danish explorer Peter Freuchen and wife Dagmar Cohn
People who look cool tend to have a mind-blowing underlining story. The image shows Peter Freuchen, a man born in 1886 in Denmark. His childhood days were just like that of any other child at that time. However, things began to look different when he could no longer pursue his medical career and sought adventure.
Arriving in Greenland in 1906, Freuchen embarked on a dogsled hunt of 600 miles and also traded with Inuits. One of the polar bears he killed on the hunt was used to make the perfectly-fitted coat he's wearing in the picture. Freuchen lectured about Inuit culture in 1910 before embarking on another journey across Greenland, one where he got buried in the snow. But, he was able to dig himself out using his special knife made from feces. It is why dinner with him is second to nothing.
1906: Boat races at Palm Beach, Miami
According to Lloyd E. Brown, the second annual Palm Beach Regata was the most successful winter racing event. At the event which held from January 30 to February 2, 1906, many fans of boating hung maxed while they watched the long racing weekend. Brown later wrote:
The closing day of the regatta was by far the most successful, bringing out the best that was in the speedy flyers. The contest for the Dewar Shield was the main feature of the day, it being won by H. L. Bowden's Mercedes, victor in both heats, although her time was a disappointment to those gathered at the carnival and expectant for new world's records.
1957: Norman Rockwell After the Prom
Norman Rockwell’s exceptional painting skills and eye for detail immediately come to mind when you look closely at the “After the Prom” reference photo. The realistic nature of his paintings makes it difficult to differentiate this photo from the painting. Despite his outstanding talent, he was never considered an artist in his lifetime. Instead, his peers thought of him as an illustrator. From the photo, you will agree that apart from being interested in displaying the simplicity of American life, he also focused on making it look real. This practice and ability make his work valuable even after his death.
1964: Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali
Many a time, we make mistakes that we wish never was. One person who made such a mistake is Muhammad Ali, initially called Cassius Clay. Not long after the famous boxer became a Muslim in 1964, he had to end his friendship with Malcolm X because Malcolm decided to separate from Elijah Muhammad. Unfortunately, Malcolm was assassinated on February 21, 1965, when he was delivering a speech in Harlem. It was after Malcolm's assassination that Ali realized that his decision to end their friendship was not the best. But, it was too late to reconcile. In Malcolm's autobiography, Ali wrote:
Turning my back on Malcolm was one of the mistakes that I regret most in my life. I wish I’d been able to tell Malcolm I was sorry, that he was right about so many things. But he was killed before I got the chance… Malcolm and I were so close and had been through so much.
1912: Austrian-born French tailor, Franz Reichelt, before his fateful jump
It is never a crime to dream big, especially when realizing such a dream can make living better for everyone. But, it is important to take meaningful steps to achieve one's goal. In doing this, some people have taken unbelievable steps that still amazes many people today. One such person is Franz Reichelt, who understood early enough that saving the lives of several people will in the future depend on the harnessing of air resistance.
In the early 20th century, Franz Reichelt designed and created foldable silk wings sequel to the offering of 10,000 francs prize money by Colonel Lalance of the Aéro-Club de France. The prize money was for anyone who could produce a usable parachute at a time when air travel was becoming very popular. Reichelt's silk wings called "parachute-suit" were similar to the flight suit used then but had extra features like canopy and rubber lining.
“On the morning of February 4th, 1912 Reichelt revealed that he would jump from the Eiffel Tower to prove the efficiency of his parachute-suit, saying, “I want to try the experiment myself and without trickery, as I intend to prove the worth of my invention.” At 8:22 am he leaped from the Eiffel Tower and sank through the air like a stone.”
1863: Union Soldiers taking a break
This photo evokes a memory about the past. Imagine seeing more snapshots of events like the Civil War era in natural color. Such will give a new look at history and help us understand more about the events that would have escaped the reach of the millennial. The Union soldiers had already divided the southern army at the time this picture was taken.
They had gained control of the Mississippi River after a series of bloody battles with the Confederates two years before the Civil War. Just before the War, there were technological advancements giving room for the production of tintypes. They also enabled the viewing of photos from the war to be a regular experience. After an exhibit of the war photography, the New York Times wrote:
The photographer] has done something to bring home to us the terrible reality and earnestness of war. If he has not brought bodies and laid them in our dooryards and along the streets, he has done something very like it.
Unloading supplies on Omaha for the break-out from Normandy
A barrage balloon is used to raise cables that create a collision risk for enemy soldiers, making an approach problematic. Although setting the barrage balloons is not with its disadvantages. Even with the 320th Antiaircraft Balloon set up to slow down Luftwaffe’s attack at Omaha beach, German artillery fighters were still able to bombard the ships with gunfire. It was a fierce battle as the soldiers had cut their kites loose to give the long-range fighters of the German a less easy target. Many of the soldiers working on these massive kite balloons worked so hard to keep things under control.
