42 Unbelievable Retro Photos

Celebrities are just average Joes, except for the fact that they are extremely wealthy, famous, stunning, and innately talented. Celebs also have a tendency to take incredible photos. We have collected photos of celebrities as well as by celebrities that show a side of them that you have not seen yet. Starting from the 1960s and working our way through the 1980s, there are many moments where celebs were candidly captured doing something related to their TV or films jobs, but when they were not exactly in front of the camera. Many of these retro photos were snapped when the celeb did not expect it, but that is not all. There are also retro ads that make little to no sense with the knowledge we have today, a pamphlet we scooped up from 1911 that teaches men how to kiss women, as well as the food menu for those in the third class aboard the R.M.S. Titanic on the day the ship sank.

Suzanne Somers In the 70s  

Suzanne Somers was introduced to many of us as the ditzy blonde on Three's Company. However, Somers was a working actress long before the show. She had a part in the film 'American Graffiti', which was directed by George Lucas alongside many Hollywood heavyweights. She was also in the 1974 film 'Magnum Force' which was one of Clint Eastwood's films. She was on Three's Company in the late 70s, with her contract not being renewed in 1980 due to a salary dispute. She wanted her salary raised from $30,000 to $150,000, to which producers responded poorly. 

An Ad From the 1930s Recommending Beer to Gain Weight

These days we only see ads for weight loss, back in the 1930s there were ads for weight gain! Back then, thin women were considered to be sickly and weak in their look and a little more weight would be considered a healthy adage. In order to have women gain some weight, this ad recommended that women take on drinking beer, which would have the woman see a 5-15 pound weight gain in a matter of weeks (sounds pretty accurate). This was the same time that smoking was considered a good thing, so times are very different now. 

A Young Madonna In 1974

Madonna, whose full name is Madonna Louise Ciccone, is known today as the Queen of Pop. However, it was not always the case. Prior to her hit musical career, she was living a quiet life in the suburbs of Detroit with her parents. Madonna's father was an engineer designer for General Motors and Chrysler. He was the one who inspired her to get into music and dance to begin with. Madonna got a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan, but did not go through with it as she decided to move to New York City to follow the music. 

The Cleveland Balloonfest of 1968, Where 1.5 Million Balloons Were Released At the Same Time

This may look beautiful, but this balloonfest did not have a happy ending. The event took place on September 27, 1986 and saw 1.5 million helium-filled balloons released. The purpose of the event was to raise money and was put together by United Way. It was meant to break the world record for balloon releases. The balloons were such a problem in the air that they had a local airport shut down until they were cleared. There was also a storm that arrived that afternoon and directed the balloons back down to the ground, making it a nightmare for people. 

A 1950s Air Conditioned Lawnmower 

Now this is an invention we could get behind! This version of the lawnmower was introduced on October 14, 1957 and had a bubble situated on top of the lawnmower that was pumping cold air inside so that the person operating the machine could do so comfortably. The lawnmower also had an electrical generator that was connected to a radio, telephone, and drink cooler. Seriously, this is something that should be on the market right this moment - mowing the lawn while drinking a cold beverage and charging our phones? Yes please. 

Barbara Roufs at the Races in the 1970s

At the time that this photo was taken, Barbara Roufs was 29 years old and a mother to two children. In addition to that, she was easily considered one of the most attractive women in drag racing in Southern California. The photos of Roufs were mostly taken by a photographer known for his snaps of the racing scene at the time, Tom West. Revell/Monagram was a company that West photographed for that wanted more images of racing models, to which West obliged with many photos of Roufs. 

Lynda Carter, 1970s Bombshell 

Lynda Carter was known as one of Television's Sexiest Women Ever thanks to her role as Wonder Woman. In addition to being a beauty as we all know, Carter was also a daredevil and did most of her own stunts for the role of Wonder Woman. Executives at ABC were concerned about her doing such stunts but she was adamant about her abilities. She did the same when it came to the show Circus of the Stars in 1977. On the show, Carter was put as the target for dart throwing, which was done by fellow actor David Janssen. 

Robin Williams and his first wife, Valerie Velardi, at their wedding in 1978 

This wedding took place right as Robin was shooting into the Hollywood stratosphere. Valerie was there alongside Robin for it all at the time and had some of her own stories of this time to tell in the documentary, Come Inside My Mind. The twosome initially met in 1976 when Robin was an unknown comedian and actor. They married in 1978 and were together for over 10 years. During their marriage, Robin's career started to skyrocket and got to a point where Valerie could not longer take it. She said, "He loved women. Absolutely loved women. And I got it." 

