As technology has advanced over the years, so too has our ability to record history in more accurate and thorough ways. But over the millennia, we’ve had to rely on everything from cave paintings to fossils for evidence of what came before. Thankfully, the introduction of the camera made it much easier to get a glimpse into what life was like in the past. And these black-and-white photographs – from the Great Depression to the fall of the Berlin Wall – help us to do just that.
20. Princess Elizabeth inspecting the Women’s Royal Army Corps, 1949
Before she was queen, Elizabeth II played an active role as princess. In fact, she even served in the military in World War II as a truck mechanic. Here, she inspects a guard of honor at a Royal Agricultural Society show, although she hasn’t yet realized that one woman has fainted – no doubt thanks to everyone else maintaining their posture.
19. Moonshiners’ cow shoes, 1924
In the days of prohibition, the alcohol trade ironically flourished – as did moonshine, the colloquial term for illegally distilled spirits. Due to the blanket ban on booze in the U.S., however, “moonshiners” operated at night, and had to hide their tracks. One way they did so was with “cow shoes,” designed to disguise their footprints.