1935: Construction of the Hoover Dam
Looking at the Hoover Dam, one is tempted to find out about those who conceived and perfected such a masterpiece. A closer look at the image suggests that a building of that sort would have required collective efforts, and that is just the case. Thousands of workers built the Hoover Dam located on the border of Arizona and Nevada in the 1930s. These workers had migrated to the area at the time of the Great Depression, hoping to make ends meet while working extremely hard. A large amount of workforce ensured that the dam’s construction was ahead of the scheduled completion time. Pouring a total of 3,250,000 cubic yards of concrete was concluded as early as May 29, 1935. Meanwhile, the dedication of the dam was on September 30, 1935.
Sometimes, it is difficult to believe that Dolly Parton hailed from a wretched Appalachian family, considering that she became the world's top country music star. She is indeed one of the best performers to have lived in the 20th century. Just after she changed from singing country music to pop in 1977, her songs became top hits. It was to the extent that she won the Grammy a year later with "Here You Come Again." Not only did she showcase her musical talent during shows in the '70s, but she also displayed her comedy skills. In 1980, she got her biggest hit after performing the theme song Nine to Five. The song was ranked top on the country and two adult-contemporary charts.
1945: Lee Miller in Adolf Hitler’s bathtub
The person in the photo is Lee Miller, who happens to be a renowned fashion model in New York City before becoming a photojournalist. Back in Paris before World War II, she worked in places like Man Ray and Cocteau but later decided to have a different experience with the camera.
Attached to the 83rd Infantry Division of the US Army, Miller took shots of the atrocities at Dachau Concentration Camp before heading for Hitler's Munich apartment. Dachau concentration camp mud covered her boot in the photo and it turned the whole surreal image thing to one big F You to the Third Reich leader. She spent the majority of her life after the war in her farm located in Sussex, England. As she grew weak, friends like Pablo Picasso enjoyed her company, especially with her surreal meals that resemble blue spaghetti and green chicken present.
1912: The RMS Titanic
Who has not heard of the Titanic? Even many of the 21st-century kids would have seen the movie made of the iconic ship. Constructed in 1909, the Titanic was assumed unsinkable, and it was a home from home for the wealthiest people in the world. The sister ship to the Olympic had amenities second to no other ships with its send class accommodation were just as good if not superior to the first-class sections of other boats. The ship was not considered seaworthy until April 1912 even though it was launched since May 31, 1911. Titanic weighed 52,000 tons when displaced, and it took its historic debutant voyage on April 10, 1912.
1950: US Marine Dwayne L. Boice at Wolmido Island burning out a weapon's emplacement
War has always left unpleasant memories behind, and the Korea war of 1950 was not different. As the war, which was ripping the country in two halves was ongoing, the United Nations (UN) supported South Korea as against the famous communists North Korea. The image is that of a US soldier burning a weapon’s emplacement at Wolmido Island on Sept. 10, 1950.
Early 1960s: "The Rat Pack" in New York
The Rat Pack popular in the ‘60s both on and offstage. Apart from their shows, which they put up together, they also hang out together. It is said that no one knows what is next when they are together, especially on a Las Vegas night. The group comprising of four men performed spontaneously during shows.
The truth is that most people today will stay away from the type of trouble the group got itself into then because of the prevalence of cameras everywhere. Frank was the leader of the group, and he had the full support of the rest of the group members – Jean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford.
1960: Clint Eastwood and his 1958 Jag XK 120
The name Eastwood would always ring a bell, especially if you are conversant with the Hollywood. The photo is that of Eastwood in his swanky ride some years before he made it big time in Hollywood. After appearing in films like Lafayette Escadrille as a second fiddle to Tab Hunter and b-movies like Tarantula, he proceeded to Italy to have his major hit in the movie “A Fistful of Dollars.” Apart from film appearances, Eastwood was also known to be the anchor for Rawhide and Death Valley Days (both were television western). Apparently, he made a lot of money from TV, an explanation for the expensive ride in the picture.
1943: Major Donald James Matthew Blakeslee, Ohio
The way some photos feel so real, you will be tempted to want to touch whoever is in it. An example of such a picture is the colorized photo of Major Blakeslee in his cockpit back in 1943. He was at that time flying a P-47 Thunderbolt attached to the 335th Fighter Squadron. His records show that he flew 240 combat hours with RAF and that he had three confirmed victories. Blakeslee often joked about his love of combat flying.
