The Statue Of Liberty’s Head: The head of the Statue of Liberty sits on display in a park in Paris, France in 1878, not long before it was transported to its permanent home in New York City. A gift from France to the U.S., the statue was built and even displayed in its home country before eventually being shipped overseas.
The Motorwheel: Swiss engineer M. Gerder in Arles, France, departing for Spain in his “Motorwheel” on Sept. 1, 1931. This motorcycle used one wheel that ran on a rail placed inside of a solid rubber tire.
A Mother And Son Watch An Atomic Bomb Test From Their House: While this photo might look innocent at first, note the small yet unmistakable mushroom cloud on the horizon. During the 1950s, the U.S. government conducted many of its atomic bomb tests just a few dozen miles from Las Vegas. Many locals, like this mother and son photographed in 1953, were able to witness the greatest force of devastation in the history of the world from the comfort of their own homes.
Rapatronic Image Of Nuclear Detonation: Engineer Harold Edgerton’s rapatronic camera was such a technical marvel it could record a still image with an exposure time as short as 10 nanoseconds.
Soon after this camera was developed in the 1940s, the United States government began using its high-speed capabilities to capture nuclear detonations. This photo, snapped during a test in the 1950s, reveals the bomb’s explosion like never before.
Night-Fishing In Hawaii In 1948
You might think this precarious torch was made to give this Hawaiian man better visibility for nighttime fishing. On the contrary, the bright light of kukui-nut torches served to attract fish in shallow waters. Made of kukui nuts wrapped in leaves, these torches drew the fish in — then the fisherman’s pointed spear finished the job.
Of A Wheat Field In Manhattan: Before high-rises and condos dominated Manhattan’s Battery Park, the Public Art Fund commissioned artist Agnes Denes in 1982 to create something of creative value in the area. Rather than opt for a sculpture, she planted a golden wheat field. The dirt used to do so was excavated during construction of the Twin Towers, which stood adjacent, a decade earlier.
Trying To Escape To Mexico In 1939: Back when Mexico was a haven for American fugitives dreaming of liberty, escaping the law by hopping over the border was not uncommon. Captured in 1939, this photo shows just how close one particular lawbreaker came to freedom at the border in El Paso, Texas.
Tesla And His Transmitter: Serbian scientist Nikola Tesla is now revered for a host of accomplishments in electrical engineering. But none of his accomplishments capture his “mad scientist” appeal quite like the crackling bolts of his magnifying transmitter, an advanced version of his famed Tesla coil used for the wireless transmission of electrical energy.
This otherwise unremarkable view from the window of a Burgundy, France estate is in fact the oldest surviving, permanent photograph in existence. Taken in 1826 or 1827 by French photography pioneer Joseph Nichore Nice, this image used a unique process known as heliography. First, Nice set his camera to an eight-hour exposure over a pewter plate coated with asphalt. He then wiped away the areas of the asphalt not hardened by sunlight to reveal a primitive photograph.
Crewmen unload “The Gadget” — the nickname for the first atomic bomb — and prepare it for final assembly soon before its historic test detonation on July 16, 1945 in the Jornada del Muerto desert of New Mexico.
On December 8, 1980 in New York City, John Lennon (left) signs an album for Mark David Chapman, the man who would kill him later that night.
On January 30, 1933 at the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, crowds applaud Adolf Hitler (standing in spotlight at center window) immediately following his inauguration as chancellor. From this point until his death, Hitler ruled as Germany’s supreme leader.
Taken on April 29, 1945, just one day before his suicide, this is widely believed to be the last photo of Adolf Hitler (right), seen here surveying the ruins of the Reich chancellery in Berlin with his adjutant, Julius Schaub.
September 11th World Trade Center employee Marcy Borders takes refuge inside a nearby office building following the collapse of the South Tower, which left her covered in dust. Borders had been working on the 81st floor of the North Tower when the attack commenced and had managed to escape with her life.
Moments after the execution depicted in Eddie Adams’ immortal photo, South Vietnamese General Nguy Ng Loan holsters the weapon he’d just used to kill suspected Viet Cong insurgent Nguy ⒄ V L in Saigon on February 1, 1968.
Secret Service agent Clint Hill jumps aboard the presidential limo to act as a protective shield for President John F. Kennedy and the first lady moments after the gunshot that took the president’s life on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.
Neil Armstrong sits inside the lunar module just after returning from history’s first-ever human moonwalk on July 21, 1969.