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Realistically colorized historical photos make the past seem incredibly real [36 pictures]

Nov 6, 2013 By Abraham

Over the last couple years, an increasingly popular trend online has been to create and share colorized photos from history. Artists such as Jordan LloydDana Keller and Sanna Dullaway take intriguing old black-and-white photos and bring them to life with color as if they’d been taken only yesterday.

Here are some examples…

Unemployed Lumber Worker and His Wife, circa 1939

Colorized Historical Photos - 05

Testing the Hydrogen Bomb

Colorized Historical Photos - 26

London, 1945

Colorized Historical Photos - 01

Hindenburg Disaster, 1937

Colorized Historical Photos - 02

Japanese Archers, circa 1860

Colorized Historical Photos - 03

View from the Capitol in Nashville, 1864

Colorized Historical Photos - 04

Audrey Hepburn

Colorized Historical Photos - 06

Albert Einstein in Long Island, 1939

Colorized Historical Photos - 07

Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels scowls at a Jewish photographer, 1933

Colorized Historical Photos - 08

Baltimore Slums, 1938

Colorized Historical Photos - 09

British Troops Board Their Train for the Front, 1939

Colorized Historical Photos - 10

Oscar II, King of Sweden and Norway, 1880

Colorized Historical Photos - 11

Walt Whitman, 1887

Colorized Historical Photos - 12

Mark Twain, circa 1900

Colorized Historical Photos - 13

Charlie Chaplin, 1916

Colorized Historical Photos - 14

Elizabeth Taylor, 1956

Colorized Historical Photos - 15

Country store, 1939

Colorized Historical Photos - 16

Washington D. C., 1921

Colorized Historical Photos - 17

Charles Darwin, 1874

Colorized Historical Photos - 18

Abraham Lincoln, 1865

Colorized Historical Photos - 19

Theodore Roosevelt

Colorized Historical Photos - 20

 Louisville, Kentucky, 1937

Colorized Historical Photos - 21

 Big Jay McNeely, Olympic Auditorium, 1953

Colorized Historical Photos - 20

Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation, 1963

Colorized Historical Photos - 23

Anne Frank, 1942

Colorized Historical Photos - 24

Nicola Tesla

Colorized Historical Photos - 25

Kissing the War Goodbye, 1945

Colorized Historical Photos - 27

For more colorized photos, visit DynamichromePast in Colour, History in Color, the popular subreddit Colorized History, or (in book form) Colorized Photographs.

(via Imgur)


  1. PJ TimesSq says:

    (Man standing on the right in the final picture)

    Amateurs – I distinctly remember that the pants I was wearing that day were blue.

          1. Rory Cowieson says:

            Your username is ironic because you’re not even smart enough to realise he was joking… the picture has been colourised, as in the colours have been guessed to make it look realistic and he is implying that they chose the wrong colour for the guy on the rights ‘pants’ because they could have been any colour but they chose green for the photo.

            Think before you make yourself look like an idiot.

          2. F says:

            Rory, just wondering… do those pants really look green to you? Because on my computer they very clearly seem brown. Anyone else want to weigh in?

          3. Cheryl says:

            Color output can appear different than the original if your computer monitor is not properly calibrated for the intended color working space. I am interested in what color working space is used for these photos. The man’s pants appear light brown on my computer monitor, which has been calibrated for Adobe RGB. Any comments, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

          4. Lee says:

            Rory … Smarter Than You was replying to Mariellen, who said her mom was born in 46 and not yet 70, implying that the person in the picture couldn’t possibly be 100. Smarter Than You was pointing out that the picture was taken in ’45 and that the man in the picture appears to be an adult, who could be over 34, making it possible that the man currently be over 100 years old.

            Makes the fact that you’re firing off Smarter Than You, for not getting the post you thought he was replying to, kind of ironic. Especially that parting shot.

        1. Michelle says:

          Seriously Mariellen? The original poster claimed to be the MAN standing off to the side, not a newborn babe. If he was a grown man in 1945, he would have been born in 1925 or earlier, which would now make him 88+. Before you lyao at someone make sure you know what you’re talking about.

          As an aside, I think the original poster was claiming to be a time traveler, not 100 years old.

          1. Brandon says:

            Seriously Michelle, so what if the original poster is 88+? You act like someone that old is incapable of sitting at a computer and posting a comment on this site. Ageist much?

          2. Marty says:

            While the comment is meant to be funny, it’s not unrealistic for it to be posted by someone alive and well today.

            My father fought in WWII in the South Pacific. He was part of Marine air squadron 413 stationed around the Marshall islands.

            He is 92 as of this past week and living in Maryland with Mom (married 50+ years). He wasn’t in New York on VJ day, but he very well could have been.

          3. Correction ton says:

            Seriously Brandon, What happened is Mariellen made it seem like it was ridiculous for the person to be 100 years old or around that age in present day instead thinking they would be closer to 70. This is obviously wrong and thats all Michelle was saying. That the person would be at least 88 years old and more likely older, i don’t think it had anything to do with the person being so old they couldn’t use a computer… don’t know where ya got that from..

          4. mxxc says:

            Oh my god are you people seriously arguing about this? What’s wrong with all of you?

            Please step away from the internet.

          5. James says:

            Hahaha its arguments like this that make me grateful of my own intellect… also wonder if the people arguing even appreciated the photos at all.

          6. Britt says:

            No Brandon, if you followed the thread a little bit more closely you’d realize Michelle meant that they couldn’t be a 20+ y/o man if born in 1946 (the year after the picture was taken) in 1945… So duh.

        2. quilt gal says:

          My father barely made it into the war (turned 18 and enlisted) He would be 87 today. So I think 100 is a good guess. Look at the mans to the rights hands. He does not look like a young man. Of course it was a joke, so I’m not even sure why I am chiming in.

        3. danny says:

          does that guy standing in the picture look like he was born the same year the picture was taken? moron. the guy is probably 30, meaning he would have been born in 1916 or within a decade of that year. Less laughing, more thinking. thanks.

          1. Woman in blue says:

            I am the woman in the blue dress and I can tell you categorically that the man’s pants were turquoise.

          2. Kip W says:

            Joining into this dissection of a humorous offhand quip, there’s no telling how old the guy is. We’re quite possibly reacting to clothes of an earlier time that make the wearer seem older. Even when I was pushing thirty, the faces in my sister’s high-school yearbook felt older to me than I felt to myself because all the guys are wearing ties and maybe horn-rimmed glasses, and the gals have cat’s-eye glasses or bouffant hair, or costume jewelry that spells “older people” to my inner brain.

            If we could see more of this guy, we’d probably see that he has cat’s-eye glasses and a bouffant hairdo and not even realize that he’s six years old.

        4. David says:

          You sound like a product of the public schools. If your mother is not quite 70 – and she was born in 1946 – then the guy in his 20s standing on the side in the photo would be nearly 100 – Duh! Go LYAO somewhere else, Einstein.

      1. Jack MacHeath says:

        Kissing your girlfriend isnt “Sexually Assaulting” anyone, and even if she had been a random girl, i dont think she minded it very much. its people like you with your incredibly P.C. attitude that ruin this world. dont be so uptight, trust me your not going to make it out of this life alive.

        1. Rae says:

          Jack, I read an article earlier this year where they interviewed the woman being kissed. She said she did not know the sailor and in fact felt uncomfortable. I think that is what Danny is referring to…she/he’s not ruining the world just restating what the woman herself said.

        2. m says:

          Actually, Jack, do your research on that photo…it was a random woman and she was interviewed and said it was not her choice, he just grabbed her. So that is assault.

          1. Perryb says:

            Actually Rae and “m”….both of you are spreading a lie. I’m not sure of your intend and wont pretend to understand why some people feel the need to vicimize everything other than some immature need to look “enlightened”

            The female in the picture is Greta Zimmer Friedman…in her own words…””I can’t think of anybody who considered that as an assault,” said Friedman, who exchanges Christmas cards with Mendonsa (the male in the picture) every year and has appeared with him at several reunion events. “It was a happy event.”


