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10 Fascinating Recently Discovered Photographs

Photo lists are my favorite to read and write about, so I’m always trying to think of new subject matter for a photo list that would complement the others on the site. Recently my brother discovered some old pictures of our grandfather. We never knew they existed, and it gave me the idea for this list. This list looks at some rare and hopefully interesting photographs that were uncovered in recent years along with descriptions of the photos and how they were discovered.


Scopes Trial


Taken: 1925
Discovered: 2005

In 2005 the Smithsonian Institution announced that it had some never-before published pictures of the Scopes Monkey Trial which was dubbed “The Trial of the Century,” The negatives were discovered after looking through archival material donated to the Smithsonian back in 1971. The photo shows William Jennings Bryan (seated at left) fielding questions from Clarence Darrow. The heat that summer in east Tennessee was the worst in memory, so the judge moved the trial outside the County courthouse to a cooler venue and to accommodate the enormous crowds. The proceedings were held on a platform that had been erected in front of the Rhea County Courthouse for the benefit of ministers who wanted to preach during the time of the trial.

Interesting Fact: One explanation of why this picture was never published at the time is that the trial ended the next day, and Scopes was found guilty. When Bryan died five days later, the image’s immediate news value diminished.


Florence Nightingale

 41971548 Nightingale300

Taken: 1858
Discovered: 2006

Florence Nightingale is one of nursing’s most important figures. She gained worldwide attention for her work as a nurse during the Crimean War. She was dubbed “The Lady with the Lamp” after her habit of making rounds at night to tend to injured soldiers. Early photographs of Florence Nightingale are very rare because she was extremely reluctant to be photographed, partly for religious reasons and also because she regarded any personal publicity as detrimental to the causes of public health. The photo was discovered in an album of mid 19th century photographs and shows Florence sitting reading outside her family home in Embley Park, Hampshire two years after her return from the war.

Interesting Fact: Another photo of Florence Nightingale surfaced just last year. The photo was taken in 1910 ( 52 years after the one above) It’s the last photograph taken of her and shows 90 year old Florence in her bedroom at her home in South Street, London near Hyde Park. The photo was taken by Lizzie Caswall Smith, a noted studio photographer in the early 1900s who specialized in celebrity and society studio portraits. On the back of the photo Caswall Smith wrote, “Taken just before she died, house near Park Lane. The only photograph I ever took out of studio. I shall never forget the experience.” You can see the photo here.




Taken around: 1900
Discovered: 2008

I realize that a recently discovered photo of a tortoise named Jonathan is not very exciting. However, when the photo shown above was found, it backed up the claim that Jonathan is the oldest living animal on earth. Jonathan was brought to the small island of St Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean in 1882 along with three other tortoises when they were 50 years old. The photograph above was taken around 1900 and was recently discovered as part of a collection of Boer War images. It shows Jonathan, eating some grass with a Boer War prisoner and guard next to him. Jonathan was about 70 years old when this picture was taken which makes Jonathan approximately 177 years old. I know many will ask (like me) how they know for sure that Jonathan was already 50 years old when he came to the island. Others may ask how they are sure that the photo of the tortoise is really Jonathan. The truth is, I’m not sure. I found this information from several different sources so I decided to give good ol’ Jonathan the benefit of the doubt.

Interesting Fact: Locals say that despite Jonathan’s age, he still has the energy to regularly mate with the three younger females. Jonathan is owned by the St Helena government and lives in a specially built plantation on the governor’s land and is treated like a celebrity due to his legendary status. You can see a recent picture of Jonathan here.


Lincoln’s Second Inauguration


Taken: 1865
Discovered: 2008

The Library of Congress recently discovered three new glass negatives of President Abraham Lincoln’s second inauguration. The photo above was originally mislabeled as President Grant’s inauguration ceremony. A curator discovered the photographs while reviewing a log book noticed the caption “Lincoln” in the margins. After careful comparison between the only known photos of the inauguration (just two existed) it was concluded that this photo is actually a crowd scene at Lincoln’s second inauguration. The glass stereograph above shows crowds of people attending the special event including African-American troops marching in an inauguration for the first time.

