Joseph Niepce has long been credited with the creation of the camera, but in history, little emphasis has been given to the influential role the device has had. After all, the best photography has captured life’s frailties as well as its excellence in ways no other medium could. And whether that be war, famine, or the glamour of Hollywood, history, as we know it today, is largely based on photographic documents.
With that in mind, we at Men’s Den thought we’d delve back in time and go through twenty-one rare photos you’ve likely never seen before.
The first phase of the Vietnam war took place between the years 1959-1963- just 14 years after WW II. And as this poignant yet heartbreaking photo from 1963 showed, the sacrifices made by these soldiers extended to not just their country, but also their loved ones.
Many forget the impact war has on nature as well as human beings, a truth that is timely captured by this juxtaposition photograph as Hawker Hurricanes bombed a hillside in Murmansk, Russia while a shell-shocked reindeer looked on.
Away from war, the 1960s was a big time for popular culture, with British band ‘The Beatles’ taking the world by storm. At the same time, the boxer Muhammed Ali was fast becoming one of the world’s greatest sports personalities the world had ever seen.
At the height of the Vietnam protests, the ‘Flower Power’ slogan, an expression coined by American Beat poet Allen Ginsburg, was seen by many of the younger generation as a means of protest against pro-war governmental policies and American Dream ideals.
Years later, the flower has become a symbol for hippy culture and was viewed by many as the catalyst for the counterculture movement that followed.
Backstage at a gig in New York, 1969, Hendrix and Jagger were in what many would call the golden age of their careers.
When this photo was captured at a photoshoot for Fortune Magazine in 1981, Steve Jobs and Bil Gates were reportedly close friends, and even went on double dates together!
There are no photographs of the rescuing of passengers onboard the ill-fated Titanic, but photographers on board the RMS Carpathia steamship managed to capture some of the 705 survivors they managed to help save. This photo, albeit quite weak in quality, shows part of the courageous rescue.
In 1888, Gustave Eiffel oversaw construction of the Eiffel Tower in preparation for its entry into the 1889 worlds fair. However, over a hundred years later, the tower, which was never intended to remain in place, has since become a global icon for the capital.
American astronaut Buzz Aldrin may not have been the first man on the moon, but at least, he had the accolade of taking the first space selfie. Tweeting about it years later, the famed Nasa spaceman wrote, ‘Did you know I took the first space selfie during Gemini 12 Mission in 1966? BEST SELFIE EVER.’ We agree, Buzz. We agree.
This photo was taken shortly after the end of WWII and was one of the first to capture the bunkers interior, where it is believed the Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, spent his final weeks before committing suicide.
Mark Zuckerberg was only in his sophomore year at Havard when he founded Facebook from the confines of his small dormitory. Pictured looking carefree (and slightly hungover) in his more formative days, little did he know of the global fame and $46 billion wealth that would follow.
For years, Germany was split into to two countries: the socialist East and the capitalist West and visits to opposing territories were strictly forbidden. This meant would-be visitors needed a spark of creativity if they were to overcome such obstacles.
Born in 1746, Hannah Stilley was probably born further back in time than any other photoed individual when her photo was taken in 1840.
When American navy soldiers returned from battle in the August of 1945, to celebrate V-J day, one sailor took it upon himself to kiss a nearby nurse. Speaking to Time Magazine, Alfred, now 92, joked that his wife was in the background when he kissed the nurse. “I remember what those nurses did out there….is the reason I grabbed that nurse,” he explained. Good save Alfred!
Believe it or not, strict modesty laws in early 1900s America limited female bathers to only wearing traditional swimwear garments, This led to many arrests and fines for anyone showing anything shorter than the measurements permitted. But it wasn’t only women who bore the wrath of the modesty police. Men were also susceptible, and it wasn’t until 1937 that males were allowed to go topless on a beach.
Audrey Hepburn needs little introduction, but her adorable friend does. The beautiful, yet unusual photo was taken when she was out with her pet deer ‘Ip’ in Beverley Hills, 1958.
In a sordid state of affairs, husband and wife Ray and Lucille Chalifoux were forced to part ways with their children due to falling behind in rent payments. The picture was first published by The Vidette-Messenger of Valparaiso but was soon picked up by many of the national papers. Years later, some of the siblings reunited, with one scathing in her analysis of her adoptive mother’s actions. Speaking to the North West Indiana Times, Sue Chalifoux, now 67, said, “I hope she burns in hell.”
Before London underground trains took on the actual shape of a tube, they were merely wooden train carriages, as this 1862 photo of the first ever underground journey at Edgware Road Station shows.
Between 1958- 1960, -arguably the height of the King’s fame- Presley undertook his military service as a regular soldier. In part, this was due to his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, refusing to let him join the Speical Forces. And though it would have meant only six weeks basic training, he would also have to perform to the troops which would be recorded, and thereby becoming the property of Uncle Sam.
Captured by Associated Press photojournalist Horst-Faas in Vietnam, 1965, the photo paints a different image of war. At first glance, you see a handsome, innocent young man, and on the other, a soldier fighting in a war, that in his words, is a living hell. Many other American troops, disillusioned with the war effort, scribed similar messages onto their helmets as an act of defiance.
Many people forget the Nazi’s ruthless invasion of France in 1940. In fact, France was under German rule for four years and its conquest was perhaps Hitler’s greatest achievement. But while France was a sworn enemy, Hitler made no secret of his love for the city of lights and is reported to have said that visiting the city shortly after the invasion, “Was the greatest and finest moment of my life.”