            The two of you need to grow up…quit reading questionable blogs… and do your homework,

          2. clive says:

            “It wasn’t my choice to be kissed,” she said then. “The guy just came over and grabbed!” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/02/kissing-sailor-photograph-eisenstaedt-mendonsa-friedman_n_1471058.html

            ‘That man was very strong. I wasn’t kissing him. He was kissing me,’ she told the paper. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/02/kissing-sailor-photograph-eisenstaedt-mendonsa-friedman_n_1471058.html

            Sorry, no lie. That they are friends now, doesn’t change the reality.

          3. Jason says:

            LOL. Perry telling people to do there homework when he hasn’t looked up any legal terms for sexual assault, only a single quote that proves nothing.

          4. David says:

            Maybe YOU should do some research. EVERYBODY was kissing each other – and not just in Times Square. World War II was finally over – and WE won. There was dancing in the streets. Girls were running through the streets wanting to kiss the GI’s. People in 1945 were not all screwed up about being “politically correct” as they are now. 50 years later, both the soldier and the nurse reenacted the scene for the media. Can’t stand revisionists having nothing better to do than talk trash about a soldier who became an American icon.

        3. Marley says:

          Congratulations, Jack. You are the definition of a rape/sexual assault apologist. You contribute to rape culture on a daily basis! Good for you!

          1. Perryb says:


            Please see the above comment…it is YOU who are part of a culture. That of one in which true learning and fact finding is an unachievable concept. The yellow journalism culture of the internet has drawn in so many who are too lazy to research. They instead become talking robots…spitting out the drivel of editorial sound bytes. Folowing the fad of the shallow pseudo-intellectual.

        4. Sophie says:

          Kissing anyone without their consent is very much sexual assault, no matter if its your girlfriend or not. So you are disgusting and scray.

        5. clive says:

          There are several articles that talked to the woman in the photo. She was not his girl friend, nor did she even know him. He was a random stranger.

          So yes, it is sexual assault. There is a much darker side to that image than the narrative that is normally told.

          1. Bea says:

            So, okay. I remember reading years ago about how she was a random woman, not his girlfriend as so many people believed. However, the story I’d read was that the sailor- who was (along with everyone else in the square) jubilant in the streets celebrating the end of a war that had terrorized the nation for years (the likes of which we can’t even understand, since the wars in our lifetime haven’t forced rations and the like)- had been going down a long line of nurses kissing all of them them (you can see some of them in the background laughing) which is how the photographer knew to be in this spot to get this shot. Is it sexual assault if it was a celebratory gesture and no one was upset by it?

            As someone who has actually been sexually assaulted, I personally think no. There’s a difference in intention between the bodily violation that is assault versus a celebratory expression of catharsis through a series of kisses, one of which happened to be captured on film. The fact that the two are still friends and talk with one another speaks volumes to that end.

      2. nick says:

        Danny, man I am so tired of people like you and your soft weak way of life. People like you and the kids you raise are why this country now sucks.

        1. Danny says:

          You’re right, nick. Forcing one’s sexual advances is exactly what this country needs. It shows strength of character as well as body. You’ve sold me. Lets get rapin’. Dumbass.

          1. Perryb says:

            Danny…Do your homework before you call someone else a dumbass…. dumbass.

            “George Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedman — identified as the kissing couple by “The Kissing Sailor,” a book published this year by the U.S. Naval Institute — called the moment an act of unbridled celebration.

            “I can’t think of anybody who considered that as an assault,” said Friedman, who exchanges Christmas cards with Mendonsa every year and has appeared with him at several reunion events. “It was a happy event.”

          2. Perryb says:

            Danny….since you are too lazy to do any ACTUAL research..try a basic google search of “famous kissers weigh in on photo controversy”

            Of course we all know that you will come back on here and apologize to those who you mocked and patronized in YOUR own ignorance.


          3. Danny says:

            Calm down, man. I just asked you to provide the link since you already had it. If you’re going to quote something, post your source. It’s easy enough.

            I insulted nick because he insulted me. I feel no need to apologize for calling him a dumbass. As for PJ TimesSq, I wasn’t trying to belittle him or insult him. I was just pointing out that what’s going on in the photo probably isn’t something you want to take credit for. If I came across as insulting or condescending, which I suppose I did, then I apologize to him.

            Now, here’s my sources, since you asked for them:

            “It wasn’t my choice to be kissed,” she said then. “The guy just came over and grabbed!” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/02/kissing-sailor-photograph-eisenstaedt-mendonsa-friedman_n_1471058.html

            ‘That man was very strong. I wasn’t kissing him. He was kissing me,’ she told the paper. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/02/kissing-sailor-photograph-eisenstaedt-mendonsa-friedman_n_1471058.html

            “I did not see him approaching, and before I know it, I was in this vice grip!” Greta says.

            I’m not trying to demonize George for what he did. It was a different time. According to your sources, Greta ultimately didn’t mind. At least not after the fame of it took hold.

            My point is that just grabbing a woman and kissing her is BS and shouldn’t be celebrated. It’s a beautiful picture, and I can only try to imagine how elated people were once that war was over. For years it was assumed that this iconic kiss was consensual. Now that we know it’s not, I think that’s worth talking about.

          4. Danny says:

            Oops. But I see I messed up posting my links to my sources. Sorry about that. Well, if you’re going to make me do a Google search, you can too. As soon as it’s posted.

          5. Perryb says:


            LOL….whatever. The truth is in the very words of those who participated in the event. Your comparing that kiss to “rape” shows a small feeble mind who is desperately trying to make everyone think that you “get it” and they dont.

            In actuality, WE do get it. Because we are willing to look at both sides and THEN form an opinion on FACTS. Not on simple minded victimazation and faulty strawman fallacies.

            Grow up.

          6. Jason says:

            Ummm Perryb I’m gonna have to disagree with you. Fact is, kissing some random person on the streets without their consent IS sexual assault. The “victim” after that can consider the circumstances and either choose to press charges, move on, or even decide to enjoy it. That still doesn’t change the fact that it was sexual assault.

            The quote you keep posting is a useless comment. “I can’t think of anybody who considered that as an assault,” said Friedman, who exchanges Christmas cards with Mendonsa every year and has appeared with him at several reunion events. “It was a happy event.”

            Seriously, with all your blabbering about research, you didn’t do the simplest search. Google the damn definition of sexual assault. “Sexual assault is any involuntary sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced, or forced to engage against their will, or any sexual touching of a person who has not consented” BY LAW, she can press charges for sexual assault. Your quote only shows that she chose NOT to press charges.

            Just because someone doesn’t consider the illegal act as harmful doesn’t mean the illegal act WASN’T committed.

          7. Jason says:

            Perry. Btw. I love getting stabbed with knives. I don’t understand how anyone could see a knife attack as assault. I was happy last time I got stabbed.

            Oh wait? Everyone isn’t the same and have different personal boundaries? Thanks.

      3. ladydoll says:

        That sailor was not drunk on anything but JOY and relief that the war was OVER. The nurse was just there in Times Square near him when the news was announced. Get your history straight. As an aside, I actually like the iconic black and white photo of this but thought the others were done very nicely, thanks to those who put time and effort into this.

        1. SN says:

          Still didn’t give him the right to assault a nearby woman. Happiness for sane people doesn’t = sexual assault…

          1. Gonzo says:

            Sanity is statistical. At the time, people didn’t equate that sort of thing automatically to sexuality – as she herself points out, there was nothing romantic OR assaulting about it. There are cultures today where a kiss is a sign of friendship. In the US today there are parts of the country where some will go right up to strangers and hug them, while other parts where a hug without permission is generally seen as assault. You can judge a culture when it devalues human beings, but judging the habits of another person’s culture based on your own is always, always unacceptable. What makes the kiss harmful or not is how it impacts her, and she has made it quite clear that she did not feel assaulted.