"The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog" -Mark Twain (1904) Twain had three dogs which he named "I Know", "You Know" and "Don't Know"

Samuel Clemens, also known as Mark Twain, loved dogs more than most other things. It was his dogs who actually inspired his writing. Twain did not write much poetry but when he did it was mostly about his dogs. One of the poems he wrote was about his dog Burns, who had passed away around that time: “She lived a quiet harmless life in Hartford far from madding strife.” He used his dogs as his inspiration until the end of his days. A few weeks before he passed, he wrote: “Leave your dog outside. Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.” 

1961 Photo of a German Soldier Allowing a Child Cross the New Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall was built on August 13, 1961. This photo captures an East German soldier helping a young boy across. The day the wall was built was a chaotic one, and this little boy was lost in the chaos. The look on the solider's face shows worry and fear, whether at what was happening around him or perhaps getting caught helping the child. The story goes that the soldier was then reprimanded by his superior, yet to this day no one knows what happened to him. 

A Picketer in Daytona Beach on Spring Break in the 1980s

Spring break has always been the time when students take off and go rebel in some way on some beach. In the 1980s, Daytona Beach was one of the most popular spots for college students to go to vacation and get into all sorts of trouble. As such, it was the perfect spot for those who wanted to give them their two cents to also come through. The concept of spring break came about in the 1930s when a swim coach took his team to Fort Lauderdale to train during that time but they ended up partying instead. 

Lynda Carter Preparing to Battle on Television

Lynda Carter was the woman ABC put all of their focus on in the 70s. Lynda was the woman to watch as Wonder Woman, as well as on the network's Battle of the Network Stars. On one of their episodes in 1976, Carter took a bottle of champagne and poured it all over the host's Howard Cosell's head to celebrate her win. The host was not at all too happy as he happened to be wearing a hairpiece, but the two remained on good terms despite the incident. 

Construction of the Twin Towers in the 1970s

The construction of the World Trade Center began on August 5, 1966. It cost over $900 million to construct the towers, with the first offices to move into the North Tower taking place on December 15, 1970. The South Tower started adding offices to it in January 1972. The towers were not completely sold out until 1979. The towers occupied downtown New York City until the fateful day we all remember on September 11, 2001 when they were the target of an attack on the United States. 

Cindy Morgan on Caddyshack 

Cindy Morgan played the role of Lacey Underall in the 1980 film Caddyshack. It is no surprise that she played the role of the local bombshell alongside Chevy Chase's character, Ty Webb. Morgan actually got her start in the industry as a weather girl, as well as a model at car shows. Morgan was also in the film Tron which was released in 1982 and was the first computer edited film. Morgan also shared that the oil massage scene with Chevy was completely improvised. 

Heather Thomas on Battle of the Network Stars in 1983

Heather Thomas is best known for her role as Jody Banks in the television show The Fall Guy. She costarred alongside Lee Majors on the show that was on ABC and ran from 1981 through 1986. Thomas was 14 years old when she landed her first television job on NBC's Saturday morning show, Talking with a Giant. On that show she interviewed celebrities and got to network for herself behind the scenes. This photo of Thomas is from her time on the shot Battle of the Network Stars in 1983. 

Pam Grier in the 1970s 

Pam Grier was the queen of the female prison genre in the 1970s. She landed roles in films like Foxy Brown, The Big Bird Cage, Sheba, Baby, and Coffy. It was thanks to her work in those productions that she landed the coveted one in Jackie Brown, Quentin Tarantino's film in 1997. Grier moved from Denver to Los Angeles to pursue her acting dreams and got her first job in LA in 2967 as the receptionist at American International Pictures. Her job there landed her her first one in the film The Big Doll House. 

Ben Bowden Showing the Public His Bicycle Prototype in 1946

Benjamin Bowden, the father of the bicycle, created his Bowden Spacelander in 1946. The bike did not end up going into production until years later in 1960, and only 522 of them were made. The bikes sold for $89.50, which back in 1960 was considered a lot of money. Today, a perfectly kept Bowden Spacelander can earn you $15,000. The Brooklyn Museum stated, "The Spacelander is a marvel of postwar biomorphic design. Its curving lines and amoeba-like voids represent the mutation of the prewar streamlined style into a new expression based on organic, rather than machine-made, forms."

Buffalo Bill in 1909

The old West has been linked to Buffalo Bill Cody since the two terms were created. Most people do not know, though, that Cody was actually Canadian. Cody's father was born in Mississuaga, Ontario. Buffalo Bill was known for his riding skills, becoming a Pony Express rider at 14 years old and serving in the Civil War from 1863 to 1865. Buffalo Bill got the Medal of Honor in 1872 for his scouting work for the US Army at the time of the Indian Wars. 