Interesting Fact: American History buffs get very excited when a new Lincoln photo surfaces. There are two recently discovered photographs of Lincoln but they have not been officially verified. This Photo was discovered this year in a personal album of President Ulysses S. Grant and apparently shows Lincoln in front of the White House. Another photograph discovered a couple of years ago might be a photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg possibly arriving at the stage on horseback. You can see every picture ever taken of Lincoln including the two questionable ones mentioned above here.


Neil Armstrong’s Face

Neil Armstrong On Moon

Taken: 1969
Discovered: 2009

This image was just recently published and is from a film camera that was mounted on the Apollo 11 lunar lander. I know technically this might not be considered a photograph but it’s very rare to see an astronaut’s face on the moon except in sci-fi movies so I wanted to include it in the list. The image was discovered while viewing NASA films. As Armstrong raised his gold reflexive visor (which normally obscures the astronaut’s face), his face appears just for a split second on the film. The footage was transferred into high definition format and then a single frame was made into the image above.

Interesting Fact: Because Armstrong was the guy with the camera most of the iconic pictures are of Aldrin and very few of Armstrong. This year on the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing Armstrong was presented this picture. Despite his modesty Armstrong was impressed to receive the print of himself as a souvenir.


New York City

Screen Shot 2009-10-27 At 4.32.19 Pm

Taken: 1848
Discovered: 2008

After a tremendous amount of research it was established that this daguerreotype photo is one of the earliest photographs of New York City. It was discovered at a small New England auction but the significance of the photograph was not known. The photo was taken around 1848 and shows a hilltop house with a lawn surrounded by a picket fence. It also shows a blurred horse-drawn carriage in the foreground. The area is now Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The photo was sold at auction this year and this time it fetched $62,500.

Interesting Fact: One of the main factors in determining the legitimacy of this photo is a note that was found in the plate’s original leather case which describes a road near the house. The note reads as follows: “This view was taken at too great a distance, & from ground 60 or 70 feet lower than the building; rendering the lower Story of the House, & the front Portico entirely invisible. (the handsomest part of the House.) The main road, passes between the two Post & rail fences. (called, a continuation of Broadway 60 feet wide.) It requires a maganifying [sic] glass, to clearly distinguish the Evergreens, within the circular enclosure, taken the last of October, when nearly half of the leaves were off the trees. May 1849. L. B.”


King Edward VII

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Taken: 1909
Discovered: 2009

This recent find could be the only color photograph of King Edward VII. The photograph shows the King in Highland costume enjoying the autumn grouse season in Scotland. The picture is an early color photography process called autochrome, patented in France in 1903. It remained the principal color photo process until the advent of color film during the mid 1930s. The photo was taken by banker Lionel de Rothschild in 1909. The autochromes were forgotten in a cupboard in Exbury House until they were discovered by de Rothschild’s grandson wrapped in old newspapers. Edward died eight months after the photo was taken.

Interesting Fact: The picture was found alongside 700 other images from the early 1900s, including this one which is probably the first color photograph of London Zoo, taken in 1910.


Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan

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Taken: 1888
Discovered: 2008

This is the most publicized photograph on the list so many will be familiar with it. The photo was discovered while combing through a large family photo collection that was donated by a New England Historic Genealogical Society member. The man that donated the photograph is not sure which family member actually took the photo. He said, “I never thought much about it,” and added, “It just seemed like something no one would find very interesting.” The photo was taken in Brewster, Cape Cod, Massachusetts and shows eight-year-old Helen Keller hand in hand with her teacher Anne Sullivan. Both Keller and Sullivan indicated later in their journals that “doll” was the first word Helen Keller learned in sign language in March 1887. This photograph was taken about sixteen months later and is believed to be the only known photograph of Helen Keller holding one of her dolls.

Interesting Fact: You can watch a very interesting video here filmed 42 years after this photo was taken. It shows Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller demonstrating how Helen learned to talk and understand speech.


Peter Schiff

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Taken: 1939
Discovered: 2008

In Anne Frank’s Diary Anne called Peter Schiff her “one true love.” In 1940 at the age of 11 she writes ‘Peter was the ideal boy: tall, slim and good-looking, with a serious, quiet and intelligent face. He had dark hair, beautiful brown eyes, ruddy cheeks and a nicely pointed nose. I was crazy about his smile, which made him look so boyish and mischievous.’ For more than 60 years there were no photographs known of Anne Frank’s childhood sweetheart. The photo above was discovered when a childhood friend, Ernest Michaelis, now 82, came to realize that the childhood friend that gave him this photograph (before Michaelis had left Germany for Britain) was the 13-year-old boy Anne Frank wrote about in her diary.