      4. J says:

        Damn it, I knew someone was going to bring that up. “Nope, nobody is allowed to enjoy anything, because I’m offended about sexual assault that happened last century!” Shut the hell up!

        1. SN says:

          Because there’s a statute of limitations on sexual assault. If it’s more than couple of decades old, it’s suddenly all about the romance and nostalgia.

          And people wonder why we still need feminism…

      5. JimBob says:

        So in case you never realized this, women love when men act like men and vice versa. Stop spreading your gender propoganda on these nice people Danny (Thanks Obama)<>

    1. Ray Fox says:

      I was there that day. I was 17 and on my way to school. You cannot believe the happiness and exuberance in everyone to learn the war in Europe was over. Lots of strangers were kissing men in uniform. I didn’t go to school.
      Instead I went to a movie and famous name band which at that time cost $1.10.

    2. terribleherald says:

      i read somewhere that the woman that’s being kissed in the last picture was not aware that he was going to kiss her. he simply grabbed her and planted a smack on her lips, and walked away. she happened to be leaving work, and was ‘assaulted’ by some guy. kinda ruined this picture for me. :(

    1. Courtney says:

      I came here to say that exact same thing, so I did a ctrl+f to make sure I wasn’t the first. Cillian Murphy rocks even harder now.

    2. smellslikehorses says:

      Holy hell! I thought he looked like someone from nowadays, but couldn’t put my finger on it. Thanks! :-)

  2. Whovian007 says:

    I still like the last photo in b/w best (colorizing seems to take away some of the romance) but this is a fantastic exercise – I really enjoyed seeing all the different photos. For some of them like the testing of the H-Bomb, it made me realize that yeah of course the water was that brilliant and the sky blue – it wasn’t really dark and dreary as the original might make you think. And the colorization made many of the historical people (Mark Twain, Teddy, etc.) seem more “real” the color brought them to life.

    1. B says:

      It was actually proven that the woman in the last picture was being assaulted by that sailer – they don’t know each other, and he grabbed her and kissed her without her consent. The woman in the picture was actually found and validated that. That also takes away the ‘romance’ as well, I feel. In color it is pretty, though.

      1. B says:

        If that,s true, then I say meh, a little unexpected kiss never killed anyone :) End of the war, New Year’s Eve, whatever. She doesn’t look too resistant anyways. You can’t just bend a person backwards who is fighting against you.

        1. N says:

          Glad to see that you find assault to be such a trivial subject. He didn’t know her, she didn’t know him. He literally ran up to her and pulled her in his arms to kiss her before she even had the chance to react or resist. It is not a romantic picture, it is a picture of something being forced into a position they didn’t want.

          1. River says:

            If you search, multiple interviews with the woman in question actually do NOT support that she felt assaulted. Sexual assault IS a big deal and I would also be horrified if that’s how she had felt about the experience, but she is on record as saying she did not feel assaulted.

          2. DMJ says:

            That iconic photo is my friend’s grandmother: Clarification — the kiss was NOT invited, her boyfriend is actually standing right outside the frame of the photo. The soldier was drunk and celebrating and apparently told his friends something to the effect of he was going to kiss the first woman he saw. She did not know him and it was not invited, but she said it did not feel like assault. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just because people had different standards in that day around issues of consent, but basically: you were all partially right.

        2. Nausi says:

          She looks stiff and awkward, not like someone welcoming the kiss. Besides, that doesn’t even look like a nice kiss. He’s got her in a vice grip. I imagine a lot of the people (not everyone, but a lot) who are all thumbs up for this wouldn’t feel the same way if it happened to them. Some drunk dude startling you, holding you tight with your arms pinned to the side, and smooshing his drunky face against yours all the while with your SO looking on.

          I dunno. Doesn’t sound fun or romantic.

          1. Seen says:

            Oh my god this is whats wrong with America now days ppl that say oh my she is being sexual assaulted by a fu**ing kiss! They just found out the war was over. Now if he was trying to do other thing to her that is sexual assault. Its not a big deal its a kiss! I had a woman grab me and kiss me at new years party and after she said sorry I just need to do that I said if you need it thats okay and I didnt know this women and I would have kissed her otherwise. NOW LET IT GO!!!

          2. Not fun says:

            That did happen to me, I was 19. It was disgusting. I felt like I’d done something wrong and no one took me seriously because it was “just a kiss”. The guy wrapped his arms around me and wouldn’t let me go and reeked of alcohol. I still remember it like it was yesterday and it was almost 20 years ago.

            Not even remotely romantic. It’s super gross. It makes you feel powerless because if a guy can just grab you and try to force his tongue down your throat at 2pm on a Saturday on a sidewalk filled with people and no one stops him, what else can someone do without anyone caring?

      2. J says:

        Also, the woman peeking over the sailor’s shoulder watching him kiss this random girl is his date and future wife. How’s that for romance!

      3. H says:

        Oh my goodness. You are such a dork. This is History and these guys and others have been saving our country and other peoples lives. This was a welcome home parade and I bet if you had served in ANY war you might even need the attention and affection as shown in the picture. Did anyone every ask the sailor if his intention was to assulat or rape the lady. Hell no. Get real people. This is a part of the American History and I assure you that no one in that era felt the way you people are commenting. This was a time of great joy to everyone at that time and the stupidity of today was not in the minds of these people. Times were hard during this wra….maybe we need to go back to that world to fully understand how truy lucky we are today.

        1. Terri says:

          H, those men went overseas and fought for liberty. That does not give them the right to come home and take it away from others. They may need attention and affection, but women are not objects to fulfill their needs. His intentions aren’t relevant–it’s his actions that spoke louder than words. And his actions said he was entitled to maul a total stranger. Some liberty. Times *were* hard, and he made her times harder. You ever been grabbed, bent over and kissed by a man bigger than you? Then don’t assume you have any idea what it’s like. You don’t.

        2. JamieLynn says:

          Thanks for reminding us all that rape and assault have NEVER been apart of American History… *sarcastic eye roll*

      4. Jean says:

        I was in Washington DC on VJ day, and we were all that crazy. It was sort of ‘anything goes’ (appropriate for the era, that is). Everybody was grabbing everybody else and hugging them and kissing them.

      5. Juan Carlos says:

        What’s certainly changed since 1945 is the definition of assault. When a 5-year-old kid can be charged with sexual assault for kissing a girl on the playground, something I most certainly was guilty of when I was a kid, then perhaps it’s not society’s problem. It wasn’t a problem back then and it isn’t a problem today, except for the politically-correct we-are-all-victims crowd that finds a need to make an issue out of absolutely everything.

        1. Pete Bennett says:

          Right you are, Juan. Isn’t it wonderful how self righteous, judgemental, and “know-it-all” the present generation has become ?

          1. Kevin says:

            Actually, what’s more wonderful is that the previous generations holding this country back are starting to fade away. Don’t worry gramps, we’ll fix the mess you guys left us.

          2. Perryb says:


            How infantile your statement is. Perfect example of the weak and uniformed sect of society we have seen rise up in the last 10 years. Internet tough guys who hide behind a computer and have so little understanding of this countries past.
            We have raised a new generation of man-children who cant see how anything…anytime…or anyone fits into the big scheme of things. A generation raised under the false premise of individualism and bloated self worth.

          3. ladydoll says:

            Kevin You have much to learn.
            Those generations made America the great nation that it was, I can’t say as much for the generations from the 1960’s on seems we are going backward rather than forward. And all you feminists that think his kiss was “assault” have it wrong. Yes, she was a stranger and no, she didn’t have much choice at the moment but she was never in danger and think about how the crowd acts when their favorite team wins a mere game, grabbing each other, kissing even strangers and no one seems to think that’s a problem. Well this was a celebration of the end of the war, that’s a really big deal. By the way, bless all of our veterans.