Lynda Carter at the Emmy Awards in 1977

Prior to being Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter was Miss World America 1972. The starlet was raised in Phoenix, Arizona and played in a band while attending high school. She played in the band with Gary Burghoff who was later on on the show MASH. The band performed together in Las Vegas for a three-month stint and because Lynda was under the age of 21, she used the back door to get into the facility. She landed her Wonder Woman role in 1976 and the rest is certainly history. 

Dalai Lama Age 2

The 14th Dalai Lama, pictured, was born on July 6, 1935 to a farming family in a village in Taktser. The Dalai Lama wrote in his autobiography, “During my early childhood, my family was one of twenty or so making a precarious living from the land there.” By the time he was 6 years old, he started his monastic learning. He was being taught fine art, medicine, logic, and Sanskrit. In 1959, during the Tibetan uprising, he left for India where he was a refugee. In 1989, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Dorthy Mays in July 1979

Mays is best known for being Playboy's Playmate for the month of July in 1979. For her photoshoot with Playboy, she was photographed by Richard Fegley. The July issue of the magazine purposefully came out around the same time as the film Moonraker, as the cover of the issue was Girls of James Bond. Mays was originally from Nuremberg, Germany but was working in a Maryland hair salon when she got picked up for the issue. Mays has since been named one of the top women in Playboy.  

Brigitte Bardot at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival

Brigitte Bardot rose to fame in the 1950s as the best French style icon. Bradot was first discovered in her teens by a magazine editor. She would go on to be the muse for fashion houses like Pierre Cardin, Dior, and Balmain. She is also known as being the woman to make headbands chic, and off the shoulder dresses and blouses as the most fashion-forward style to wear. She went with that very style at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival, renaming the neckline after her as the Bardot neckline. 

Instructions on "How to Kiss a Girl" From 1911

In 1911, men needed instructions on how to kiss women, or so it seems. Long before the various female empowerment movements of today, men were being instructed to do the following: "Do not tell her your intentions," and "Do not ask permission to kiss her." This manual was circulated by the Common Sense Gum company and were distributed with a stick of gum. The main teaching element here was to make sure the girl is surprised when you kiss her, which would absolutely not fly in today's society. 

John Candy, 18-years-old, at Niagara Falls

John Candy has somehow always looked like a fully grown man, even when he was not one. He is known as one of foremost successful comedians in the industry. Candy was born in 1950 in Newmarket, Ontario. He started acting at a young age and performing in Toronto at the Second City Theater in the beginning of the 1970s. Prior to making it big in films, he was on several Canadian shows, such as Police Surgeon. It was in 1976 that he appeared in Tunnel Vision, an American comedy film starring Chevy Chase. 

A Young Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie got into the family business which was not at all surprising. Curtis was born on November 22, 1958 in Los Angeles and stepped right into the acting world. She is the daughter of Janet Leigh, the female lead in Psycho, and Tony Curtis, the star of Some Like It Hot. Her first big acting gig in 1978 was in the horror film Halloween. The film sent Curtis into the stars when it came to her career, making her one of the ultimate screen queens. 

John Cleese Playing Soccer on the set of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in 1975

Not every moment on the set of a film means work work work. Most of the cast said that they did not have a good time filming the movie because it was shot in Scotland during the wet season, which we all know is all year round. The band Pink Floyd loved the movie so much that they wanted to use some of their royalties to pay for the movie. It was actually thanks to this funding that they were able to keep producing the film.

John F. Kennedy and Baby Caroline, 1957

It is not every day that you get an inside glimpse into the life of a president, and especially not into those moments of parenthood. Here we see John F. Kennedy with his little Caroline when she was a mere infant. Caroline grew up in the White House and ended up serving the country as the Ambassador to Japan through 2017. She was three years old when Kennedy was sworn into office and six years old when her father was killed. 

Mackinac Bridge Being Built in 1957

The Mackinac Bridge connects the upper and lower peninsula of Michigan. The bridge is 26,372 feet in length across the Straits of Mackinac, connecting Michigan's peninsulas. The bridge was completed and opened in 1957 and was designed by David B. Steinman. At the time of its completion, the bridge was known as the "world's longest suspension bridge between anchorages," and was compared to the Golden Gate Bridge many times during its construction and culmination. 

Menu From the Titanic, 1912

This menu right here is not only from the R.M.S. Titanic, but it is from the morning of the tragic sinking of the historic ship - April 14, 1912. The menu is for the third class passengers on the ship which was the lower class. The men, women and children who ate this breakfast did not think for a moment that it would be the last breakfast they would ever eat. The ship went down that night, taking with it over one thousand people. 