1898: Otto von Bismarck
One can draw several inferences from Bismarck’s look in the picture. His look reveals that he has seen it all in life. It is a true statement because he spent lots of time in battle relative to the time spent at home. Not only was Bismarck a genius in foreign affairs, but he also founded and served as the first Chancellor of the German Empire. The style of Bismarck’s rule revealed that he was an authoritarian. Voted out of power in 1890, he chose to resign instead of piloting the country into a civil war. Despite being in affluence, the government that took over from Bismarck received several terse rebuttals from him.
A room aboard the Titanic
Hardly will the name Titanic be mentioned and it will be strange to anyone. Many people who initially knew nothing about the beast were in the know after watching the movie. Unlike other liners, which have rooms similar to tiny prison rooms, Titanic was in a class of its own. The photo shows one of the rooms in the gigantic sea beast. You will agree that the masterpiece was exceptional. Examining any of the rooms in the first-class section, you might have mistaken it for a palace. The interior of Titanic was carefully crafted to give riders a different experience while they floated. The fact that some wealthy riders on board could open the interconnecting doors to form a suite is unimaginable.
1940: Albert Einstein in his Princeton, New Jersey home
Before the death of Albert Einstein in 1955, he settled and lived in Princeton, New Jersey. He lived there for his last 22 years alive. The decision to live there was after comparing Princeton to Pasadena in California. Originally, he lived in Germany but faced extreme racism, making him move to the US. Einstein is one of the most intelligent persons that lived in the 20th century. He worked at the "Institute of Advanced Study" in Princeton before his death.
Early 1900s: New York City
New York City was long known as the center of the western world. The city was filled with aristocrats and individuals looking to make their way in the world back in the day. Although people in the city still made use of gas lamps and local equipment in the 1900s, with time, the place changed from residential streets into a city full of skyscrapers. Many office buildings were erected across the city and in the Lower Broadway especially. They tower over the many old buildings that had rocked the city for generations. Even though New Yorkers were unsure about the modern buildings springing up at that time, they have fast turned into the way of life of the city dwellers.
1944: 101st Airborne Troops taking off to Normandy, France for “Operation Chicago"
In the heat of World War II, soldiers knew that any mission they go for could as well be their last. The soldiers in the photo did not have a different opinion. They were all ready for "Operation Chicago," which happened to be one of the three missions assigned to 101st Airborne Division. The mission was meant to bring more troops into Normandy as well as more firepower.
At around 4 am, the soldiers arrived at France haven entered through Dakota C-47s and Waco gliders. No doubt, the operation was successful though not without the loss of General Pratt and about 499 other soldiers. General Pratt was the then second in command of the division. The infantry division carried out another successful operation the next day.
1965: Singer Bob Dylan in New York
1965 was a remarkable year for Bob Dylan who spent so much time writing and performing at the peak of artistry career. The stardom headlined the Newport Folk Festival that same year where he played three songs with his first live electric set. Bob also released the cue card laden video for Subterranean Homesick Blues and recorded many other songs in 1965. Before the year ran out, Bob Dylan was exhausted by the attention he received from the media for being the nation’s poet. He later disappeared from the public eye for eight years after a mysterious motorcycle incident.
1944: German commando disguised in American uniform preparing for execution
Only a few things that can be as excruciating as dying by the firing squad. The photo is that of a German soldier caught dressed in American soldiers' uniform and prepared to be executed. After World War II ended, German troops did whatever was necessary to help them avert capture in Europe. So, many of them hid by dressing as American soldiers. However, the unlucky ones were caught and executed. On suspecting anyone, questions like state capitals and sports trivia that only American troops would know were asked.
Nobel Prize Laureate & "Father of Chemical Warfare ", Fritz Haber
Fritz Haber was busy throughout World War 1 preparing deadly chemicals weapons for the army. As the leading physical chemist in Germany, Haber was called to create crazier weapons for the German military as the fighting kept increasing. The chemist was proactive in the development of tear gas at the time the army needed one. He even found a way of turning chlorine gas into a deadly weapon for the military. It is not a surprise that Haber received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work following the end of the war. He had worked on nitrogen fixation which helped create a weapon for the war and as well produced fertilizers.
1954: Pablo Picasso
Picasso was a great artist of the 20th century who spent a large part of his life-changing the way viewers thought about a subject through his artworks. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he was well known for cubism, although he only worked in that style for about ten years in his career. He had ditched painting by1950s altogether with a focus on sculpture as he appeared in films like Jean Coteau’s Testament of Orpheus. Chicago Picasso, a 50-foot high abstract shape which was interpreted as an animal or woman was of the most notable sculpture of Pablo Picasso. He refused payment for the project and donated it to the city.
