In 1911, American newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane came up with the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” It’s a simple idea that applies to a lot of things in our lives, but especially to old pictures. Sometimes, a simple picture can tell you more about history than any story or document you could read or look at.
All of these old photos tell stories about the people or events in history that they show. When they were first taken, they were only meant to show what was going on in the present. Many pictures don’t become iconic until years later, when we realize how important they were and how they fit into history. From famous people and famous places to everyday life in the past, these old photos show history in a way that makes it easier for us to relate to and understand.
Maybe the wars, poverty, freedom struggles, and small miracles of the past can teach us something we can use now. Look at our list of rare historical photos and tell us what you think we’ve learned.