22 Rare Photos From History You Haven’t Seen Before


With the advent of technology, almost everyone in the world has a camera with them at all times courtesy of their phones. However, decades ago, taking photos was a luxury that was done very rarely. Usually people only spent money for photos if a loved one had died, as the Victorians have demonstrated with “memento mori” photographs. Eventually photography was used for more official documentation such as mug shots, and to celebrate certain moments in history. Some of these photographs were so rare that when they were unearthed, it genuinely surprised people. Here are 22 very rare photos from history that you might have never seen before.

#22 – Audrey Hepburn

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Taken in 1958 in Beverly Hills, California, actress Audrey Hepburn was photographed inside a grocery store with her pet deer Pippin, nicknamed Ip. She adopted Ip as a baby during the filming of “Green Mansions” in order to form a bond with the animal.

#21 – Ernest Hemingway

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The then 24 year old Ernest Hemingway used this passport when he returned to Europe in 1923 to continue working as a correspondent for The Toronto Star. The photo is now part of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library’s Hemingway Collection.

#20 – The Beatles

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The world knows all about the iconic photo of The Beatles for the cover of their album, “Abbey Road.” Here’s a lesser-seen photo from the same day. This is a shot of the group moments before they crossed the street and made history.

#19 – Robin Williams

One of these cheerleaders is not like the others. In November 1979, Robin Williams became the first male cheerleader for the Denver Broncos. This stunt was pulled thanks to Williams’ show at the time, “Mork and Mindy.” Possibly inspired by the comedian’s cheering, the Broncos defeated the New England Patriots 45-10.

#18 – Tomb of Tutankhamun

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It took 3,245 years for Howard Carter and his associates to discover King Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt in 1922. The tomb was plagued with rumors about it being cursed, which resulted in newspapers fueling it further by saying that whoever entered the tomb would have an early death.

#17 – Bruce Lee

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You would expect the Asian man in the photo to be a simple man trying to have a good time with his lady friend, not one of the most recognized martial artists in the world. He took up cha-cha dancing in order to impress girls, but ended up being so good at it that he was declared Hong Kong Cha-Cha Champion in 1958.

#16 – Hachiko

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You might not think anything about the dead dog in the photo until you find out that this was taken during the burial of Hachiko, the most famous dog from Japan. He is remembered for being so loyal that he continued to wait at the train station for his master every single day, even after their death.

#15 – Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee

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Fans of martial art movies might get a kick out of this photo of Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee with arms around each other. Now the world still needs to know who would win in a fight. Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee?

#14 – Steve Jobs and Bill Gates

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Here we see two of the most recognized faces from Silicon Valley discussing the future of the personal computer: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. By 1991, Bill was already a millionaire and Steve was the head of NeXt.

#13 – Vladimir Putin

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The boy on the left without a smile on his face is actually future Russian president, Vladimir Putin. This is one of the very few photos of Putin as a young boy. Who would expect that he’d take control of a whole country come adulthood?

#12 – The Beatles

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The Beatles may have already been mentioned in this post, but I just couldn’t help including one of the last known photos of the Fab Four together. This was their last photo session together, taken two days after their final recording session.

#11 – Queenie the Elephant

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We’ve seen modern elephants that have been trained to play soccer or paint, but we’ve yet to see one that was as adventurous as Queenie, the water skiing elephant. She was famous during the late 1950’s to early 1960’s for her talent in the water.

#10 – Elton John

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You might not recognize the man behind the piano in this photograph, and you’d be surprised to find out that he’s actually Elton John. The picture was taken aboard Sir Elton John’s private plane in 1976 whilst entertaining some of his guests.

#9 – Queen Elizabeth

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Being a princess when the Second World War broke out, people would have expected the future Queen Elizabeth II to be sheltered inside a castle instead of serving her country’s cause. Here she is in her uniform while on service.

#8 – Osama bin Laden

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You would never recognize the boy in the green sweater and blue pants on the right side of this photograph. What if you found out that he’s actually the future leader of Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden? Osama was once a normal lad, pictured here as a teenager enjoying a trip with some of his family members.

#7 – Amelia Earhart

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The smile on Amelia Earhart’s face didn’t predict what was to come during her last flight. This photograph was taken during her preparation procedures for her flight around the world in 1937. Unfortunately it’s been almost 80 years and no concrete explanation of what happened to her plane.

#6 – First Walmart Store

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Before it was known as one of the biggest supermarket chains in the US, Walmart was the humble mom and pop shop Walton’s Five and Dime in Bentonville, Arkansas. Currently it no longer serves as a store, but as the Walmart Visitor Center.

#5 – Elvis Presley

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Just as soon as Elvis became a superstar, his country suddenly needed his service. Being famous, he worked twice as hard in order to not come off as someone with an ego to his comrades. By 1964, he was officially discharged from service.

#4 – Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy

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This is a rare photo of a future president meeting the current president at the time. This photo was taken in 1963 when Bill was a senator for the Boys Nation, and met John F. Kennedy. He attributed this encounter as one of the moments that influenced him to serve the public.

#3 – Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin, real-life versions

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If you were unaware, Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin actually existed in real life. Christopher Robin Milne’s stuffed toys inspired the animals in Winnie’s world. A.A. Milne then took inspiration from his son in order to create one of his most beloved works.

#2 – Children for Sale

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Prior to judging the mother in this photo, you should keep in mind that she and her husband made the heartbreaking decision to sell their kids in 1948. They never would have done so if they weren’t about to be evicted from their home and didn’t have enough money to feed their children. The good news is, that after decades of being apart, the siblings in the photo have reunited with each other.

#1 – John Lennon’s Glasses

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This pair of glasses were the ones that John Lennon wore when he was shot On December 8th, 1980 in New York. The following year, Yoko Ono included an image of her late husband’s glasses on the cover of her album, “Season of Glass.”