1930s: Amelia Earhart
The woman in the photo, Amelia Earhart is not just a cautionary tale like some people believe. She happens to have been more important than that being the sixteenth woman to obtain a pilot license. In 1928, she eventually became the first woman pilot to over the Atlantic Ocean and the 1st pilot to fly across both Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. She disappeared in 1937 during one of her adventurous flight, specifically the one where she was trying to circumnavigate the world. Many researchers believe she ran out of fuel around 35-100 miles from Howland Island during the trip. Lots of people, especially adventurers remember her today.
1963: Lee Harvey Oswald mugshot
If the final days of Lee Harvey Oswald weren’t so tragic, one would have referred to it as a whirlwind. Lee Harvey murdered President John F. Kennedy as he rode in an open-care motorcade through Dallas on November 22, 1963. After Lee Harvey escaped the book depository he used as a vantage point, he shot a policeman before he snuck into a theatre. One would have thought he’s such a master of disguise; however, the killer was caught just thirty minutes later. While he was being transferred from Dallas to a more secure jail, Lee Harvey was shot by Jack Ruby, the owner of a strip joint in Dallas. Although many still believe that many theories are surrounding the death of the killer.
1923: Charles Lindbergh at Lambert Field, St. Louis, Missouri
This photo is not about the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby even though that's what comes to mind when the name Lindbergh is mentioned. The picture shows Charles Lindbergh preparing for his first-ever solo flight in 1923 nearly ten years after the kidnapping incident. On successfully making the flight, he was hired to perform at fairs across the country as one of the daredevil pilots. He joined the US Army in 1924 and trained as an Army Air Service Reserve pilot. Exactly four years after he posed to take this photo, he became the 1st pilot to fly from New York to Paris without stopping on the way. More than 100,000 people were present to greet Lindbergh on arrival after flying over 3,600 miles.
1960s: The Beatles in Hamburg, Germany
The Beatles were five in numbers before they had to make the tough professional decision of dropping drummer Pete Best. As at then, they accepted gigs to perform in Germany since Liverpool was industrialized. They also continued to work on their sound, figuring roles for each member of the group. After the exit of Pete, the group became the Fab Four. The decision to drop Pete was necessitated after they auditioned at EMI Studios owned by George Martin in London. According to Paul McCartney, dropping Pete was a difficult decision they were not happy about.
1938: Frank Sinatra mugshot
A mugshot is never desired by anyone, but Frank Sinatra, unfortunately, could not avoid posing for one in 1938. Sinatra's mugshot is from his arrest for sleeping with a noblewoman under the guise that he would marry her. Obviously, colorizing it unravels more findings of the old blue eyes myth.The case against Sinatra took a new turn when it was discovered that the woman was not unmarried when she was messing around with the singer. The case, just like similar past ones, further amplified Sinatra's mythology instead of dampening it.
1967: Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo being taken into custody
The terror of Boston Strangler was all over Boston, Massachusetts from 1962 to 1964. The fear of the silk stocking murder gripped the city that no one knew the next time he would act. What surprises people about the activities of Boston Strangler is that he often leaves no sign of forced entry into the homes of victims. Many victims were found strangled with household items like nylon stocking found around their neck. Although the DNA of DeSalvo matched with one that of the strangler’s last victim, there are theories which believed the more than one person could be linked to the crimes committed. But in the end, the murder stopped sequel to the arrest of DeSalvo. He admitted to the killings when arrested by the Boston police division.
1965: Flight attendants in colorful outfits
The cigarette smoke drenched flights were best known for the mod-inspired outfits in the 1960s. Ladies wore these outfits that depicted the space age to important events and even on travels. The ice cream color skirts and their head wraps were suitable for female as they combine them with the go-go boots in the 1960s. For the men, the sucked down martins suit was the most celebrated outfit for a cross country work trip. Modern wears have outwitted these old fashion clothing, but many have still considered these 1960 outfits as a style of class.
1943: A soldier and his wife saying their goodbyes at Penn. Station, New York
Soldiers are trained to keep their head straight even at the most turbulent times. Even when leaving home for war, some soldiers are ready for the possibility of not returning. World War II was the most deadly war of the 20th century, and things were tough for the fact that people could not communicate with their friends and families. Katharine Phillips, a war correspondent for the Mobile Register, told PBS:
The most worries we had about the war was just death. We just never knew when we’d lose someone that we loved. Our best friend. The boy that was the brother of your best friend. We lived in constant fear of the telegrams. Each day we would read the lists in the newspaper to see if we could identify the names that were there.