        2. Britt says:

          lol sure, name ONE time a five-year old has ever been charged with assault. Hey non-eighty-year-olds: Isn’t it great when the elderly learn about the internet and read fake “fox news” articles??

          1. Britt says:

            I think it is sad when only feminists are anti-assault. It literally would make me sad except for the fact that I’ve completely given up on this country. Listen, we all get that it happened in 1945, at the end of a terrible war and that people were celebrating. This totally got blown out of hand but seriously, attacking someone with a kiss or a knife is still not cool. I could care less if you’re a veteran or the president, it isn’t okay and if he had a “date” then why was he kissing other women? That seems like a lie to ya’ll commenting that. Anyway, it happened a long time ago. It wasn’t cool but the picture itself (without the history) is a neat photo. Okay, now let’s stop practicing ageism and get the hell over this debate. The elderly can be all pro-assault, the younger people can be uber anti-assualt. Whatever, get over the fact that we perceive things differently. MOVE ON.

          2. Dan R. says:

            Definitely the most important issue about the photos above is the sexual assault that the poor lady had to endure. Not only do I agree with the ones that equate imposing a kiss with stabbing with a knife, but I would even go further to say that we should always ask first if, in any situation whatsoever, the other person wants to be touched. A common mistake, for example, is to touch one’s children without their consent, even tapping them in the back without first asking can become a lewd and traumatic experience. Now, I’m all about justice, so I would encourage everyone to look for any kind of non-consensual contact between any two individuals, or even inanimate objects (and yes, I’m specially thinking of those poor Teddy bears mishandled by brute children, for they too must have some rights and privacy) and denounce it, so we can finally bring to justice all of those so called humans.

  3. Amy says:

    Obviously said by someone who’s never been assaulted. Sexual assault is assault and there is NO way we should be glorifying it. Ever. No matter how ‘iconic’ the photo.

        1. Sigh says:

          And clearly you have no idea whether he actually has or hasn’t due to the fact you’ve never met or talked to him before in your life, yet you can feel so able to make a judgment on what he has said. Swings both ways.

    1. Jaclyn says:

      I have been kissed by a stranger JUST LIKE THIS only it wasn’t a soldier kissing at a parade out of the joyous spirit of returning home from war, it was in a Grateful Dead concert’s parking lot as I was trying to drive through the crowd. A guy put his head in and kissed me full-on. It was a spontaneous occurrence, like this photo, a product of unusual circumstances and I don’t advocate people going around forcing kisses on people every day at bus stops and elevators and so on, but since they don’t, it was not a big deal, and I like this photo and what it represents. So there.

      1. Dev says:

        The old Shakedown Smooch, eh? That’s quite not what they meant by “strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand.”

      2. WTF says:

        I had the same thing happen to me – drunk guy wrapped his arms around me and kissed me on a crowded sidewalk. It was disgusting. It was horrible and I felt helpless because it was a crowded sidewalk and I was obviously struggling against him and no one would help me. You might be fine with a random stranger grabbing you and not letting you go (or maybe being in a car wasn’t exactly the same since you could easily get away?) but my experience was horrible and terrifying.

        So there?

    2. Kasey says:

      Amy obviously you’ve never been assaulted. Oh wait, I couldn’t know that because I DON’T KNOW YOU! Just like you don’t know a damn thing about anybody else on this page, so grow a brain please. Just because somebody disagrees with you, you don’t have to get your panties in a wad.

      Kissing somebody isn’t taking advantage of their bodies, and quite frankly, I’m offended this is being compared to sexual assault, as I believe many other people who have been sexually assaulted would be. Rape culture is a control mindset, not a romantic mindset. Nobody’s trying to take advantage of this girl. Next you’ll be saying a boy trying to hold a girl’s hand is assault. You disgust me.

      1. Jane says:

        Agreed. Calling this assault trivializes incidents where people are abused or raped (which is devastating). I’m so tired of this.

        1. David says:

          Let me tell about a situation that happened to my daughter, since the subject came up.

          Walking down the street after a night with friends here in NY, a large, drunk, and by her description extremely obese and smelly man in his late 40’s grabbed her (she was 19 at the time) and gave her a “celebratory” kiss since the Yankees had just won a game. He forced his tongue in her mouth, slobbered all over her. His breath was foul, he held her to his sweaty body and made “yumm” noises as he did it. She struggled but mostly just froze up from shock. He let her go and gave a smile and a happy yell of victory.

          She felt violated, was in shock. Nauseous. Unsafe. Disgusted.

          You want to tell her she wasn’t assaulted? Sexually? As her father, I can tell you she was. So please don’t go around thinking that “just a kiss” isn’t an assault. Am I glad she wasn’t raped? Of course. But she was still assaulted.

        2. Noelle says:

          It absolutely does not. I’ve been through rape and the thought of someone forcing a kiss on me is still enough to make me want to vomit with anxiety and disgust. Assault is assault and no one should have to qualify the degree of assault.

          That’s like saying, “Well we shouldn’t make a stink when people get hurt by assailants because plenty of people are completely murdered!”

    3. Juan Carlos says:

      Stop forcing your “victimhood” on everyone. You cheapen it for people male and female, who have actually been violently assaulted. Grouping in a stolen kiss with a violent rape and calling it the same thing only strengthens the argument that political correctness has gotten to the point where it’s paralyzing our society’s ability to function and understand itself.

      Leave your personified beliefs out of other people’s brains. You’re trying to create victims out of a group of people that doesn’t feel victimized. In fact, you’re — by you loose definition — assaulting them by forcing them to accept what you want.

  4. Aidan says:

    Abraham Lincoln looks even more fake in color. Haha..

    Some of these are awesome but some of them seem a little too bright and sunny/colorful. Maybe just me.

  5. Aidan says:

    I don’t know if I would call forced kissing assault..
    I will agree with you, sexual assault is wrong, but I don’t think that an unexpected or even forced kiss is on the same level…
    I was unexpectedly kissed once, in public none the less, and not by someone I had any reason to expect it from- I should also note I’m a guy, so I don’t know if a woman’s experience would be the same. But honestly I was just a little surprised and taken aback by it, kinda flushed a bit but overall no harm done.
    I can’t say my experience was anything nearly as dramatic as the historical picture with the soldier either, but I would just caution against condemning it as being horrifically wrong.
    I think it’s important to know the real background of the photo, but it’s still an interesting and meaningful picture in US history.

    1. k0vert says:

      I agree. If I had been on a ship for a year with nothing but smelly men, with the risk of being killed in the middle of the ocean, I would have said to myself “I’m kissing the first cute girl I see when I get back home”. I can’t blame the guy. I really seriously doubt there was any malice involved.

      1. Donna says:

        Imagine you’re walking down the street when a big burly dude, built like a tank, grabs your waist and starts kissing you. He thinks you’re cute and just got back from a year of being surrounded by people that weren’t cute to him. You have no idea how far he’s going and you have no chance fighting him off.

        No one has the right to someone else’s body just because they have desires they had to suppress for a while.

        1. Syn Holliday says:

          Yeah, who does that guy think he is! That sailor should have been thrown in prison for sexual assault. And when he gets out, he should be forced to register as a sex offender. The nerve of the guy.

        2. Kasey says:

          I’d be pretty okay with that, honestly. Kissing somebody isn’t taking advantage of their bodies, and quite frankly, I’m offended this is being compared to sexual assault, as I believe many other people who have been sexually assaulted would be. Rape culture is a control mindset, not a romantic mindset. Nobody’s trying to take advantage of this girl. Next you’ll be saying a boy trying to hold a girl’s hand is assault. You disgust me.

        3. Ellie says:

          Oh wow… get over yourselves, it was a spurt of the moment thing. The fact is that it happened, made an awesome pic and its over and done. Can’t change the past guys.

