Historical Moments Captured: Photos with Powerful Stories

February 21, 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. 

This beautiful lady sitting outside a cafe in 1952 was actually a model posing for a famous fashion photographer. 

Photo: Georges Dambier. Credit: Jose Gades.

This colorized photograph of a stunning woman in Paris was shot by renowned photographer Georges Dambier. A top fashion photographer of the post-World War II era, Dambier took a different approach to his photos than most fashion photographers of his time. Rather than have the models stand facing him with stiff poses and emotionless faces, Dambier wanted his images to look more like high-quality snapshots. He wanted to show his models enjoying life. He shot them looking away from the camera, doing everyday activities, and looking like they were happy and full of life. This image is a classic example of that.