1937: The statue of Lady Justice - The Old Bailey - London
Looking at the photo, one might not realize that it was colorized. The Lady Justice statue in the picture stands atop the Old Bailey and hangs up to 200 feet above the road. F. W. Pomeroy sculpted it in 1907 before it was added to the Old Bailey due to massive renovation resulting from a fire incident. The height the statue hangs from is high enough to give viewers that awe-inspiring sensation. Unlike many of its counterparts across the globe, this particular Lady Justice is not blindfolded. Perhaps, justice is not blind in England.
Date Unkown: Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, 'The Master of Suspense'
That is a photo of Alfred Hitchcock, a one-time director of dozens of films. Starting from the 1920s, he directed films like Number 13, Rear Window, Strangers on a Train, and Psycho. His films either focused on crime and false accusations or good people turning bad. He was always working such that he passed away while still working on a script he called The Short Night. The cause of Hitchcock's unfortunate death that was on April 29, 1980, in Bel was kidney failure.
1948: Mafia boss Charles 'Lucky' Luciano in exile in Sicily, Italy
Luciano had to find a way in helping the US to keep himself out of Jail. The imprisoned crime boss was asked to help the US government with the war effort. While Luciano worked with the US military to keep the New York dock safe, the military enacted ‘Operation Underworld.’ The purpose of the law was to keep off Italian and German agents from entering the US via the New York waterfronts;
1943: Actress Susan Peters
Here is Susan Peters in 1943 at the time she was making an appearance in movies like Andy Hardy's Double Life, and Assignment in Brittany. This picture was taken nine years before the death of Susan, who died due to chronic infection and pneumonia. Before her death, Susan grabbed discharged a shotgun into her abdomen while on a hunting trip with her husband. The bullet penetrated her spinal column making her spend the rest of her life on a wheelchair. However, Susan did not stop acting on projects that allowed her to work with her paralysis.
1940s: Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball was a fascinating starlet in Hollywood who was different from other top actors. Ball appeared in comedies by the Marx Brothers and took part in RKO pictures before she changed the landscape of comedy with I Love Lucy. She was persisted in what might have discouraged a lot of people in a career. Ball later explained that handwork and persistent were essential factors that made her reach a mountain top in her career.
1940: Dining with Hans von Luck
High ranking officers in the military are often the ones behind the game theory of wars. They would rather discuss and strategize on how to win the war than stay in the middle of the war to experience the muck. Of course, every soldier would have that wish too; but for World War II, all hands have to be on deck. For Hans-Ulrich Freiherr von Luck und Witten also known as Hans von Luck, his first start in the German army was in 1929, and by the beginning of the World War II, he was already commanding a unit in the 7th Panzer Division.
Hans von Luck rose to the position of captain of the 3rd Panzer Group of Army Group Center on June 1940 where he served in Moscow for a while. Following the cold condition in Russia, he was permitted to leave for Africa after lodging his complaints about the weather of Moscow. Hans von Luck enjoyed a ceasefire with the British troops until 1945 before he was transferred back to Russia where the Soviet army captured him. The soldier spent five years as a prisoner of war.
1912: A busy photographer in Jersey Shore
How do you feel today traveling back in time where you have to rely on photographers to capture your best moments? Such was the case of the 20th-century folks. A day at the beach is a cherished moment for anyone. But back in the day, you will need to part with some cash to get photographers to capture your memorable events like a time out at the beach. Anyone who wanted to have his photo back then would wait for a few minutes for the pictures to be processed and printed. Today, we could capture thousands of memories with just a flash from our mobile devices.
1894: Queen Victoria and King Edward VII with their family at a wedding in Coburg, Germany
The world politics was further strengthened by the wedding of Princess Victoia Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on April 19, 1984. Dignitaries including Grand Duke Vladimir of Russia, King Edward VII, and Queen Victoria came together for the grand 19th-century wedding. This picture is one of the rare photos that showed the happy coexistence of the entire European family before erupting in World War 1. After the wedding, Queen Victoria wrote in her journal:
The whole of our large family party was photographed by English, as well as German photographers. Many groups were taken, & some of me with Vicky & my three sons, & William.
1944: 190A-8, Melsbroek, Belgium
This airplane has spent some good time with military war activities. The abandoned craft must have got its propeller damaged from a crash landing or at least a horrible fall. Colorizing the plane seems an odd job since the original paint of the craft looks sepia-tone already. But what becomes of pilots that survive such a nasty crash? Do they walk away or try to understand the world around them for a few moments? But from this photo, most of the plane looks pretty intact. Whoever was piloting the craft must have escaped the crash or probably took this photo.