        4. Gonzo says:

          Your statement would be true of doing it America today, where a kiss has an exclusively sexual context to it. It doesn’t apply to this photo, of course, since it was taken in 1946 when views were different about the meaning of a kiss, in many respects similar to how we see an embrace today. By the standards of the day, she knew exactly how far he was going to go and why he was doing it. I -have- been hugged by big burly dudes who have come out of harrowing situations. I’m far too fat to be lifted off my feet, but others were. It was uncomfortable because I lacked their exuberance, but there was nothing sexual implied by it, and I was not violated by it.

        5. Aimee says:

          Donna, this pic was taken on VJ day…not yesterday. Also, as this is a crowded street I think it was pretty safe to assume a kiss was as far as it was going to go.

          1. salvador bali says:

            it is also very likely that the woman was as exuberant as thew sailor, because the war was over. she was a nurse and probably saw enough mutilated servicemen already. Why the implication that she was not a willing participant?

  6. Anna Banana says:

    Rape culture at it’s finest, ladies and gentleman.



    Malice or no malice, it’s just uncool behavior.

    1. daniel gray says:

      The ladies name is Edith Shain. When asked about the experience she said that the gentleman had run out into the streets to celebrate the ending of the war and was kissing every woman who walked by. So it was not completely unexpected.

      When asked about the effect of the moment on her life she said

      “I wouldn’t say it’s changed my life so much as enriched it”


    2. Amm says:

      We seriously need to be careful what we label as rape & rape culture. These are serious things and your attitude toward this picture is actually trivializing them. The fight against rape culture isn’t & won’t be taken seriously because people like you continue to throw the term around and slap the label on everything you see, particularly without understanding, or a willingness to understand, the context behind the thing.

      And, let’s face it, as a woman, I’ve been spontaneously kissed. While on dates, by friends & strangers alike on New Years, by a guy who thought he was falling in love and was just ‘in the moment,’ etc. I never felt assaulted. Perhaps slightly uncomfortable at times, but I realize they were all romantic gestures out of pure happiness and/or love, NOT aggression, misogyny, or control. Context, my friend, is everything.

      1. Kasey says:

        ^^ This x 10000000

        Anybody who has been raped is going to be mega insulted by a lot of these comments about how this picture portrays sexual assault. That’s not sexual assault. That’s a man thinking you’re pretty and kissing you. Putting your hand over your mouth so he couldn’t kiss you, and having him yank your hand away so he can, there’s a different story.

        1. Terri says:

          A rape victim who is “mega insulted” that another person is upset about being forcibly kissed without her consent is lousy. Those people out of everyone should understand the idea of your body being used for someone else’s gratification without your consent. A little empathy, or any at all, goes a long way.

          1. Picaro says:

            C’mon now, be reasonable. Someone who suffered a rape is a far cry from someone who was subject to a surprise kiss. Terri, you’re comparing cork guns to nuclear weapons here. “Using someone for gratification without their consent” is not and should never be an absolute category if it includes both rape and kissing (which are far different things). I’ve never been raped, but I know folks who have, and the only people who they think can remotely begin to understand what they went through are other people who were raped—not those who were forcibly kissed, groped, touched, cat-called, etc., but raped. Have faith in the strength of those who had to suffer or tolerate any of these things to know when one is a nuisance and another is an outright travesty. At the end of the day, nothing in that picture is a travesty. Get real, please.

          2. Georgia says:

            I have been kissed without consent. Though I was annoyed at it, I did not think of going to counselling. Or say calling the Garda to have the guy arrested.
            A kiss is simply one mouth against another. It is not the forceful insertion of an object into a wo/man.

            I get that you want to stand up for people who have been raped but grow up a little. A kiss is one thing, if it one time spur of the moment then yeah no bother. If however it was continual harassment it is another story all together!

          3. Gonzo says:

            A victim of assault should never be expected to feel empathy for someone who has stated repeatedly and unequivocally that she is NOT a victim. As Kasey pointed out, there was opportunity for her to have resisted, and as five minutes worth of research would have told you, there were people around her she could have gotten assistance from if it were the assault you wrongly interpret it as.

            The issue here is not that kissing without prior approval is wrong or right, but that you’re trying to paint modern culture onto history with utter ignorance of the time period you’re speaking about. This isn’t the “sexist mentality of the time”. At the time, a kiss was not seen as an inherently sexual act.

    3. ghost says:

      As a rape survivor, I feel justified in telling you that you have no clue what sexual assault is.

      Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.

      You should notice that kissing is not included.

    4. Joe says:

      I don’t know what you are talking about here.

      I see a Sailor coming home to his wife or girlfriend kissing passionately after being apart from each other because of the war….

  7. k0vert says:

    Oh lord. I’m now part of the rape culture. And to think, all this time, I was just enjoying these photographs. Little did I know I was participating in rape culture.

  8. Andchipzz says:

    The pictures do become more realistic and feel more fresh.. But personally, I think they lost their classic and historic quality when colorized.

  9. k0vert says:

    The sailor and the girl is an awesome photo. Regardless of how much you hate humans with man parts. And regardless of the sailor’s intentions. It’s a piece of American history. I despise the KKK but would I be butthurt about historical photos of them? No.

  10. Jess says:

    You have all GOT to be kidding me with these stupid comments. Were you there the day this photo was taken? I don’t think so. You don’t know the circumstances that produced this photo. Besides, the two pictured have since been found and interviewed, and the woman in the picture never once said that it was in any way inappropriate, or sexual assault. On the contrary, she looked at the picture as a fond memory she had after the end of a major war.

  11. entire leaves says:

    Eh. It was a posed picture anyway. Not spontaneous. And the first time I saw it I didn’t assume it was a guy kissing some random stranger I thought they were sweethearts.

  12. Paul David says:

    A lot of the comments here have proven beyond a doubt that people today are idiots!
    Rape? how about the fact that it was the end of a war and BOTH people even though they did not know each other were running on adrenaline and quite in the moment.
    Our political correctness today has made Americans the uptight, arrogant and idiotic group that would scream how horrible this picture is, yet not voice an opinion on the homeless, the child abuse or the 60,000 murders per year in occurring in this country…. Way to pick your battles!

    1. C says:

      Well said Paul

      Of all the pictures above for someone to be horrified by, not the little girl that died in Auschwitz, not the monk on fire, not the President later shot in the head, not the poor slum child smoking… no, they pick the happiest picture up there.
      50-80 Million people died in WWII including half a MILLION Americans and instead of seeing this picture of overwhelming national joy because of the war being over we have to smear political correctness all over the picture and find reasons to be offended where no offense was intended nor taken. You think this picture was the only kiss on that day? There was a whole lot of hugging and kissing in the joy of the moment and not just by the barbarian men on the poor unsuspecting women. Women were grabbing soldiers and kissing them too. All over the world it was happening. No harm done…
      Now though, we arrest elementary school kids for cheek kisses on the playground…we’re so much more enlightened now.
      Funny when you watch the Great old romantic B&W movies where the guy goes after the gal and is persistent , turns out, that is STALKING, a chargeable offense, when he kisses the girl…he was actually assaulting her. Yet all I hear from women is “where did all the good guys go?”.
      But I digress…need to go find something else to be offended by.

        1. Marianne says:

          I agree. Paul David and C have it right. What is wrong with people now who can no longer appreciate the joy people felt at the end of the most widespread devastating war the world has ever seen?

    2. Britt says:

      Yeah, agreed on the picking your battles. But also Paul, it is all about other people’s perception. If they choose to say that then let them, move on and focus on other things too.

    1. Rebekah Ann says:

      The last time an atomic bomb was detonated by the United States was 1962 which was long after this photograph was taken. This was the second testing after WWII in 1946. There was already two huge chemical compounds changes since those two bombs. United Kingdom had made huge advancements. So unless he was at Trinity (which is incredibly unlikely since most people have died or are incredibly ill from the side effects) or the Crossroads which was this photograph. They most likely witnessed a hydrogen bomb not an atomic bomb.

