20+ Iconic Photographs Capturing Defining Moments in History

Vintage Wonders Dec 05, 2023

You can’t guess what’s coming next, but taking a peek into the past helps us make sense of today.

This list showcases 20+ key historical moments that really changed how things are today. It covers everything from big wars and revolutions to cool scientific findings and amazing inventions. These moments are the big deals in our human journey forward.

Whether you’re someone who loves history or just curious about our past adventures, take a look at this awesome list!

(All photos credit goes to respective owners)


A protestant husband and his catholic wife were not allowed to be buried together. Here are their headstones reaching across the two cemeteries in 1888.


Demonstrating how bulletproof vests work, 1923.


A family poses with their covered wagon in Kansas, 1908.


Building the hand and torch of the Statue of Liberty, Paris, 1876.


The tallest man to ever live, Robert Wadlow, poses with his family in 1935.


Workers building the Empire State building, c. 1930s


Two women, minutes after voting, London, 1929.


Mother and son pose for a photo, Ireland, 1890.


Henry Ford in the first car he ever built, 1896.


The absolutely massive chain for the Titanic’s anchor, c. 1909.


A woman plays a piano designed for people undergoing bedrest, 1935.


A photo by Berenice Abbot of a woman wiring an IBM computer, 1948.


A man repairs the antenna on the World Trade Center, NYC, 1979. Photo by Peter Kaplan.


Bottling ketchup at the Heinz factory, Pittsburgh, 1897


A meeting of the Mickey Mouse Club, California, c. 1930.


The Great Blizzard of 1888, New York City


A WWI-era German submarine washed ashore in Hasting, England, in 1919.


The intact seal on Tutankhamun’s Tomb, 1922. It went untouched for 3,424 years.


Lumberjacks take a photo with a Douglas fir tree, Washington, 1899.


A woman is ticketed for wearing a bikini, 1957.


Two newsies, New York, 1896.