We all want to remember the good ol' days, whether that's the '90s when you could buy a Furbie for less than $100, the '70s when free-love reigned, or the '50s when girls and boys would go down to the sock hop on weekend nights. These vintage photos are so beautiful, and they take us back to simpler times when we didn't know about climate change and no one had heard of Instagram. These pics were taken just to capture the memories. We are so pleased to share with you these 40 Vintage Photos So Beautiful We Can't Look Away.
Disneyland looked way different sixty years ago. The rides were shorter (and the lines probably were too!), StarTours wouldn't exist for a few decades, and you could *actually* drive the cars in Autopia. And that was just in Tomorrowland! One thing has stayed the same, though. This rocketship still stands in the park and looks exactly the same. Spot it outside of Pizza Planet!
Tomorrowland wasn't the only part of Disneyland that has totally changed. This picture of Fantasyland has us positively SHOOK. Where is Alice in Wonderland? Where are the Mad Hatter lanterns? Why do the teacups not have doors? Also, peep Mr. Toad's Wild Ride in all of its medieval colorful glory in a prime location. Now, you'd be hard-pressed to even find it tucked away in Fantasyland.
Pictures of Willa Mae Ricker and Leon James demonstrating the Lindy Hop for Life Magazine in 1943 are totally famous. One was even used on the cover of the European edition of the issue! While the American issue featured white Broadway dancers named Kaye Pop and Stanley Catron on the cover because of #racism, Willa Mae and Leon went down in history as the greats of Lindy Hop.
1964 in the United States was a banner year. The Beatles released their first U.S. album and became an instant sensation, Jeopardy! was introduced on NBC, and the Vietnam War started. In the midst of all this, the civil rights movement was in full swing. In February of that year, students protested racial segregation in schools, which is likely what is depicted in this photo.
If it wasn't for the total and utter lack of cars on this freeway, it would be virtually impossible to distinguish this 1970s Salt Lake City highway from a similar patch of asphalt in the 21st century. It's crazy to think that even four decades ago, commuters still had to deal with eighteen wheelers and terrible merges.
This pic of a quartet of certified hotties tanning would be cool no matter what — seeing them perched on a blanket on their car like that is giving us some tanning inspo. The real "wow!" factor of this photo is that the girl in the red bikini looks scarily like Selena Gomez. Go ahead, tell me I'm wrong. Oh, wait. You can't.
The internet is an amazing place. Exhibit A: There's a whole Tumblr dedicated to old pictures of Swedish people. In this photo, a tailoring student at a trade school in 1955 does some fancy work with what looks like an insulated jacket. Did they have trendy parkas in the 1950s? Because, if they didn't, this kid might have just invented them.
Exhibit B of how awesome the internet is? This Tumblr page dedicated to cool pictures of people's parents during their youth. There's even a book based on the Tumblr page! This ~artsy~ shot is just one of many photos that prove our parents were cool once, too, and that we'll probably be old one day. Yikes!
Can you guess which adorable buck-toothed celeb had this bowl cut when he was an outdoorsy kid? I'll give you a hint — this was probably taken near Boston. That's right, this is a childhood photo of Matt Damon in 1979 when he was only nine years old. He wouldn't start acting for another decade.
Suburbia just seemed cooler a couple of decades ago. Here, a trio of friends are chilling without their shoes on near a park, probably in the 1970s judging from the Charlie's Angels/Farrah Fawcett hairstyle. This was, like, their "Rachel" haircut from Friends, only this one was way blonder and way bigger.
Brigitte Bardot is *the* sex symbol of the 1950s and 1960s. This French actress, singer, animal rights' activist, dancer, and model did it all. Here, Queen Brigitte is pictured in a social setting with some iconic 1960s bangs and an orange tie. Petition to bring her heavy eyeliner look back into style in the 2020s, please!
Some stereotypes are pervasive for a reason. Case in point: this picture of a dreamy guy on a motorcycle from way-back-when. The car in the background and the laid-back, no shoes vibe of the biker boy seem to point towards this being the 1970s. So he would be, what, like, 70 now? Does he have a grandson?