    2. phil S says:

      The explosion shown is the “Baker Test” of operation Crossroads. It was an underwater test, and produced no mushroom cloud. (What you are seeing is essentially a very large splash, surrounded by condensation from the shock wave). Also, the caption is wrong, this was not a Hydrogen bomb, but a Plutonium fission bomb.

    1. Glenn says:

      Was gonna post the same thing about Liz Taylor’s eyes. It was actually a VERY well known fact about Liz, but apparently not to the person playing with the crayons for that photo.

    2. Desiree says:

      I was going to post a comment about that as well. They WERE Violet! I can’t believe the person who colored that photo didn’t know that.

      I have colorized my fair share of photos, and incidentally, the first one I ever did was of Liz Taylor.

      1. Britt says:

        Her eyes were never VIOLET, but an intense and unusual shade of blue. Violet virtually does not exist in the human eye.

  13. Rob says:

    These are good but I don’t think the “Unemployed lumber worker” is authentic. Himm ndd the woman are both too “glammed up” to be authentic.

    1. Kirk says:

      But I really like the idea of having your Social Security Number tattooed on your arm — before the days of identity theft.

      If you ever forget it, just roll up your sleeve and show the HR person.

    2. Pat says:

      About the first “Unemployed Lumberman”. Not quite unemployed (or “on the dole” per another posting of this photo) The photo show my Mother’s Mother & Step-father. They were picking beans near Independence, Oregon 1938. Grandmother was not happy about missing a day making money because some fancy-dancy photographer was coming to take pictures and they all had to get cleaned up and wait around. My mother was off playing with the other kids when the photo was taken.

  14. JoAnn Kuhn says:

    The reason most people reacted to the kissing (assault???????) picture is because we have become so self-centered (a lot of us) that we can only relate to something personal and individualized. The favorite theme today is being offended, someone “put his hands on me”, etc. I am 63, and one of my coolest memories is when I was sitting at my desk typing and a guy came up behind me and kissed me unexpectedly. He was not a stranger, but certainly not a person I expected to do such a thing. He didn’t say anything, just left. He didn’t do it to offend me, he did it because he found me irresistible. How is that a bad thing ? In my day men were a little unpredictable and a little dangerous. You were careful of your demeanor and behavior and everything usually went along nicely. Now days women want to go around naked, act like tarts and men are supposed to deal with it because they will be arrested if they accidently touch the half-naked girl, who of course is welcome to also drink to excess, fall down drunk, in fact, and still be respected . I’m not sure how people these days “hook-up, from my perspective they talk about it to the point that it must be anticlimactic at best. (yes, that was a pun). But when society dictates that a simple “pass” can be assault with law suits, etc., no wonder it seems that most of the men express themselves through tears.

    1. Britt says:

      wow…. such a huge difference in perception, opinion and self-worth. Also, I don’t mean that as either a compliment or insult to you. Just so very different. Also, sexism, very strong with you….

    2. Zach says:

      Yes! What a brilliant comment, JoAnn. You’ve successfully described a huge difference between then and now and what’s wrong with everyone my age. Everyone’s so self-centered and arrogant, and they have no idea what someone else’s life looks like or what their perspective means. Everyone is so easily offended, and it’s somehow succeeded into morphing society around them. Freedom of speech is so limited now because of it. People are worried about the government censoring them? Please. Everyone is more worried about saying something trivial and have a group of “activists” blow a gasket and throw all the hate they can at you.

      1. Truth says:

        Your freedom of speech isn’t limited; you just want to run your mouth without the social consequences of saying ignorant, insensitive things. There’s quite a huge difference.

  15. don says:

    Old Gold was a brand of cigarette and probably not the name of the general store.
    Great job of colorization. If you remember Ted Turner’s attempts to colorize movies, this is years ahead.

    1. Jordan J. Lloyd says:

      Thanks Don and you are correct – ‘Old Gold’ is a brand, and it honestly just sounded better than, ‘Country store on dirt road. Sunday afternoon. Note the kerosene pump on the right and the gasoline pump on the left. Rough, unfinished timber posts have been used as supports for porch roof. Negro men are sitting on the porch. Brother of store owner stands in doorway. Gordonton, North Carolina’.

    1. Doug says:

      Yes, it really does. If they are going to colorize it; they should, at the very least, use the appropriate colors. Liz’s eyes are iconic; they need to be her natural violet color.

    1. Britt says:

      Argh, why did that incorrect fact grow so large?

      Literally just watch her in things. She had intense blue eyes that in certain manipulated lighting looked violet-esque.

  16. Michael Gillespie says:

    Count me among those who think colorizing is a mistake – at least for fine art photography. To color an Ansel Adams photo would ruin it. Likewise for Walker Evans and many others including present day photographers who shoot in bw on purpose.

    1. Jordan J. Lloyd says:

      As the author of a few of these, I am in agreement in as much as if the photographers artistic intent was to shoot in black and white, leave it well alone. That being said, there are plenty of images that were limited by the technology of the time and shot for historical record, in which case my job is to bridge the gap between the image and what the photographer would have seen as they were taking the shot. I claim no historical accuracy, merely historical authenticity based on meticulous research and a working knowledge of photographic process. The black and white in all cases is superior to any colourisation I would do.

  17. James R says:

    Some of these comments are why I say F the internet. Everyone argues with each other just because they feel safe behind their keyboard. Ridiculous imo.

  18. Audrey says:

    The true story of the last photo is that a drunken sailor randomly grabbed a woman and forced her to kiss him. They didn’t know each other, and the woman was rightly angry about being forced to kiss a drunken man.

  19. Donovan says:

    Anybody else just kind of like the pictures and not really give a damn about what every single other comment says ? :) Have a nice day everyone!

    1. Jenni says:

      Oh yes, I was just going to post that. Her eyes were definitely violet and not green like in this photo. They didn’t do their research!

    2. Mara says:

      I immediately caught that. Liz was famous for her violet eyes, even back when there was no such thing as colored contacts.

    1. KansasKate says:

      The last photo shown should be titled “V-J Day in Times Square” — it was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt and published in Life magazine.

      “Kissing the War Goodbye” is the title of a very similar photo taken by Victor Jorgensen and published in the New York Times; the angle is just a little different but enough to give a closer view of the buildings.

    1. uh says:

      Read the comments in the thread. Of course you could get away with it today. I’ve been raped and assaulted and no one who has done those things was even investigated much less punished in any way. You could absolutely go up and kiss a woman in public and nothing would be done to you, because it was “just a kiss”. The police would just laugh at her if she tried to charge you with assault, especially if she’s been drinking. That’s the culture we live in, and if you think it’s changed, you’re not paying attention.

  20. Lizz says:

    Seriously? So now kissing somebody is sexual assault? If some random guy grabbed me and kissed me, I might not be totally thrilled but let me tell you, it would be absolutely NOWHERE NEAR being raped. I fail to see how she’s being sexually assaulted, I don’t think kissing is sexual unless you’re doing it naked. It’s sickening how PC people are. It’s like a man can’t even touch or look at a woman without being a pervert who plans on forcing himself on her. Yep, I’m sure he was gonna rape her right there in Time’s Square in front of everyone. Seems legit.

    1. Mark says:

      Rape is an extreme form of sexual assault, forced kissing of strangers is a lesser assault but can still be classed in that category. Whether a person “feels” assaulted or not, it doesn’t change the category of the act because another person may feel assaulted.

      The point people are trying to make here is: Guys, don’t just grab a woman and kiss her without permission. That, I think, everyone should be agreeing with. You might find one person doesn’t mind, but another might mind very much (e.g. she may be married, engaged, religious, saving it, lesbian, previous rape victim, might think you’re ugly or have bad breath, or just plain against it without consent etc. etc.). You just don’t know, so don’t do it. I’d say the same applies to women kissing men also.

