While some photographs capture our attention because of how the artist behind the picture has decided to compose the shot, others are fascinating simply because of the subjects that they depict. Below are some captivating photographs that tell stories about our past, depicting the people, places and events that have shaped the course of history. Some of these pictures tell us about history in a way that books and documents will never be able to.

#40. Woman With A Gas-Resistant Pram, England, 1938
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#39. Elvis in the Army, 1958

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#38. 106-year-old Armenian Woman guards home, 1990

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#37. Baby cages used to ensure that children get enough sunlight and fresh air when living in an apartment building, ca. 1937

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#36. Animals being used as part of medical therapy, 1956

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#35. Testing of new bulletproof vests, 1923

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#34. Hindenburg Disaster, May 6, 1937

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#33. Circus hippo pulling a cart, 1924

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#32. Annette Kellerman promotes women’s right to wear a fitted one-piece bathing suit, 1907. She was arrested for indecency

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#31. Annie Edison Taylor, the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel, 1901

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#30. Unpacking the head of the Statue of Liberty, 1885

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#29. The original Ronald McDonald, 1963

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#28. Disneyland Employee Cafeteria in 1961

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#27. Advertisement for Atabrine, anti-malaria drug, in Papua, New Guinea during WWII

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#26. Soldier shares a banana with a goat during the battle of Saipan, ca. 1944

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#25. Little girl with her doll sitting in the ruins of her bombed home, London, 1940

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#24. Construction of the Berlin wall, 1961

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#23. Unknown soldier in Vietnam, 1965

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#22. Bookstore in London ruined by an air raid, 1940

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#21. Walter Yeo, one of the first to undergo an advanced plastic surgery and a skin transplant, 1917

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#20. Suntan vending machine, 1949

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#19. Measuring bathing suits – if they were too short, women would be fined, 1920’s

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#18. Martin Luther King with his son removing a burnt cross from their front yard, 1960

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#17. Hotel owner pouring acid in the pool while black people swim in it, ca. 1964

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#16. Lifeguard on the coast, 1920’s

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#15. Artificial legs, UK, ca. 1890

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#14. Mom and son watching the mushroom cloud after an atomic test, Las Vegas, 1953

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#13. Mother hides her face in shame after putting her children up for sale, Chicago, 1948

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#12. Austrian boy receives new shoes during WWII

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#11. Hitler’s officers and cadets celebrating Christmas, 1941.

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#10. Christmas dinner during Great Depression: turnips and cabbage

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#9. The real Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin, ca. 1927

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#8. Last prisoners of Alcatraz leaving, 1963

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#7. Melted and damaged mannequins after a fire at Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London, 1930

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#6. A space chimp posing to camera after a successful mission to space, 1961

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#5. Illegal alcohol being poured out during Prohibition, Detroit, 1929

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#4. Princeton students after a freshman vs. sophomores snowball fight, 1893

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#3. A beautiful suicide – 23 year-old Evelyn McHale jumped from the 83rd floor of the Empire State Building and landed on a United Nations limousine, 1947

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#2. First morning after Sweden changed from driving on the left side to driving on the right, 1967

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#1. Charlie Chaplin at age 27, 1916

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