Historical Moments Captured: Photos with Powerful Stories

May 22, 2024

Escape the heat with a day at the beach ... the crowded beach at Atlantic City, 1908. 

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 @sebcolorisation

What is better on a hot summer day than a beach outing? In 1908, when this photo was taken, homes were not air-conditioned. In the sweltering heat of the summer months, the only escape from the heat was to go to the beach. The ocean breeze was refreshing, and so was the cool water of the Atlantic Ocean. Atlantic Beach was a popular destination for folks living in the hot, dusty cities. Donning their swimming attire – which was a far cry from today’s skimpy swimwear – beachgoers were all set to hit the waves and cool off. 

Mormon polygamists at the Utah Penitentiary, 1889. ☠️

Credit: @madsmadsen.ch

In 1845, Mormon leader Joseph Smith was attacked and murdered because of his extreme religious views. His followers, under Brigham Young as their new leader, migrated to the wilds of Utah in 1847 where they hoped to practice their unorthodox beliefs in seclusion. One of the Mormon beliefs that ruffled a lot of feathers was polygamy. When Utah applied for statehood, there was a condition to its acceptance into the union – a ban on polygamy had to be added to the state constitution. Utah was granted statehood on January 4, 1896, and afterward, men with more than one wife could be arrested for the crime of polygamy.