1908: An 11-year-old coal miner
While the coal industry was booming in the late 19th century, a lot of organizations made use of children in coal exploration. At that time, there were no laws restricting corporations from hiring children. So, if a child could hold a shovel or a pickaxe, he’s considered fit to dig in the mines. About 2 million children were working in coal mines in 1910 because of the cheap labor they offer organizations.
Things began to change when lots of people showed their distaste in the act when NCLC started circulating pictures of young boys working out themselves in coal mines. The Child Labour Acts took a while before they were enacted. They were not put in place until 1916 after which, working in the mines required a minimum age and maximum shift length for workers.
1939: Vivien Leigh taking a break during the filming of “Gone with the Wind”
Scarlet O’Hara, the southern belle, was the heart of the film Gone with the Wind. One would have thought that the whole movie was cast around Vivian Leigh; although that was not far from the truth since she played the role with so much brass. Leigh was the character that portrayed Scarlet O’Hara in the movie, but in the real sense, the actress was the last of the cast to join the film crew. She almost lost the position because she used her natural English accent during her first audition rather than the southern accent. George Cukor, the film’s initial director, explained:
She began reading this thing very sweetly, and very, very clipped... So I struck her across the face with the rudest thing I could say. She screamed with laughter. That was the beginning of our most tender, wonderful friendship.
1948: Christopher Robin and his fiancee, Lesley de Selincourt
Christopher Robin inspired the work of his father in the Winnie The Pooh. Robin had a tough time growing up under his famous father A.A Milne who often mined his life for stories. The boy was the basis of his father's remarkable story in the Winnie The Pooh. It was not uncommon for his father to be found at the Garrick Club while his mother dresses him up in girlish clothes explained Robin. He grew up by the day distasting the character who shared his name in his father books. He said:
At home I still liked him, indeed felt at times quite proud that I shared his name and was able to bask in some of his glory. At school, however, I began to dislike him, and I found myself disliking him more and more the older I got.
1940: Flight-Lieutenant R H A Lee and Flying Officer K H Blair
One must be brave and courageous in service to win the DSO and DFC military decorations of the United Kingdom. Richard Hugh Antony Lee joined 85 Squadron of the RAF in 1938 and was dispatched to France as soon as war broke out. Sequel to the victory of his Squadron he belonged in 1939, he was decorated with the DSO award and later got the DFC award on May 10, 1940, after controlling Hs126 successfully.
The tough soldier escaped from the German forces after he was shot down on May 11, 1940. He made his return to his squad after escaping before embarking on his final mission with the 85 Squadron in bringing down the enemy soldiers. Details about Lee were not specific after then, but some presumed he was shot down on August 18.
1855: Construction of the Cologne Cathedral
How would Cologne Cathedral foundation builders have known they would not conclude the building would not be completed in their lifetime? The foundation stones of south tower building were laid in 1248 but took a lot of years before the conclusion. Cologne Cathedral building could not continue not until the Protestant Prussian Court decided to work on the façade unto completion. It took 632 years from the date construction started to complete Germany’s largest cathedral in 1473. South tower building remains the tallest building in the world before the Construction of Washington Monument building.
1917: An imitation of Henry Mosler’s painting, "The Birth of the Flag"
Henry Mosler was the mastermind behind the US flag painting in 1911. The 6years picture from 1911 serves as a transformation of the same piece that passed as a meme in the early 20th century. Girls of today would do the mannequin challenge and also take on the Tik Tok dance. But back in 1917, girls were everywhere posing with the American Flag and copying the paintings of Mosler.
The picture reminds us of the constant need for humans to be part of a broader culture. Today, it may be by taking part in a social media challenge that is in vogue or doing something patriotic like the ladies. Either way, we never change in what we love since old practices are reformed into modern methods.
1907: Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich Romanov aboard the Imperial yacht Polar Star
Tsesarevich was the only son of Alexei Nikolaevich and his apparent heir. Born to Emperor Alexei Nikolaevich of the Russian Empire and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsesarevich suffered from hemophilia for his entire life. The congenital disease was that which cause slow blood coagulation and internal bleeding. Anna Vyrubova, one of the Empress’ closest helpers remembered:
It was endless torture for the boy and each of us… he was screaming from the pain all the time, and we had to close our ears while taking care of him.
1944: Lieutenants Bobby de la Tour, Don Wells, John Vischer & Bob Midwood of the 22nd Independent Parachute Company at RAF Harwell Base
It is safe to conclude that everyone was on edge some days before the Battle of Normandy began. No one could have imagined otherwise as the people were nervous and twitchy before the break of the most dangerous frays of World War II. Although things were about to fall apart during the D-Day, these brave men were putting structures in place to ensure they were coordinated even to the last second.