Interesting Fact: Peter Schiff does not reappear in the diary until January 6, 1944, after Anne had been in hiding for more than one and a half years. After she has a dream about Peter she writes ‘At that point I woke up, still feeling his cheek against mine and his brown eyes staring deep into my heart, so deep that he could read how much I’d loved him and how much I still do, and now Peter, my dearest Peter. I’ve never had such a clear mental image of him. I don’t need a photograph, I can see him oh so well.’ The photo of Peter Schiff along with a note that reads ‘A friendly memento of your friend Lutz Peter Schiff’ was donated to the Anne Frank museum by Ernst Michaelis. Like Anne Frank’s family, Peter’s family fled Germany for the Netherlands and died in Auschwitz or Bergen-Belsen.


Phineas Gage

Phineas Gage Cased Daguerreotype Wilgusphoto2008-12-19 Unretouched Color

Taken: Around 1850
Discovered: 2009

Phineas Gage was a railroad construction worker from New Hampshire and is known for his incredible survival after an explosives accident in 1848. The explosion propelled an iron rod (shown being held above) traveling at high speed to enter the side of Gage’s face, pass behind his left eye, and then exit at the top of his skull. The iron rod was recovered some 30 yards away, smeared with blood and brain. Gage recovered from the accident and retained full possession of his reason, but his wife and other people close to him soon began to notice dramatic changes in his personality. This is possibly the first recorded case suggesting that damage to specific regions of the brain might affect personality and behavior. The photo above was discovered in July 2009 and is the only known picture of Gage that exists. It was first thought to be a picture of a whaler with a harpoon and was posted on flickr under daguerreotype photographs. After seeing the picture, members of whaling groups commented that what the man was holding was not a harpoon. Another commenter then suggested that it could be a picture of Phineas Gage. When the photograph was compared to his life mask it was confirmed to be Gage around the age of 25. Gage died 11 years after the accident from a series of increasingly violent convulsions.

Interesting Fact: Phineas Gage’s brain was not subjected to any medical examination at that time, but seven years later his body was exhumed so his skull could be studied. Today Gage’s skull is on permanent display at Harvard’s Countway Library of Medicine. You can see a picture of Phineas Gage’s skull and life mask here.

Listverse Staff

Listverse is a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge. Three or more fact-packed lists daily.

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  • saopauloesquecida

    I love photography, the one on the moon is my favorite here!

  • dbrownl

    some pics cool some not, so so list

  • nullsturm


  • Taash

    Nice list!

  • frabjousflamingo


  • Melissa

    It’s always a pleasure to find bits of preserved history like these.

  • Nemiga

    Truly amazing! Great List!

  • Junqueman

    I love the tortoise Jonathan–Would be worth a trip to the island just to see him. Great job on the pics and descriptions.

  • ZedroZ

    Sorry but the first sentence of number 8 had me laughing for quite a few minutes for some bizzare reason!!!
    Great list!

  • Tenebrae

    Excellent research done on this list. Without the descriptions, the list would have been mediocre. Combined it actually is fascinating. Well done.

  • nuriko

    wow… :)

  • Mr. Dontknowmyname

    Lincoln’s Second Inauguration

    I though it was worlds first X-vision, or crossed eyed, picture.

    You know.. cross your eyes to look funny and 3 pictures will occure. Left is the right one on the screen, the right is the left on the screen. And the middle will be 3 dimensional. It did work for me…

    Google for “cross vision picture” or something to get better results

  • flgh

    Sigh…if only at 177 we still have the energy to regularly mate with three younger females

  • Derek

    Nice, these are pretty interesting photos

  • Juan

    Wouldn’t Armstrong’s face be burnt to a crisp without any type of protection from the sun’s unfiltered light?
    Just wondering!

  • indieskies

    Wikipedia states that Gage did not have a wife

  • nice nice nice!!

  • indieskies

    Great list… old photographs.

  • milqytoast

    FINALLY, an interesting list, nothing to do with furries

  • Matt567

    When 177 years you reach, look as good as Jonathan you will not!

  • Audrey

    Great list!
    Any sort of photographs are enticing as hell.
    Keep it up! haha

    I found the Peter Schiff image to be particularly intriguing.
    Amazing something like that could be recovered and recognized as him.