It looks like Leonardo DiCaprio has always had a thing for models, but back in his emo days he hadn't eyet developed his preference for blondes. In this 90s pic, Leo is hanging out with Canadian model and actress Shalom Harlow around the time she appeared on six American Vogue covers. The young hotties were pictured chilling at a Versace party.
So much is going on in this photo. The iconic shorts? The '60s middle parted bangs? The aggressively yellow hair? It's unclear where exactly these young girls are, but it's good to know that Roxy trucker hats have always been in for the under-fourteen crowd. Now we just need to bring back the high waisted gym shorts!
There is a long history of strict laws about wearing bathing suits, which is so dumb. The bikini wasn't invented until the mid-1940s and their popularity didn't really climb until Ursula Andress's Bond Girl in Dr. No rocked a white bikini in the film. This pic was probably taken on the French Atlantic coastline, where the bikini was banned even from beaches. Today, you can still get fined for wearing a bikini in certain situations, including wearing a bikini in Barcelona away from the beach.
This picture of shoppers on Carnaby Street in London was taken around 1967 outside of John Stephen boutique. Carnaby Street is still poppin' today, two minutes away from tourist traps Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus in the heart of Soho in London's West End. In the Swinging Sixties, it was the site of the youth hedonist revolution.
This 1982 picture was captioned "some kind of canyon or whatever" but we all know this is the Grand Canyon in Arizona. This is what nature looked like before geotags made nature spots photo hotspots and before people thought that tagging natural treasures was somehow okay. Google says this looks like the South Kaibab Trail if you wanna recreate this shot in the digital age.
This April 1964 photo by Francois Gragnon of Catherine Deneuve and Francoise Dorleac in a convertible screams "FRENCH." Catherine and Francoise were actually sisters, and while Francoise was the first to become a star in France, her untimely death only three years after this photo was taken caused Catherine to surpass her in international fame and collective remembrance. Francoise died when her rental car flipped on a roadway in Nice, making this pic slightly eerie.
This 1940 Halloween pin-up was colorized on DeviantArt by user dr-realart-md and it is total Halloween goals. This is how we imagine Marnie Piper from Halloweentown really grew up (because we all know she did NOT grow up to be Sara Paxton). Use this as some casual costume inspo once October rolls around and get spooky!
That iconic D-Day photo of a nurse and a soldier kissing in New York City is highkey creepy once you learn that the kiss wasn't consensual. Let's replace it in our minds with this 1945 picture from New Hope, Pennsylvania, where a woman is reunited with her army beau. Not only was this kiss consensual, but it also required a little help from a third party. Friendship AND romance!
This old photo was found by Tumblr user theoldtimemoan in January 2019 in Chicago. Because it was just found amongst stacks of antiques and collectibles, there isn't a ton of context as to what is going on, which means we can dream up our own adventure! At first I thought this was a choir, but it's pretty clearly a chef and his servers.
This photo predates couples yoga practices by a hot minute. Another found photo with little context, all we know is that these men are Ronald and his cousin. Was this a Patty Duke Show situation? Are they "identical cousins"? The world will never know, but their partner chin stand is pretty lit.
This fashion photo from the early 1940s was taken by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, an American photographer who worked closely with former Vogue editor-in-chief during their time at Harper's Bazaar, for which Louise took 86 cover shots, 600 color pages, and an uncountable number of black-and-white photographs. Louise also discovered actress Lauren Bacall and her assistant Milton H. Greene would later become well-known for his shoots with Marilyn Monroe.
There's really not much more to this photo than the title suggests. As the original poster puts it, it's a "big ass tree" in Oregon, photographed in 1965. Behind the tree, note the big ass mountain, and below the tree, take a look at the hikers photographed. There's a giant tree stump, an old-timey car, and some notably indistinct fashion choices.
Dogs have always been cute, full stop. No one needed proof of this, but this photo from sometime in the 1960s-1970s definitively shows that dogs are really, really cute forever. I dare you to look this joyful dog in the eyes for more than twenty seconds without smiling like a dummy... he is such a good boy!
