25 Fascinating Photos That Show The Strange Side of History

As we browse through thousands of photos each day, we often come upon unique, strange, or simply extraordinary photos that we’d love to share, but simply don’t fit anywhere else. As such, we wanted to put together a story that grouped together these mysterious, misfit photos! We hope you enjoy them…

1) Testing the Bulletproof Vest, 1923. This photo shows WH Murphy and his assistant, both of the Protective Garment Corporation of New York. The company had been working on perfecting a light-weight vest to be used by police forces across the nation. Here we see the moment the assistant fired two .38 round slugs at Murphy from 10 feet away. According to the Washington City Police that were hosting the demonstration, Murphy didn’t bat an eye!


2) The Gas-Resistant Carriage. A woman walks her baby in a gas-resistant carriage in 1938. Fear of the bomb or a gas attack was so prevalent during these times in Europe that many people spared no cost!


3) The Cane Flask! During Prohibition, people came up with all kinds of tricks and products to get around the regulations and ever-watchful eye of those who enforced them. Here we see a young woman displaying the perfect moment to pour a little out from her handy cane flask!

prohibition_cane_flask4) The Model T Elevator. This alluring photo has always captured our attention. It is from 1936 Chicago where over-crowding downtown with the influx of SO many cars lead to some really neat and creative ways to manage parking. This was an early incarnation of the very same type of storage elevators you see in big cities today, but it was certainly a new thing back then, and still looks pretty amazing today!


5) Spray Tan Vending Machine. The year was 1949 and vending machines were becoming quite the craze; however, some would argue that people got a little too creative when these portable sun tan machines were rolled out. But hey, when you need a little bronzing before your next appointment, why not?!


6) The Double-Decker Demo. The UK were pioneers in public transport by really pushing for the double decker busses throughout the city. However, both the public and government officials were wary at first. The tall, narrow vehicles looked as if they’d tip over with the slightest breeze. To counter these worries, the manufacturers put on demonstrations like this one in 1933 that showed that even at extreme angles, the busses were at little risk of tipping!


7) Knocker-Upper on the Job. This early 1900s photo captures what was known as a “knocker-upper” doing his morning rounds. Before the age of alarm clocks on our phones, people often had a hard time waking up on time. They thus contracted with men such as these to come give them a quick “knock” on the window each morning!

knocker_upper_early_1900s8) The First Selfie. It was 1839 and there was a mad rush to get the first commercial camera to market. Various inventors and businessmen were working on different techniques in the late 1930s, and one of them was this man, Robert Cornelius, who of course had to take the first-ever selfie!

1939_first_selfie9) Watering the Penguins. This 1930s photo was a promotional shot for a local zoo and shows a zookeeper giving the penguins a nice little afternoon shower. This one always makes us laugh.


10) Dog Man with Cat. People have long tried to get their pets in creative photos, but this one from 1950 takes the cake. Here we see a nice doggo in his best outfit with his favorite kitty friend on his lap. You have to think this one took quite a few shots to get right.


11) Out the Window, not Down the Hatch. The men who led the raids during the Prohibition Era were ruthless, as seen in this 1929 raid in Detroit. You of course have to allow for some of the effect being due to a longer exposure time, but either way, that’s a LOT of whisky streaming out the windows!


12) Over the Falls She Goes. At the turn of the century, people were seemingly fascinated with daredevil attempts to survive going over the Niagara Falls. The first woman to do it was Annie Edson Taylor who successfully survived in this custom-built barrel in October of 1901.

annie_edison_taylor13) We’re Moving, Honey! This amazing photo shows a team of nearly thirty horses at the ready to move this large home to a new location. Back in the day, most homes were constructed such they could easily be moved, but it is still a sight to see!

movinghouse14) Messy-Haired Lincoln. Before Lincoln was President, he was a well-known rabble-rouser in Illinois and D.C. This 1857 portrait was evidently taken after the photographer collected him at a bar and Lincoln refused to straighten his hair. We gotta say, we dig it, Abe!


15) Colorful Flour Sacks. This LIFE magazine photo shows something amazing that happened during the Great Depression. When flour and feed companies realized that women were using their cloth sacks to make dresses for their girls, they swallowed the additional cost and began putting colorful and pretty patterns on the bags themselves. And so they helped clothe a struggling nation!


16) COLLEGE! A group of girls pose during a sleep over at Peace College, Raleigh, NC, c.1910’s. We’ve always been curious about what dorm rooms looked like back then!


17) Downtown Battleship? That’s right, your eyes aren’t deceiving you: in 1917, the Navy built a nearly full-scale battleship in downtown New York City to aid in the recruitment effort that would soon be vital in WWI. The ship had a fully-functioning crew and people came out at all times of the day and night to see the crew perform their duties.

battle418) The First Ghost Photo? The first potentially authentic ghost photo was taken in 1891 by a young woman named Sybell Corbet while she was visiting the library at the Combermere Abbey in Cheshire, England. You’ll notice the faint outline of a man sitting in the chair in the foreground. Lord Combermere had died a few days earlier in a riding accident and this photo was taken during his funeral when the entire staff was out of the home. It’s enough to make you wonder…

p02vnf8n19) Let’s Hit the Road, Ethel! Before companies fully-developed the concept of the mobile home or RV, various handymen and inventors played around with customizing their own versions, as we see here in this amazing photo from 1926.


20) Getting in a Workout on the Titanic. The Titanic aimed to do everything over-the-top and as lavish as possible, and this meant a state of the art gym as well! We don’t often think that people 100 years ago really used gym equipment given how active they were, but this 1912 photo gives a unique glimpse in to what early gyms looked like.


21) The Biggest Horse Ever. This is a photo of “Brooklyn Supreme,” billed in the 1930s as the world’s largest horse. The Belgian Stallion weighed 3200 pounds! Quite an impressive horse! Courtesy: KY Horse Park


22) Risking it All for the Gold. On August 16, 1896, gold was discovered in the Yukon territory of Northwest Canada. Word traveled quickly down through Seattle and San Francisco, and it prompted more than 100,000 people to drop everything and make the migration north. While the trials and tribulations of the Oregon Trail had been well-documented, nothing could prepare the would-be millionaires for the harsh weather and conditions they would soon find. This photo shows the long line of people trekking up what was named the “Golden Stair”.

nypl23) Little Miss Sure-Shots: The members of the 1925 Drexel Institute women’s rifle team. They certainly have some character, don’t they?!

15327367_1220583651341520_1092234130226506795_n24) No Decency! Two women being arrested in Chicago in 1922 for wearing one-piece bathing suits without the required leg coverings.


25) Dangerous Bike Gang Coming! The Kendall Green Bicycle Club in 1884! Can you imagine riding one of these?!


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