  • Moloch1123

    Nice list… some of these were very interesting. I’d also love to know who thought that what Phineas Gage was holding was a harpoon. I took one look at the photo before reading the explanation and knew it was no harpoon, and I’m not a whaling expert.

  • Waspy

    Wow, I just got a shock seeing Jonathan the toirtoise! I used to live on St Helena (1990-1993) and clearly remember him. There were also a few other toirtoise at Plantation House (Governor’s residence), about 6 in total and he was the biggest. That has really made my day seeing that. Some kids used to sit on his back for ‘rides’ but this was discouraged as he was very old. It was awesome because they were left to roam the lawn and you could just go up to them and feed them grass or pet them. Wow, memories.

  • astraya

    Blogball seems genetically incapable of writing a bad list.

    Re list item 6. I remember reading somewhere that Aldrin actively avoided camera duty, to ensure that Armstrong took photos of him but I can’t think of or find that source now. For a sort-of similar reason, the photos on Mt Everest are all of Tenzing, as Hillary knew how to operate a camera and Tenzing didn’t. Hillary later said something like “It didn’t seem the place to teach him”.

  • gabi319

    “Locals say that despite Jonathan’s age, he still has the energy to regularly mate with the three younger females.”
    So what we have is the Hugh Hefner of the Tortoise world? Tortoises Next Door, anyone?

    Interesting list, Blogball! I don’t know why but for some reason, I feel like I’ve seen many of these photos before.

  • Cassia

    Great list! Thank you for putting this list together. BTW, Phineas Gage wasn’t that bad looking, and I never realized how angular Abraham’s face was.

  • timmar68

    yay! Lists about photographs and recordings are my favorite. Peter did look like a little charmer, didn’t he?

  • keyshock

    Peter Schiff. wow.

  • oouchan

    Great list, Blogball! Loved the photo for the turtle. That was interesting info to know and read about. :)

  • apepper

    This is a great list!

  • cami

    He (Peter) was a sweet looking kid.

  • Me

    Fantastic list. Very interesting and well researched.

  • aw2pp

    Great list. But for some reason, I think the tiger picture from the London Zoo is the most impressive. Except for the dress of the people in the background, and the iron bars (don’t see those much in zoos anymore, not around here anyway), it looks like it could have been taken last week.

  • Petie

    Yes! 32!

    Awesome list. Love the tortoise.

  • Petie

    The dress on Florence Nightengale is really pretty.

    But, what happened back in the days when they wore those if they walked through mud or dog poo? That’d be a drag to be strolling through the estate garden and the dress inadvertently runs over the hubby’s hunting dogs crapola. Later, you realize it when you smell something awful at the afternoon tea.

  • Davy

    Very interesting list, Blogball.
    I always thought the Helen Keller photo was from a play or something.

  • mom424

    Great job Blogball. Never a disappointment – well other than the fact that you don’t write more…. :)

    Can’t even pick a favorite although the Peter Schiff picture definitely tugs on my heartstrings. The Diary of Anne Frank is the first book that ever made me cry. Many, many moons ago.

  • undaunted warrior

    Great list Blogball, my late father was a keen photographer and had quite a collection of cameras, I inherited one its called a Rolleiflex it has 2 lenses one mounted ontop of the other.

    He had a darkroom in the celler, and to this day I can still smell the chemicals and picture that red bulb burning in that room.

    I think I will dust the cobwebs off his old camera tonight and give it a good old clean.

  • missmozell

    Yeah, Anne. Peter WAS pretty cute.

  • msulli222

    This is one of the best lists ever published on this site. Fascinating AND well written descriptions. I learned tons of new things here today.

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    Nice list. I’m digging number 1. What a badass

  • Miss_Info

    Awesome list Blogball :) Its cool to see what people and places looked like 100 years ago.. MORE !!!

  • teacherman

    Jonathon is the man (or the tortise)

  • Davy


  • meetoo731

    Very cool list!

  • Carole

    This being one of the better lists. Thank You I agree that the tiger photo could pass for a recent one.Florence Nightingale and Helen Keller are two of my childhood heroines

  • Randall

    Another great list Blogball. Love these old photography lists. Great work.

