60 Colorized Photos So Chilling We Can't Look Away

February 6, 2024

Robert Wadlow, the tallest person in history at 8ft 11.1in, and Clarence Howerton, one of the smallest people alive at the time at 2ft 4in, compared their shoe sizes, 1937. 

Thanks to modern technology, we can now get an even more accurate view of the past via colorized photographs. Prior to the 1970s, most photographs were shot using black and white film. While these images are important tools to help us understand the past, we can get even more details from photographs that have been digitally colorized. For the first time (well, the first time in a long time), we can see the rich and colorful world that our ancestors lived in. This collection of colorized photos shows us that world. 

Credit @jecinci

The world’s tallest … shoe salesman? It is true. Sort of. Robert Wadlow, the tallest man in history, stood a staggering 8-feet, 11.1-inches in height, the result of a pituitary gland disorder. Beginning in 1936, Wadlow earned his living as a living exhibit with the Ringling Brothers Circus, but he refused to be a total victim of exploitation. For example, he refused to wear the outlandish garments the circus suggested, and he refused to be a sideshow attraction. In 1938, Wadlow took a job with the International Show Company as a promotional spokesperson. Part of his job required him to travel the country to promote the brand. He took great pains to refer to the job as “advertising” rather than simply being a freak show attraction. Part of his pay from the shoe gig came in the form of free shoes, like those seen in this photo … that he is comparing against the tiny shoes worn by Clarence Howerton, who stood just a little over two-feet tall. 

Princess Faiza of Egypt ruffled feathers when she married a Turk. 

Credit: @colorize_memories

A member of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, Egypt’s Princess Faiza was born at the Abdeen Palace in Cairo in 1923. She was the third of the five children born to King Fuad I and Nazli Sabri. Her brother became King Farouk. She angered her brother when she refused to marry within the Middle East royal family. She chose instead to marry Bulent Rauf, her cousin, a Turk. King Farouk was displeased with the union, in part because Rauf was western educated. Despite this, the couple exchanged vows on May 17, 1945 and moved into the Zohria Palace, located on an island in the Nile.