      This is all *regardless* of what went on in the above photo and how the people involved feel about it.

      Kissing is sexual if you percieve, or intend, it to be so. You don’t have to be naked.

  21. Jess says:

    These are an incredible feat! I love them! it really brings the past to life in such a real way. Well done, to the artists that have made this vision of the past possible. The nuclear bomb as well – wow! to see it in colour it makes it all the more catastrophic – along with the blimp disaster.

    A shame the comments are overrun with arguments about whether or not the nurse forcing herself on that poor sailor counts as rape, though…

  22. Mac says:

    Please people……. We are looking at amazing history in black and white bought back into a sense of reality……. Colour!!!! I remember when that happened for me in the early EIGHTIES! … As for the sexual or assaultive allegations of anyone kissing someone after the WAR has finished is very I cannot believe! If I get to ever to survive any type of WAR I will be hugging and holding someone and give them a kiss of New Life and I will not care what any cynical or argumentative person has to whinge about it because at the time those 2 people looked like they where pretty comfortable with the ” Then” situation! Stop fighting with words and look at the incredible pics that so many people have bought back to this life.. Just be happy with life please!

    1. Rhiannon says:

      If you only look at the guy, maybe he looks pretty comfortable, but the woman looks surprised and resistant. The fact that you can’t seem to see that, is part of the problem. And in the woman’s own words… she was not okay with the kiss, she was married!

  23. Ali Taylor says:

    Calling that kiss sexual assault is an insult to any woman who has ever been raped or molested. Grow the hell up. This is what is ruining the world these days, these feminist nazis who attack anything and everything from nursery rhymes to discipline. For goodness sake, it was a kiss. Get over it. If kissing is sexual assault then lock me up cause there would be many a man I have assaulted over the years on a night out in the pub!

    1. Rhiannon says:

      I have been sexually assaulted many times in my life and what I find insulting ALI are people like you trying to define what is and isn’t sexual assault.

      And yeah, if you kissed a guy without his willing consent, then you assaulted him in a sexual manner. Grow up and learn to not force yourself on people.

  24. JO says:

    A good rule of thumb: don’t type anything you wouldn’t say in person to someone.

    Thank you for the neat photos.

  25. seaweed says:

    Just enjoy the pictures. Can anyone still do that without commenting?
    (I’m contradicting myself I know).

  26. David Burch says:

    Wonderful. I must correct one caption: They were not testing a hydrogen bomb. This was before the H-bomb, 1946, and the US was testing early atomic bombs at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. My father was there, a yeoman in the Navy.

  27. Jenny says:

    The combination of trolls and people who don’t use the internet enough to understand trolls in this comment thread is incredible.

  28. Rhiannon says:

    That last one is disturbing when you know the history behind it. Complete stranger grabs a random woman and kisses her against her will. Once I learned that… the picture has never looked the same.

  29. Michael says:

    This titles sound contradictory. If they’re photos of history of course they are real. These photos make it feel incredibly modern rather than “real”

  30. ughhh says:

    I was feeling so intrigued by all of these pictures, then I got to the comment section. Buzz sufficiently killed by all of the idiots who are somehow allowed to use the internet to make asinine comments…

  31. me says:

    you sad, lonely people. stop arguing inconsequential garbage and enjoy the freaking photos (and by that i mean,in your actual life, please, pleeeease stop being annoying, pedantic, argumentative a-holes and just try to deal with stuff without arguing and complaining. trust me, you’ll live a better life).

  32. CyndiC says:

    Out of all the photos, the one that really ought to create comment is the one of Joseph Goebbles. Gave me chills. The malevolence in his eyes as he looks at the jewish photographer is horrifying. The original in black and white was bad enough. The color makes you feel the heat of his hatred. A chilling nightmare that really happened.

  33. kevin says:

    I am stunned at the amount of lunatics that stumbled onto this page not to comment on the stunning pictures but to do nothing but start adolescent fight about ages of people, the validity of comments and sexual assault. Grow the hell up people and as one person added, step away from the internet. I should add, take your anti-psychotic meds while you are at it! UGH!!!

  34. valley girl says:

    hahahahaha. this is the funniest thing ever, these comments. there might be like 2 sane people amongst them all. oh internet, you’re such a card! these pics are great by the way. i question whether Abe Lincoln would combine brown and blue but i believe he was color-blind, no? in that case, cute nod from the colorist. anyway, you all have the best or worst day. whichever you choose to do. thanks for the laughs.

  35. Nia says:

    The last picture, the iconic “kissing the war goodbye” is a picture of a man assaulting a woman, I hope everyone knows that. The nurse doesn’t even know him, he just grabbed her and shoved his tongue down her throat.

    1. Gonzo says:

      Scroll up, educate yourself on what SHE said about the kiss. It’s being debated by people who actually took time to research before forming an opinion. Follow their example.

    1. Chris says:

      Incredible that I had to scroll all the way down to you, past all the stupid comments about the VJ day photo, to find a single comment about that amazingly sexy photo of Audrey Hepburn.

  36. gene says:

    Why would you screw with original art? It’s just like them colorizing old films. Enjoy the moment as it was recorded.

    1. Maybe says:

      The moments were in color. It was the film and processing that was limited to grayscale and sepia. When the coloring is done well, it becomes an unexpected window to see the past as it truly was, as dynamic and colorful as the present.

  37. Romantic idealist says:

    If I now live in a world where a man is not allowed to sweep me off my feet in the heat of the moment, romance is officially dead!

    Amazing photos anyway :)

  38. L says:

    Does anyone else find it funny that there are more comments about a sailor kissing a girl in a moment of unbridled joy than there are of the Nazi Minister of propaganda?

    1. Gonzo says:

      We’re all pretty much in agreement when it comes to him. Anyone who is as ignorant about the history of the kiss scene as those making an issue about it doesn’t know enough about history to understand what is significant about a guy scowling at a cameraman.

  39. Scott says:

    That isn’t a hydrogen bomb test, its an Atomic Bomb in 1946, it was called operation crossroads and it was only 5th nuclear bomb to ever be blown up. We decided to see what it would do to ships since we had a ton of captured boats from ww2

  40. Peter Byrom says:

    Amazing pictures, but I need to correct you about the nuclear bomb in photo 2. It’s not the Hydrogen Bomb, but a regular Atom Bomb test called “Crossroads Baker”, detonated in 1946 at Bikini Atoll.

  41. Seriously. Stop. says:

    Anyone who has commented regarding the last picture is bad and should feel bad. You are the people that make the internet a painful place. No one cares about how you feel someone else should feel in a situation. No one wants to hear about what your daddy/ex/friend/uncle with a creepy mustache did to you, just because someone made a joke about colored pants. All I want to do is look at some old-timey photos that have been colored without being eye-raped by people who victimize themselves and are blind to comedy.

  42. Jenny Lens says:

    Something about black and white which is so poetic. When you remove color, you focus on other details. Color makes some images look prettier. Some photographers, like earlier movie directors, chose black and white for artistic reasons. As much as I like some of these, some make me sick. The power of the H bomb and the soldier kissing the girl is diffused and distracted via color.

    Seeing iconic images like Anne Frank in color (and that is a horrible rendition, IMHO) really saddens me. WHY must ppl make skin color so orange? I really don’t think the unemployed workers during the Great Depression looked that healthy (first photo). POTUS Teddy Roosevelt and baby look so ruddy, waaay too much red in their faces, esp the baby.

    Many ppl love my early black and white punk photos because punk screams black and white. It’s something we photographers chose. What about copyright or just creative issues, to over-ride the photographer’s intentions? Sometimes these images are improved, sometimes … imposing our values onto something someone else created. Kinda violates some aspect of the artistic vision.