  • gr8flddfn

    awesome list :)

  • Freshies

    How can a photograph taken from a spacecraft by NASA go missing? That is very bizzare to me.

  • Blacknimbus

    Awesome list!

  • MM

    In connection with the Anne Frank item, some film footage of her was recently discovered. She’s visible for a few seconds, beginning at about 0:10.

    Great list; keep it up.

  • natapillar

    i enjoy reading the photography lists the most :)

    the picture of Peter Schiff was lovely

  • silvernano

    Blogball NEVER disappoints. Another excellent list from the MASTER.

  • General-Jake

    This..list..ROCKED! Poor Phineas Gage thats way disturbing. And Johnathon is for sure ass kikin. 177? And still ready for love?

  • Jensen Wright

    Speaking of long-living tortoises, one of the tortoises Darwin brought back from his voyages on the Beagle (ca 1835) only recently died (in 2006 at the age of 176)!

  • archangel

    That London Zoo photo is like from another planet! I am always amazed at how old photos can be… Lincoln!! And awww, poor Peter and Anne.

  • Chelsea

    Damn, Phineas Gage was pretty hot!

  • Nitroglycerin

    Great List!!


    Fantastic list! Thank you!

  • cshteynberg

    This is great! But you don’t give links to many of the photos online….

    FYI, you can see most of the Scopes Trial photos on the Flickr Commons here:

  • Nattuli

    I still can’t get my head around to the fact that photographs existed in the 1800’s. Anne Frank’s love interest is pretty cute. I’d go for him were I 11 years old.

  • ianz09

    Great list!

  • zigra

    People used to look so much cooler than we do now. I blame synthetic fabrics :) Great list Blogball – always look forward to seeing your name at the top of the page!

  • necro_penguin

    good list. but i don’t see any horse drawn carriage in #5.

  • lrigD

    @51 MM: Actually that video wasn’t recently discovered. I visited the Anne Frank Huis several years ago and I remember seeing it…

    I’m kind of glad that Peter was included here. I’m Dutch and Anne Frank’s diary was the first serious book (as in: book with a serious theme and meant for teens more than kids) I read and it made me cry so hard. I’ve always been interested in WWII, especially local (well, The Netherlands in this case) so seeing that picture kind of cheered me up in a weird way.

    The other photos are cool, too. Florence Nightingale looks lovely. And it’s really amazing how the photo of the lion in London Zoo looks so recent!

  • MM

    Thanks for the correction, IrigD; I just saw it recently and I thought I’d read that it was newly discovered.

  • flamehorse

    Phineas Gage! I hoped he’d be on here! That’s one tough joker, lemme tell ya! Lucky as hell. The accounts on Wikipedia are just astonishing. He leans over to vomit and half a teacup of brain matter falls out of his head.

  • Rob

    Best list that I’ve seen on here in a long time.

    I just recently saw the Phineas Gage photograph, but I didn’t realize it was only discovered this year!

  • DM

    This is the kind of list I love seeing on this site. Nice details about the photos. Well done!

  • Gav

    WoW!!! Love this stuff! Firsts, finds, mysteries… love ’em all! Another great credit Blogball! And to JF for having the wisdom and foresight to post it! :)

    “Locals say that despite Jonathan’s age, he still has the energy to regularly mate with the three younger females”

    What- are the females 147, 142 and 139 years of age? Way to hustle the young ‘uns, Jonny boy!

  • Kelsi

    Fascinating list! Great finds, blogball. =)

  • Green Eyes

    Blogball – always with the greats lists!

    Phineas Gage is HOT!

  • Blogball

    Thank you for the nice comments listversers! I really appreciate it and it makes the effort well worth it. I always enjoy researching anything involved with photographs so this was great fun for me to learn all about the details of these rare photos.

    Thank you for posting the list Jamie. I just gave the Ultimate Book of Top 10 Lists book its first review on Amazon. :-)

  • BryanJ

    Great List,
    The picture collections are my favorite as well.

  • AHH, #1 was so frightening to see. After learning about him so much in Psychology classes it is interesting to see his face.

  • Matthew L Lena (Boston)

    Some clarifications re Phineas Gage: (1) His wife might or might not have noticed his personality changes, but first he would need to *have* a wife, which he almost certainly did not. (2) No one knows what his age was when this photo was taken, but he was certainly older than 25. (3) The photo is from the collection of Jack and Beverly Wilgus. Read their story at and more about Gage himself at

  • Davy

    @Blogball (73):
    I was wondering if that was the same Blogball on Amazon.