Fiona Lewis As a Bond Girl

Fiona Lewis was on screen in the United Kingdom in the 1960s and 1970s. Her most notable roles included the 1973 television version of Dracula, alongside Jack Palance. In the United States, Lewis was in the film The Fury, a Brian De Palma movie from 1978. Peter Fonda and Brooke Shields were also in a film with her - Wanda Nevada. The biggest hit for Lewis was in February 1967 when she was in the Playboy issue that spoofed James Bond, and was called The Girls of Casino Royale. 

Concentration Aid 

If one needed to concentrate and was having a hard time in doing so, all they need to do is put the Isolator on! The Isolator is a scary looking helmet that was made in 1925 to make sure people remained focused and were able to concentrate properly. The device was created by Hugo Gernsback, the editor of Science and Invention magazine, as well as an early adopter of science fiction. The Isolator sure worked because it made everything quiet, but breathing was limited and the vision was too. 

Passing Through Giant Sequoia Tree at Yosemite Park, 1879

Yosemite National Park has some of the world's largest living things - giant sequoia trees. These trees were here long before us and will also be here long after we are gone. Their size shows their age, with the average tree living over 3,000 years and growing to be over 300 feet tall and almost 100 feet in circumference. These trees are alive today thanks to president Abraham Lincoln who signed a protection bill called the Yosemite Land Grant Bill in 1864 that preserved the trees and the wilderness around them. 

Atari Games From 1980s

Atari is somehow back to being cool since it is now vintage. The game was at its height between 1972 and 1984. The company that brought you Atari also brought you the very first video game success: Pong, in 1972. In 1979, they introduced Atari 400 and 800 which was for the home computer. Bringing games inside the house was the first time in history that it was done. Space Invaders was the other new Atari release in 1980 for Atari 2600. 

Queen Elizabeth During World War II Serving in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service

Queen Elizabeth II has been a part of many historical events in her long life. In her youth, a then-Princess Elizabeth was 18 years old in 1944, she served in the British military just like other British youth during World War II. Her service in the military taught her many skills, such as reading maps, driving, repairing engines, and following direction. This was to help her in the future as the Queen of England. 

Rod Stewart in 1970

Rod Stewart is much more than a world-renowned singer, he is also a huge soccer fan. He grew up in that world as his father was the manager of several local teams. In 1960, Stewart himself tried out for the Third Division club. He decided to go into music as sports did not end up being his strong point, and lucky for us that he did! He would still play with other British ex-pats living in Los Angeles like him. 

Students During A Nuclear Attack Drill in the 1950's

American's during the height of the Cold War were hyper focused on the possibility of a nuclear attack on the United States. School kids were instructed to "duck and cover" as part of the drill at school. This image from 1951, and shows the paranoia around a possible Russian attack on American cities. Sadly, this exercise was not going to help in the event of an actual attack. However, this was at a time when they thought it would be enough. 

Teenagers Talking Outside in New York City, 1948 

Did you know that the word "teenager" was not even really invented until the end of the 1940s? Before that teens were called "young humans," which is quite bizarre. In 1944, magazines were starting to share with the youth of the day advice about dating, makeup, style, and dealing with hardships with their parents. The more they read it the more angsty they got as teenagers and from there the word describing them was born. 

The Magical Doorway at St Edward's Parish Church in Cotswold, Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire

This looks like it could be right out of The Lord of the Rings films. This doorway is located in a rural area in England. The architectural style of this church is a mix of styles as it was renovated many times since its original build in 11th century. The towers and clerestory date back to the 15th century. The most recent event to take place in the church was the Who's bass player, John Entwistle's 2002 funeral. 

William Harley and Arthur Davidson on Their Bikes, 1914

The fathers of the American chopper can be seen right here on the earlier versions of their masterpieces. The two were childhood friends originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They designed their first motorcycle in 1903 in an attempt to be the road version of the Wright Brothers attempt at air travel. They worked hard to make their machines in a small 10 x 15 foot shed. Davidson coined the phrase, "the the work out of bicycling." 

Lynda Carter on Battle of the Network Stars in 1978

There is something about Lynda Carter and retro images that are a perfect match. The Wonder Woman split her fame with Battle of the Network Stars while she was at it. She would do the swimming portion of the competition, showing the world exactly who she was, plus a super tight bathing suit. The show put stars from other networks against one another in athletic competitions. Here we see Lynda exiting the pool after one of the many competitions. 

Barbara Roufs, 1970, At A Race

Roufs symbolized all that was attractive about drag racing in Southern California. She was one of the first women associated with the sport as a model for it. Roufs was proud of the fact that she never wore any makeup and was always as natural as she could be, especially after two children. Fans and athletes alike were drawn to her. She sadly passed away in 1991 when she was a mere 47 years old.