The Operation Tonga mission carried out on the first day almost became a failed mission as the men couldn’t find their landing coordinates. The bad weather and heavy craft equipment were likely reasons for the failure of the task which involved the 22nd Independent Parachute Company.
1960: Regent Street, London
Doesn’t this look beautiful; the sight of London at 1960 Christmas? The décor and lights are in perfect unison, creating an ideal winter season in the middle of London. Such decoration wasn’t always the case in London until an article in the Daily Telegraph threw the city planners into a tizzy by referring to the city as a ‘Christmastime drab.’ Sequel to the attention the report received, the Regent Street Association raised fund and decorated the city with lights. A few years later, Oxford street followed suit putting up attractive lights and transforming London into one of the most beautiful cities to see at the Christmas festive period.
The 1970s: Girls playing the guitar during the USSR
What would a group of little girls be doing if not having fun and not worrying about the rigors of life? These little girls were catching some great fun in the 1970s when things were tough in the USSR. At this time, communism being the predominant force in the state was losing grounds at the height of the Cold War. The country was in a significant state of chaos as the communist party tried to exercise full control over the people. Many Soviets tried to at least ignore the sour facts of life by hanging out and having a great time with friends. They would enjoy themselves together having a lovely time maybe even with a guitar for the fading joy of overbearing communism.
1960: Astrid Kirchherr, the Woman Who First Photographed "The Beatles"
Astrid Kirchherr found love with taking black and white photos even though she initially wanted to study fashion. The Hamburg born photographer worked with Reinhard Wolf from 1959 until 1963 before she got involved with the existentialists while watching Silver Beetles play at the Kaiserkeller club. Kirchherr loved the band, and she kept coming with her camera to see the Silver Beetles play. She eventually took some of the earliest promotional shots of the group. Kirchherr described their early look:
The Beatles were dressed like teddy boys, with these very, very pointed shoes which we in Hamburg had never seen before, We were fascinated with those, just like they were with our things. And their very tight trousers and little tiny grey jackets. They didn't have many clothes, of course. And their hair was combed back with sideboards.
Martha Gellhorn, The Only Woman Who Landed in Normandy on D-Day
Martha Gellhorn was one of the bravest war correspondents of Normandy. She strived to ensure she was always in the middle of the action to give reports about the war. Martha would rather report from Normandy than be sidelined and report on human interest stories. She protected herself with the military and snuck onto a hospital ship on June 6, 1944, before it started sailing across the English Channel. Martha assisted medical teams upon arriving in Normandy and she took as many notes as she could. She wrote in Colliers:
Everyone was violently busy on that crowded, dangerous shore. The pebbles were the size of apples and feet deep, and we stumbled up a road that a huge road shovel was scooping out. We walked with the utmost care between the narrowly placed white tape lines that marked the mine-cleared path, and headed for a tent marked with a red cross… Everyone agreed that the beach was a stinker and that it would be a great pleasure to get the hell out of here sometime.
1943: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill & U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Marrakesh, French Morocco
Here is Winston Churchill (British Prime Minister) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (US President) in Marrakesh, French Morocco for the Casablanca Conference on January 24, 1943. Following the end of the conference, both men waited behind for a few days exploring the city that Churchill loved so much. Churchill had persuaded FDR to wait a few more days who wanted to go home upon conclusion of the conference.
On January 23, 1943, the men arrived at the Villa Taylor exploring the place as earlier agreed. They climbed to the top of the tower to look at the expanse of Marrakesh. Churchill’s doctor wrote, “We stood gazing at the purple hills, where the light was changing every minute.” It was an exciting time for Churchill who stayed yet another day while FDR left the next morning.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower giving a speech to American paratroopers before D-Day
General Dwight D. Eisenhower had met with the US forces and had inspired them with words of impassioned encouragement before they dispatched for beaches Normandy D-Day. He addressed the men whose boots were hitting the ground before releasing a memo for all to read. He said:
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed people of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
1941: HM Submarine URSULA returns to port
On December 11, 1941, the HMS Ursula returned to Gibraltar base on order to patrol the Bay of Biscay. It was a follow-up plan sequel to the information received that German ships were in the place and the HMS Ursula submarine needed to keep an eye on their boats. The subs were in high demand during World War II because they served as an anti-U-Boat ship. The HMS Ursula submarine was finally withdrawn on May 30, 1944, before its transfer to the Soviet Union. The sub spent so much time underwater during the war playing a significant role in the victory of the Allies.