  • Matthew L Lena (Boston)

    um, I meant to say… Read more about Gage himself at

  • Blogball

    I forgot in my last comment to thank my sister who bravely agreed to proof read the list and correct my usual punctuation (and other mistakes) and hopefully made it easier on the Listverse administrators this time.

    @Matthew L Lena (Boston) (76):
    Thanks for that info and link. I ran across several different articles on Gage (He is a very popular guy) and some did mention he had a wife. Most information I came across listed his age at 25 when the accident happened and many think the photo was taken a couple of years later putting him at 26 or 27 in the picture. But you might be right because your article is more recent than mine. I guess it all depends on what article you read and that’s what makes these old photos so much fun. :-)

  • ames801

    Great list, Blogball! Very interesting.

  • mrsmarvel

    Is it just me or does anyone else think King Edward VII looks a bit like Burl Ives in that picture?

  • Matthew L Lena (Boston)

    Re #79: Gage was indeed 25 at the time of his accident, but the “many” who “think” the photo was taken “a couple of years later” are just guessing — there are too many unknowns.

    With all due respect, it doesn’t “all depend on what article you read”: it depends on who makes the most reasoned argument backed up by actual evidence. The “Neurophilosphy” blog you cite is well meant, but contains a lot of misinformation e.g. that Gage suffered a “complete loss of social inhibitions, which often led to inappropriate behaviour,” and that “in effect, the tamping iron had performed a frontal lobotomy on Gage,” plus the “wife” fiction already mentioned. It’s all complete baloney. (And while he was at it, “Neurophilosophy” used others’ material without attribution.)

    Lost in all this is how wonderful it is that you selected Gage’s portrait as your “#1”. I’ve been researching Gage for three years (and my colleague Malcolm Macmillan has been at it almost 30 years) and it’s time Gage got some real recognition!

    PS with regard to #81: It’s well known that Burl Ives and Edward VII were the same person. If you don’t believe me, just ask yourself: have you ever seen them together?

  • lala

    to dbrownl – comment number 2
    What is the point of saying that? Why spread depression around even further? I happen to be slightly depressed at the moment, so get particularly upset and offended by people being blase and condenscending about things when there is no need to bring others down.

    In future, do not waste your time writing because we have to inevitably waste our time reading. Nasty little bigot.

  • Blogball

    @Matthew L Lena (Boston) (82):
    Matthew L Lena, Wow, well that certainly beats out my research. Thank you again for clearing up and clarifying some of the facts about this interesting guy. Once I read all of the details about Phineas Gage there was no one that could have knocked him out of the number one spot.

  • RogerGW

    “The autochromes were forgotten in a cupboard in Exbury House until they were discovered by de Rothschild’s grandson wrapped in old newspapers.”

    You’d think someone that rich could afford clothes.


  • paul

    #6 is an obvious fake. Why would a photograph so dramatically revealing and clear suddenly appear 40 years later. If it were real, it would’ve been on the front page of the times and printed in every science textbook in the U.S. back in 69.

  • Blogball

    @Freshies (49): @paul (86):

    It was discovered later because the image appears on film for only a split second so if you blink you could have missed it. The image is a single frame of film and was just recently made into a picture after the film was transferred to a high def format.

  • Blogball! Another great photography list!
    Are you trying to make me feel unskilled and useless behind the camera? You are doing a fine job of it, my good man!
    All kidding aside, you do have a tremendous ability to turn out one fabulous List after another, usually on photography.
    Congratulations, guy, another winner on LV!

  • BryDeeC

    I love the Peter Schiff one! He was a cutie. I can see why Anne was so in love with him.

  • Moonbeam

    This has to be one of the best lists. I also love the photography themed ones and the historical aspect make it even more compelling.

    Along the same lines as some of your pictures, recently they discovered some old photos of Marilyn Monroe in the Life Magazine archives:

    Apparently she was an unknown at the time the photos were taken and so they weren’t published. They were found while digitizing Life’s vast collection.

  • slgw k ass

    Phineas Gage is HOTT!

  • cessy

    wow list! amazing because of the photo of Peter Schiff. ive been wanting to see how he looked like.very very nice!

