Historical Moments Captured: Photos with Powerful Stories

April 9, 2024

A Tasmanian Tiger before they went extinct in 1936. 

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: @australian_history_colourised

This poor fellow in this colorized photo from 1936 was one of the last of his kind. He was a thylacine, more commonly known as a Tasmanian tiger. A carnivore native to New Guinea and Tasmania, as well as the Australian mainland, the Tasmanian tiger was once an apex predator, but humans were encouraged to hunt them to keep them away from livestock. The introduction of domestic dogs into the area also led to their decline. By 1936, there were none of the Tasmanian tigers left. 

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.