Reddit | BeachSamurai

16+ Historical Pics That Show An Odd Side Of History

Ryan Ford 30 Jun 2020

We might be living in the weirdest times in human history. At least, that's what future historians might be led to believe when they re-discover memes in 200 years. You never know!

But that's not to say that previous generations haven't had their odd moments, too - some of which merely look strange from today's angle.

1. Busted!

Reddit | Satoux3

The father of the mugshot, Alphonse Bertillon, apparently liked to practice his craft at home and took mugshot-style pictures of his family, including documenting the growth of his little nephew, Francois.

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2. A different kind of habit.

Centre for Computing History

While nuns have a reputation for being a bit more traditional, Sister Mary Kenneth Keller was something of a trailblazer.

Sister Mary was the first woman in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D. in computer science, helped develop the BASIC programming language, and set up and ran the computer science department at Iowa's Clark College.

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3. Breaking it down.

Reddit | TopNick

This all-female group of pioneering computer scientists in Poland knew early on the importance of stretching and taking breaks. Here they can be seen getting a little stretching in, limbering up for a day at their desks.

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4. For big pictures, you needed a big camera.

Reddit | naanoso

The Mammoth, as it was known, was manufactured in 1900 by the J.A. Anderson company for the specific purpose of taking a photo of a luxury train.

It required 15 men to operate, held an 8' x 4.5' plate, and weighed about 900 pounds - with the 500-pound plate inside, it weighed 1400 pounds It took two and a half minutes to get a full exposure.

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5. OSHA? Never heard of her.

Reddit | sacrecoeur1206

Back before workplace safety standards and regulations were as robust as they are today, this is how workers performed maintenance on street lights - yep, a ladder on top of a Ford Model T.

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6. Not a party line.

Reddit | onepersononeidea

Again, safety rules and regulations have come a long way, not to mention safety technology - can you imagine having to fix a telephone line by crawling out on the wire? No thanks.

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7. Now, hold very still...

Reddit | walnutssandmore

This contraption we're all happy has gone by the wayside of history is called a beauty micrometer.

Pictured here is the beauty micrometer's inventor, Max Factor Sr., using it to take precise measurements intended to help makeup artists "analyze actors' facial flaws."

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8. What's the weather like up there?

Reddit | CuteBananaMuffin

The tallest man known to have ever lived is Robert Wadlow, who topped out at 8'11" tall.

It's hard to have any concept of how tall that really is until you see him standing in a crowd of more average-sized people, who really just come up to his waist.

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9. Fun for the whole family.

Reddit | rockystl

In 1939, inventor Charles Steinlauf gave the world the "Goofybike," a ridiculous ride on which his son pedaled, he steered, his wife used a sewing machine, and his daughter sat on the handle bars.

Apparently, the legs on the sewing machine helped it stay upright when it came to a stop, otherwise the Goofybike would be named the Traumabike.

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10. His master's voice.

Reddit | 5jsj

This parrot seller has an ingenious way of both attracting customers and teaching his parrots some words: playing records on his gramophone. Just think of all the wonderful words and songs those birds could have learned!

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11. Weirdly prescient.

Reddit | oldspacesoul

Sometimes it's cool to see what inventions never fully caught on, or got tweaked considerably. This is science fiction pioneer Hugo Gernsback demonstrating his TV goggles - they sure put you in mind of modern VR goggles, don't they?

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12. Is this where Maverick got the idea to buzz the tower?

Reddit | Severe-Item

Back in 1909, Wilbur Wright earned $15,000 for a series of flights around the Statue of Liberty on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson's journey up New York Harbor.

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13. Steering into it.

Reddit | lordkushagra

Louis Coulon could do one thing better than just about anybody else: grow facial hair. He started shaving when he was 12 years old, and eventually he felt he couldn't keep up, so he started growing a beard instead.

His prolific beard grew to at least 11 feet in length and clearly made a comfy nest for his cats.

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14. Who's gonna sign for this?

Smithsonian Institution

For a brief period early in the 20th century, a few people sent their kids by mail after realizing that it was cheaper to do so than to buy a train ticket.

The Postmaster General officially put a stop to the practice in 1913.

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15. If you think your dad's Cadillac was a boat, think again.

Reddit | BeachSamurai

Back in the 1960s, if you wanted to get in a day of fishing but didn't have a boat, you could always try one of these amphibious cars.

Fewer than 4,000 Amphicars were ever produced - they weren't very practical, as they had to be greased in 13 different spots after leaving the water - but President Lyndon Johnson owned one.

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16. Don't say "Look at the birdie!"

Reddit | prosperarena

It had to be a rare family that had two cameras when this picture was taken, but it's a good thing they had them so they could capture this gem.

It's like it was made for the internet a century before the internet came along.

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17. Not quite how it went down.

Reddit | bobby-boi

This old Japanese text contains an illustration of how someone thought the assassination of Abraham Lincoln happened - with the president being stabbed by a group of assailants, rather than being shot by a single man.

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18. Can't beat that view.

Reddit | AlwaysTheNoob

Of course, you can't really get away with this today, but these tourists have taken advantage of the situation to have a picnic atop a pyramid, looking onto another pyramid. Not too shabby.

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19. Don't think this was a success.

Reddit | dimitherussian

This German firefighter is seen testing out a prototype of a firefighting helmet back in 1900.

It's unclear if these helmets were ever adopted, but we sure don't see anything like them in fire departments today.

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20. Careful where you step!

Wikimedia Commons

Where few ever get to tread, and with good reason, President and First Lady Reagan took the opportunity to ham it up when visiting China's Terracotta Warriors in 1984.

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