  • astraya

    Blogball gave the book a rating of 5 stars. Could there be the remotest hint of bias in that rating?

  • Maggot

    @astraya (93): I give this list 5 stars! No bias.

  • Blogball

    @astraya (93):
    It was your list in the book that boosted it to the 5 star rating :-)
    I really have been enjoying the book. The 5 stars is legit.

  • Diogenes

    In question are most of the extra ones I had thought of after going through this list (of which I dont think has been mentioned in the comments by anyone), which include The Robert Johnson picture purchased off of Ebay last year and as featured in its public debut amongst the pages of Vanity Fair. The attack on Pearl Harbor pictures that had been supposably on undeveloped film in a brownie camera stored in a footlocker all this time. The Van Gogh picture. And What’s the update on the supposed oldest photograph that shows a leaf (which must be on another list on this site, I’m sure)?
    Okay, so the Pearl Harbor ones are a fake backstory from what I can tell simply by looking up links to internet info but if somebody has some conclusive info, please tell. Anyway, with the the other photos I have mentioned….does anybody have any closed case evidence? I know “the experts” say yes and no, here and there. But I think with the public news , the breaking story is what counts and all the real work and what fits before,in between, and after–is not of interest. So, anybody have any inside scoop or up to date info about the (1) leaf photograph -was it sold in auction before a final “oldest photograph certificate” was declared, (2) the Victor Morin photograph of Vincent Van Gogh , the Robert Johnson picture (Is it his brother, or BB King or neither)? I have read a few online things bout’ all these but what I mean is offline real data. The Pearl Harbor backstory seems fraudulent enough, after just a quick computer search. but I’m rather interested in the other three.
    If I dont receive any answers that satisfy than I’ll do my own damn research and make some calls, otherwise..

    The Robert Johnson article:
    and its analysis:

    What the backstory on the footlocker Pearl Harbor pictures stated:

    The Thomas_Wedgwood leaf photo as reported in NYT:

    the Vincent picture in question:

  • winchestre

    Nice job, Blogball. (FlameHorse, you are still my number one fav. *smiles*)

    I have a degree in 19th century U.S. history and always thought I should have written my master’s thesis on something to do with the development of photography. Such an interesting time – plus old photos are fun and creepy.

  • flamehorse

    @winchestre (96): Oh wel thank you! Sorry, Blog. *sheepish shrug*

  • winchestre

    @Juan (15): Are we the only ones suspect of the moon landing’s authenticity? Um? How the f**k does NASA lose a damn moon picture? Did they forget to pick it up from the Photo Hut?

  • Meg

    Ah, Florence Nightingale. :)

  • littlegoldwoman

    This list was awesome. More!!!

  • Alex T.

    Do more of these kind of lists! This one was AWESOME!!!

  • Hayley

    I love looking at old photographs! You should definitely make more lists like this.

  • psychologist1

    i like # 9 very much! super! i like different lists of interesting facts in general and this one is also great!!!

  • math17dotcom

    Great List amazing!

  • very interisting black and white and documenter photography.

  • astraya

    @Blogball (95): Which list of mine is in the book? I’ve frantically looked through the index online, and can’t spot anything that looks familiar.

  • Kanza

    Very creative idea for a list, and a very well fulfilled task. I liked #1 and #2 especially (were they in any particular order? If so, I coulnd’t agree more).

    I remember reading a neurophysiology book in college that stated that Phineas Gage’s wife was one of the first to notice his altered behaviour. I really don’t think that they cited sources on this, though.

  • Handrejka

    As always another great Blogball list

  • bearded_defender

    weird, because a while ago i was watching a video about the moon exploration being a hoax.
    @Juan (15): i agree with your point.

    anne frank has a good taste hihihi.

  • bearded_defender

    great list btw, it’s very fascinating, interesting, and a tad creepy.

    its like watching porn, and discovering that the pornstar on the is already dead.

  • bearded_defender

    *on the video

    sorry i post too much

  • Abs

    Amazing list!!!! So interesting. The one of Peter Schiff gave me chills, tragic.

  • krazykoreankyle

    a picture is worth a thousand words

  • Matthew L Lena (Boston)

    re #108: You’ll find many books and papers endowing Gage with a wife, but it’s just as you say: none of them cite to anything, except maybe to one another. Gage’s doctor is (with minor exceptions) our only first-hand source, and his 20-page case report describes sickbed visits by Gage’s mother, uncle, coworkers, and friends — but nothing about a spouse. And eight years after Gage’s death, mother gave doctor a history of Gage’s life after the accident — no wife here either.

