Historical Insights: A Curated Collection of Impactful Vintage Photographs

March 21, 2024

Senator John McCain being captured in Vietnam.

Rare historical photos are always fascinating, but thanks to magnificent colorizing technology we can finally experience history the way it happened. These vintage colorized photos provide a glimpse into the past in a way that you'll never see in history books. These aren't just photos, they're time machines.

Look closer at each of these photos... you'll find a side of history that you won't see anywhere else. They don't just provide context for some of the biggest moments in history, they tell the real stories about what happened in the past.

While you may be able to see black and white versions of these photos somewhere else, seeing them in color is the only real way to experience the past. Keep scrolling and fall into colorized history, you'll never want to leave.

source: getty images

When John McCain was taken as a prisoner of war on October 26, 1967, he had every right to believe that his life was over. The future senator was in the middle of his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam when his bomber was hit with a missile as he flew over Hanoi. After his capture he spent five years as a prisoner of war.

McCain used his ejector seat to escape the craft, but with a broken leg and two broken arms there was little to do when he was pulled from the water by men from North Vietnam. He was beaten, stabbed with a bayonet, and after the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was an admiral in the U.S. Navy they delivered him to a prison camp known as "The Plantation." U.S. Air Force Major George "Bud" Day told ABC his thoughts when he first saw McCain at the prison camp:

I was just astounded at his condition. I took one look at him and mentally said to myself, ‘They’ve dumped this guy on us to die so they can blame it on our neglect.’ He was emaciated. His eyes really had that fevered bright death look. He stunk. He just hadn’t been washed or cleaned since I had no idea when. I never expected him to make it through the night. But he did. Dying was not his plan.

Mothers in Oslo visiting children in quarantine

source: Reddit

Whenever a major illness hit Oslo in the 19th century people weren't able to stay home due to cramped conditions, instead they had to stay in plague hospitals or lazaretti. If someone was wealthy enough they were able to receive medical treatment at home, but everyone else had to go to the lazaretti or lazaretto. The image you see here is of mothers visiting their children during an outbreak of diptheria.

Borghild Barth-Heyerdahl Roald, a professor at the University of Oslo, explained to Science Norway why those who were ill had to quarantine in a hospital rather than at home like we do now:

Today we think of the hospitals mostly as treatment institutions, with the patient at the center. But 100 years ago, few therapies were available when it came to treating diseases, and it was therefore more important to isolate patients who were ill.