1929: Karstadt department store on Berlin’s Hermannplatz
The structure you see here was at a point one the largest in Berlin. Unfortunately, these structures have ceased to exist, but the original Karstadt department store on Berlin’s Hermannplatz served as the futuristic building and model to other buildings in the area. The building which was designed by architect Philipp Schaefer had an underground section as it towers 233 feet into space. Karstadt was synonymous to modern structures as it had escalators and elevators that connected each of its floors. Today, such is a typical design, but you will agree that the idea of Karstadt was downright futuristic back in 1929.
1917: A meal on wheels, France
This photo shows one of the rarest eating positions to find anyone. We’ve heard of eating on the go, but this is ridiculous. These men, alongside a cute dog, are having a great time riding on a flatbed truck as they have a light lunch. The photo could pass for one of the most bizarre pictures of the 20th century, but could that be a way to eat in France back then? Or the men were working on the truck and decided to take a lunch break. Either way, the photo is quite astonishing and whoever snapped them had a great foresight of taking this photo-shoot before the men finished their meal.
1918: Bath Suit Fashion Parade, Seal Beach, California
A time put at the beach is fun for California girls to jump into their swimsuits and ballet shoes for a cruise. Who doesn’t love a fashion parade anyway? Such an event was a great time to showcase your outfit and reveal some weird boots. But for this photo, it seems the show isn’t a city-wide event; instead, it looks like the old version of what ‘duck face’ or some other trending photos of the 21st century. Observe the grimacing faces of these girls, their strange crouch and oddly bent legs; there are having a share of the photo trend that looks confusing to grab even when the image is in full color.
1918: French and American soldiers at the altar of St. Joan of Arc Church
The Basilique du Bois Chenu, also known as the Joan of Arc Church overlooks the village of Domrémy. The church which was designed architect Paul Sedille in 1881 serves as the meeting point for soldiers throughout the World War 1. It is situated outside of Domrémy, France top of the area where Joan of Arc prayed in the Chapelle Sainte-Marie.
The French troops supported the Americans in overseeing the place during the last half of 1918. If the soldiers in this photo look relaxed, its simply because the photoshoot was captured a few moments before Germany signed the Armistice ending World War 1 on November 11, 1918.
1940: "Crossing The Storm" by John Vachon.
The calm in the middle of the storm in this photo is arguably made possible through colorizing the photo. The American heartland photo was one out of the many that John Vachon captured showing the iconography of America. Vachon took a few street photographs which summed up into city life, but this countryside picture evokes a feeling of expectation.
The picture was taken at McHenry County, North Dakota. It evokes a dreadful country life more than any Cohen Brothers film can. Thanks to the colorization of the image, you could almost feel the moisture and the hot hair blowing across the field when you take a good look at the photo.
1950s: L.A. river drag racing
Young people in Los Angeles around the 1950s enjoyed drag racing, and they made the practice a significant part of their lives. Bob’s Big Boy was the meeting point of many racers who lived in the valley where they often race into the city. It was not unusual for the athletes to burn rubber to get back home before they were caught by the 5-0. Former drag racer Tommy Iwo told the LA Times:
At Bob’s, you’d choose somebody off and then head over to the River Road. We’d race and get out of there in a hurry. If somebody called the L.A. cops on us, we’d scoot back across the river to Burbank… It wasn’t a money deal. We didn’t race for pink slips. It was a matter of pride. You’d race and go back to Bob’s Big Boy.
1955: Eutaw Street in Baltimore, Maryland
Eutaw Street in Baltimore was the place to go if you need to see the Orioles play baseball or if you need to stroll in search of a cold drink on a hot day. Downtime Baltimore is now snowy and quieter today than it used to be. Back in the 1950s, the street lined with substantial brick buildings and residential apartments was the place to be if you one needs to get some fresh fish.This colorized photo shows how things can change in just a few decades. It is amazing how a place that looks as though would house families forever quickly turns out to be a quiet or desolate zone.
1915: "Classy Campers," somewhere in the USA
I am sure you would prefer classy camping if you have the opportunity of taking part in one. Here was a camp that had ready amenities for men and women that love to have some fun partying while camping. The 20th-century camp had musical instruments, canoes and all you would need for a weekend party.
Saturdays were the time to have regattas- the boat driven by motor activity which was propelled by sails. Also, the gramophone was there at the camp for playing tunes of the era Like 'Camp Town Ladies' or “A Little Bit Of Cucumber” among others. What a time and place to have fun.
These colorized pictures are just awesome! Adding color to these black and white pictures gives us a better understanding of past events or at least help contextualize the visuals in a better way. Let us know which was the most beautiful colorized image on this list, in your opinion. If you like this article, kindly share it with friends who enjoy reading about history in the form of colorized historical pictures.