40 Rare Historical Photos That You Probably Haven’t Seen Before

There are some not-so rare historical photos that we’ve all seen over the years.  Shots like Marilyn Monroe with her skirt blowing up and the men with their lunch pails sitting on steel beams have become part of history.  Other lesser known shots like those shared in this article tell a timeless story of days gone by.  These shots were not perfected for big media outlets so they paint a more candid and authentic story.  Some show pain and some joy, but no matter the emotion captured – these rare historical photos will tug at your heart strings and inspire you to take a trip down memory lane.

These photos don’t discriminate, some of the photos are of major leaders and some are of major stars while others are from little known activists and hidden publicity stunts.  These rare historical photos, like all photos represent a frozen in time frame that shows what life was like at that moment.  The moments captured by these rare historical photos are both moving and endearing.

  1. Acrobats on top of the Empire State Building

Rare Historical Photos

This photo from the 1930s is a delightfully frightening rare historical photo. Just 4 years after construction began, these three acrobats balance right on the edge of the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.  According to historical records, 3 men named Jarley Smith, Jewell Waddek and Jimmy Kerrigan were involved in the death defying stunt that took place on August 21, 1934. At that time the Empire State Building was still the World’s tallest building at 1,250 feet tall.  It would lose that title less than 40 years later to the World Trade Center.

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