40 Colorized Historical Photos That Bring the Past to Life

History may have been boring in school, but in retrospect, it’s downright fascinating — an endlessly complicated story filled with larger-than-life characters and unpredictable struggles between good and evil, with plenty of shades of gray in between. And nowhere does that come to life more than in these colorized historical photos. 

Why didn’t we like it in school? Maybe those boring black-and-white photographs made it a touch less interesting. Luckily, we have these pictures restoring some of recent history’s most famous figures and moments to glorious color. What did Marilyn look like, or Lincoln, or even Hitler? We need no longer wonder. Images found via Imgur, many of them courtesy of Sanna Dullaway. Scroll through the pictures below and marvel at how much closer the past feels when we see it as we see the news of today.

 Images found via Imgur, many of them courtesy of Sanna Dullaway. 

Scroll through the pictures below and marvel at how much closer the past feels when we see it as we see the news of today. 

1. Abraham Lincoln

Photo: Imgur

The classic portrait brought to life…

2. Lincoln Meets General McClellan

Photo: Imgur

Antietam, Maryland in September 1862

3. Marylin Monroe, 1957 

Photo: Imgur

The Hollywood icon as she’s never been seen before.

4. Anne Frank, 1942

5. Women Delivering Ice, 1918

Photo: Imgur

Check out more iconic wartime photos below.

6. Easter Eggs for Hitler

Photo: Imgur

Noted as being taken in the Years Between 1944-1945.

7. Painting WWII Propaganda Posters

Photo: Imgur

Photo credited being taken in Port Washington, New York – 8 July 1942.

8. Flippin’ Burgers

Photo: Imgur

Crowley, Louisiana, USA – October 1928

 9. Louis Armstrong

Photo: Imgur

The iconic musician, practicing in his dressing room, 1946.

10. Babe Ruth

Photo: Imgur

From the day when he joined the New York Yankees in 1920.

While some of these images are clear in their colorization, some are even more fascinating when you see the original…

11. Broadway at the United States Hotel

Saratoga Springs historical photos

This is from Saratoga Springs, New York, and noted as being taken in the years between 1900-1915.

Photo: Imgur

12. The View from Capitol

Above is the watermarked stock image. This Capitol in Nashville, Tennessee during the Civil War, circa 1864.

Below is the color version.

Photo: Imgur

13. Theodore Roosevelt

Photo: Imgur

Here are some more iconic images you may recognize…

14. Unemployed lumber worker, 1939

Photo: Imgur

15. A young boy in Baltimore slum area, July 1938

Photo: Imgur

16. Auto Wreck in Washington D.C, 1921 

Photo: Imgur

 17. “Old Gold”, Country store, 1939 

Photo: Imgur

While these images are iconic and well known, here are a couple with famous faces featured in them.

18. Albert Einstein at Nassau Point in Long Island, NY in the Summer 1939

Photo: Imgur

Pictured in the photo is David Rothman, who had opened Rothman’s Department Store in 1919. He hadn’t graduated high school but had an avid interest in science and eventually met and became friendly with Albert Einstein.

In this picture, Rothman was in his work clothes and Einstein was dressed for the beach when they posed on this rock at Horseshoe Cove in Nassau Point in the summer of 1939.

19. Charlie Chaplin, 1916

Photo: Imgur

The famous actor was 27 in the above image.

20. Mark Twain in the garden, 1900 

Photo: Imgur

The famous author was 65 in this image.

Now for some famous political figures — some heroes, some evil, and some controversial.