    Black and white images can be so moving, powerful and lovely. Some of the colorization is lovely, like Audrey Hepburn. But so much of it is still a tad off. Maybe it helps to be a photographer, someone very versed in skin tones and also classic photography. And respectful of the original photographer’s intentions. Of course some images too early for color … but still, do we want to colorize all great art? I dunno … pros and cons, esp on ethical levels. Ask today’s photographers and they will drag you to court if you edit their photos. Mommy photographers to high end travel and fashion photographers are very protective of their visions. Just saying …

  43. taylom22 says:

    This exact album was put together by a redditor about a week ago. You could at least give credit. Scumbag author.

  44. Eytan Stern Weber says:

    I apologize if this has been posted in this seemingly endless list of comments, but are there an HQ/HD versions of these colorized photos available? I really want to display them, but blowing them up at their current (I’m assuming) 72 dpi looks pretty bad pretty quickly

  45. Korey says:

    Fun fact. In the last picture, the woman that can be seen just behind the kissers right arm/shoulder was actually his date that day. When he found out the war was over, he went up to the first woman he saw and kissed her. He would later go on to marry his date.

    1. Will Puckett says:

      There is an actual early color Photo of Clemons from 1910 that is a strong reference for the color match. I noticed his lawn too. :-). As for the King of Sweden, I believe we still have his uniform in a museum.

  46. good god says:

    This comment thread is a microcosm of America. Get off the internet for a moment. Quit bitc*ing for a minute. Stop arguing. Half of you don’t even make sense or know what is being argued. Yikes.

  47. stepawayfromtheinternet says:

    #1 I’d spontaneously make out with the hot guy in the uniform if I had heard that news. It means that I can go home and be with my family again. Who cares what he did? Nobody would call it assault if SHE had initiated it. Also, in interviews several decades later they both looked back on the day and the kiss in fondness, so… research, guys. Research.
    #2 Weren’t Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes blue/purple?

  48. Johnny Hammer says:

    Hi, I come here to waste my time arguing with other idiots about trivial and fictitious events. Did I mention how intelligent I am and how stupid everyone else is that does not agree with me? PLEASE DO NOT REPLY THIS IS SARCASM AND I WILL NOT BE BACK TO CHECK OUT WHAT YOU THINK. Boom.

  49. David Chrenko says:

    As American Photo Colorizing.com, I have been realistically colorizing historical photos since 2001. We service some very prestigious museums in the USA and abroad. When I went professional in 2002 – NOBODY took it seriously. Now, more than a decade later – these kids come along, and the media’s haling them as geniuses. It’s a bit frustrating, but I am happy the public has finally gotten on board.

  50. John says:

    I totally disagree. I am not against colourisation when done well, but most of these photos look very artificial and UNREAL. Love the one of Audrey Hepburn, but she would look good in almost any colour!

  51. John says:

    The only colourisation which works for me in these photos is the self-immolation one. That looks realistic to me and adds hugely to the horrifically disturbing event.

  52. Bryan says:

    It’s reasons like this that we can’t have good things, instead of appreciating the photos which have been colorized, it turns into a debate about how old some guy in a picture looks or is or w.e, seriously stfu and enjoy the damn pictures is it really so hard? There is not a post on this site that doesn’t contain some random argument -_-

  53. scott smith says:

    my comment about the Hindenburg was not argumentive…I was just amazed. Not all people left argumentive comments. I think these photos are incredible and thank the people that took the time and hard work to accomplish this!

  54. Lance says:

    Wow the title of this article is what really blew my mind… I had no idea the past was fake! This whole time I thought all this stuff really happened. :/

  55. George Negro says:

    Kentucky 1937, i am the 4th negro back counting from the right. and they have it spot on what i was wearing… i am now white. i have lived on this earth for 88,219 years. i can take form into anything shape or thing. i can become anyone.

    Sincerely: The man that has been on earth for 88 thousand + years

  56. S. McManus says:

    While I prefer the original for most of these photos, I am amazed at how the images turned out. That is a huge amount of work. Well done to all the artists.

  57. CRAIG says:

    I’ve seen the photo of “Charlie Chaplin” before but the one i saw said that it was Burt Lancaster. If you take a closer look at the picture you will see that it is indeed Lancaster.

  58. Laura Lucas says:

    While these are clearly works of art – the historical accuracy cannot be confirmed here. There is nothing to say that these are the colours as they actually appeared at the time. The1939 gold country store is a good example. It’s bright and colourful, but all of those signs are too new. They would be faded, stained and falling apart. Interesting, but the archivist in me can only go that far!

  59. Leon J Brumby says:

    Incredible restoration work making history feel closer and more immediate.Next step would be to bring these people who make up what we now call history and place them in more familiar surroundings.Imagine the conversations we could have.

  60. schaefer says:

    Ok everyone time to turn off your computers !!! Go out and do something real for Christ sake! These are all great photos of people doing real things! Do something that deserves to be photographed.

  61. you're all wrong says:

    I am in all of these pictures, I did not assault anybody in any of the pictures, nor did I feel like I was assaulted by anyone else in any of these pictures. And I send Christmas cards to myself every year.

    Day-to-day life was different back then (in all of the represented time periods) and so was the law. Nothing you’ve said is illegal was illegal back then, and the statute of fill-in-the-blank doesn’t apply going backwards in time.

    People’s p****s didn’t hurt so much back then, y’see.

    Do you really think anybody really cares what you have to say, in the big scheme of things? Do you really think anyone will come back in xxx days’ time to see if you’ve posted (again) about YOUR PERSONAL anecdotes, standing on your soapbox while using this (or any other) pretty cool article to spout your selfish (yes – selfish, you only talk out YOUR STUFF, how YOU’RE offended blah blah) anecdotal crapola?

    So enjoy the pictures (they’re excellent! Face it!) and then go outside, live a little, and quit whining.

    Thank you for your time.

    1. marci says:

      I’m with you! I do prefer certain ones in black and white….for example the famous kissing photo…I think the black and white puts more focus on the couple. But, wow, the harshness from others almost makes me not want to post here!

  62. Clemen Si says:

    Amazing, feels like I could just call these people up and meet up for a drink! Seriously, some historical figures look way hot…others, not so much (Abe Lincoln is just alarming)

  63. Nancy Schuetz says:

    Elizabeth Talor had violet colored eyes! She was famous for them. Ive been colorizing photos for many years and the number ONE thing you do is research!!! Funny how this is being hailed as the latest and greatest in the art world… the Academy Of Art in San Francisco has been teaching this for YEARS.

  64. Nancy Schuetz says:

    Its done with photoshop. Many layers (usually) and a lot of artistic ability.I learned this in art school at 3,000.00 a class. lol… but Im sure if you look up photoshop tutorial colorization … you may find a few. There may be one or two on deviantart.com

  65. Je says:

    Make the past seem incredibly real? The past IS incredibly real!! OK fine I knew what they meant, and this is really cool! But change the wording on that headline maybe? Comes across as very ditsy lol

  66. Bri says:

    This is so amazing! And beautiful! ugh, this truly did make these pictures just seem so much more real. Which sounds dumb ’cause they are real. But so much of history, no matter how much you study any period of time or historical happening it’s just text books and movies. But seeing these same pictures that you always see in your text books in color made them that much easier to really grasp and imagine as an actual happening not just a picture. It made it almost like I could imagine what was happening or what it might have looked like outside of what’s shown in the pictures. Just simply adding color makes it so I can almost place myself there with subjects in the photos. Oh my gosh I love these so much.

  67. NotReal??? says:

    So, I thought all this actually happened and they just added colour. I feel like my life has been a lie. Since when is all this history not real?????? Who faked the past????

  68. Downrightlazy says:

    This is nice..So after another 200 years..the future generation will be colouring our coloured pictures black and white I guess.

  69. Alton says:

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Finding the time
    and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and never seem to get anything done.

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