I could not believe my eyes when I read that this photo of chorus girls lunching included Aud Johanssen, Enid Smeedon, and a relative unknown named Audrey Hepburn. The fresh-faced beauty is virtually unrecognizable in this photo from a lunch break where the girls chilled with a block of ice on the roof of the Cambridge Theatre where they performed Sauce Tartare
Times Square in New York City is a weird mix of technological marvel and advertising horror story. It's never nighttime between 40th and 43rd in the heart of midtown because it's so BRIGHT. Is that how people felt in 1930 when this photo of Times Square was taken? The lights still bright, but not yet overpowering. The lampposts glowing. No Duane Reade in sight.
This shot was likely taken in 1959 near Rincon in Puerto Rico. Little is known about this vintage picture of two surfers, but it's amazing not only showing that powerful female surfers with awesome hair existed way back when, but also for capturing that natural, intangible feeling of freshly coming out of the tropical waves.
One of the weirdest forgotten fads of the 1950s was for sure Telephone Booth stuffing. This is weird on a few levels. First, there were telephone booths back then. Wild. Second, college students on the West Coast, in South Africa, in Canada, and in England would try to stuff as many people as they could into a telephone booth for bragging rights. Here, you see the girls of Kappa Sigma giving it a go. It's kind of like the pre-mannequin challenge or Harlem Shake.
In the oldest photo on this list, classy Victorian men in 1904 are hanging out on the streets of London. Look at the horse-drawn carriage, that is so cool. The top hat is also very cool. The walking stick? You guessed it, very cool. At this time, Kodak was already a thing and their film cameras were popular. 35mm film wouldn't be invented until a year after this photo was taken.
Patrick Dempsey is way too young to be a doctor here, so we'll be calling him Mr. McDreamy instead. An '80s baby, Patrick was probably a 20-somethign here, and while we'll forgive him for the ghastly smoking habit because he probably didn't know any better at the time, we're not going to forgive him for those checkered pants. Just kidding! McDreamy could get away with basically anything.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show came out all the way back in 1975, so by the time this photo was taken in 1984, audiences had already perfected the late-night viewing to an art form. Back in the good ol' days before bringing props into movie theatres became largely banned, fans would put newspapers over their head like Janet does during the rain.
Can you believe this is a real national park? This photo is so rare that it seems to only exist on this Tumblr page. The internet doesn't even know *which* park this is, only that it's a scan of an old photograph and climate change hadn't yet destroyed all of the trees and the fresh air.
This 1977 photo is captivating in how odd it is. Why is this woman surrounded by phones? Does she work at a call center? Is she on hold? Did she know that she would be matching her headband with her phones that day? A quick Google search of the photo only turns up weird Russian results, so maybe she's rigging the 2016 presidential election!
Another photo that only brings Russian-language results on Google, this giant snowman was built back in the U.S.S.R. in 1966. Much like the U.S.S.R., however, it definitely isn't there anymore. It's amazing that young kids were able to build such a giant snowman (or that the necessary editing tools existed back then to doctor this photo).
In this 1953 photo, Ukrainian immigrants in the United States of America offered free borscht to celebrate the death of Joseph Stalin. His passing allowed a new regime to take over and shift the priority in Russia to house building, easing taxation, seeking an end to the Korean War, stopping anti-Semitic purges, and halving the country's inmate population. Huzzah!
This behind-the-scenes photo from the 1974 slasher film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is so creepy you just want to keep staring. Here, you can see the eponymous chainsaw slasher, along with what seems to be Norman Bates's mother and a slew of other iconic horror movie villains. Guess I missed that part of the film.
This photo looks like it could be a Salvador Dali painting of a woman with a sewing machine for a head. Actually, it is a photo of a woman carrying a sewing machine *on top of* her head by French photographer Jean-Philippe Charbonnier, whose aim was to use humanism in his portraits of quotidian life in France after World War II.
This photo comes from a two-picture photoset on Tumblr taken by user claireeeeeeeeeeeeeee's father in the '70s. The first photo shows the Caesars' Palace headliners as Sammy Davis Jr. (lit) and Bill Cosby (not so lit), and this photo shows an iconic Las Vegas staple: quickie wedding chapels. Good to know what happens in Vegas has never *really* stayed in Vegas.