    Most writing on Gage goes on in a sort of echo chamber, authors uncritically rehashing what others have written, apparently assuming that someone somewhere must have actually checked the facts. Unfortunately, the work on Gage which is best known to the public is Antonio Damasio’s *Descartes’ Error*, which presents a completely fabricated account of Gage’s accident and life. Sadly, John Fleischman’s 2002 *Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science* — a children’s book — is more factually reliable than Damasio — who’s a neurologist!

    I recommend or for the full treatment try my colleague Malcolm Macmillan’s *An Odd Kind of Fame: Stories of Phineas Gage.*

  • Blogball

    @astraya (107): astraya, in the book you are listed as one of the contributors.

  • Nice photograph. Salam

  • Kanza

    @Matthew L Lena:

    Thanks for the detailed answer!

  • Moonbeam

    @Diogenes (96): You ask, “the Pearl Harbor ones are a fake backstory from what I can tell simply by looking up links to internet info but if somebody has some conclusive info, please tell.” Just by looking at the photos on the link you provided at, it’s easy to see the story is a fake. No one person could have been at all the locations depicted in the pictures at the time of the attack. A couple of them are aerial shots, the rest are from the ground and all are taken during the attack. In order to get all those angles he would have to have been in several places at the same time.

  • thatswhatshereallysaid

    These photos are so interesting. I think that the NYC shot is absolutely incredible.

  • Lue

    I was completely absorbed for at least one hour. Fabulous!

  • Jess

    Thank you for this fabulous list! One of my favorite recent lists, perhaps favorite EVER.

  • hoshie

    Excellent list Blogball! One of my favorites of late.

    The photo of Peter Schiff made me want to cry, knowing the who Anne Frank story.

  • I certainly enjoyed this history lesson with photos. Hope you do more soon.

  • Check out what might be the earliest photo of Niagara Falls recently discovered.

  • Blogball

    @jake ryder (125):
    Very cool jake ryder.
    As the 3rd commenter pointed out I was also curious how the figure of the person (lower left) was not blurred because of the exposure time. Then the next comment after that seems to explain that.
    Thank you again everyone for the additional comments.

  • Diogenes

    @119, Thanks. Yeah, I found the same argument that you have stated as what linked me to the Snopes page. Like I said it was among the others that I first thought of after reading this list. Only I don’t think I had much interest in my intial viewing of the Pearl Harbor pics. It was the story that accompanied it which lured me in. Sucker am I, BUT, not really.
    What sparked my interest with the “undeveloped film in footlocker story” was a completely different connective recall from years ago concerning the search for George Mallory’s camera . He was the guy, along with Andrew Irvine that may have reached the summit of Mount Everest 29 years before Hillary & Norgay. Thing is, they never returned and the belief was/is that if the bodies can be found and the camera is with one of them then Kodak apparently can develop it if certain conditions apply and if so, there may be images of Mallory and Irvine atop the world. I know, it’s so far fetched but we’re talking about people searching for a camera of undeveloped film on Mount Everest…Its a completely different mindset of the individuals partake in such a search!
    Anyway, what I remember was that Mallory’s body was discovered, but no camera! Damn!
    Mallory was found face down and his preserved back flesh exposed, very smooth and bleached white and there was an amazing description of what he was wearing.
    Like thermal underwear is enough for a trip to the moon.

    I think another team went up early this year to find Irvine. Again, with the hope that a camera might be with him.

  • Andy

    Awesome list.

  • Jubbs

    The picture of Peter Schiff was my favorite. Maybe because I’ve always been so fascinated about the story of Anne Frank.

  • Daniel

    I think this list is one of the best i’ve read here (and i come here everyday to read new lists). Very informative, very interesting all over an excellent list Blogball!

  • barlow

    Great list, love the Armstrong pic and learnt a shit-load from the facts, well done.

  • Sobeyah

    Hi.I am Sobeyah from Pakistan. As i am so much interested in history,death,photography,paranormal phenomena,bizarre world…i luvd dis list..infact i luv ur entire site as it feeds my hunger of interestd in above mentiond fields..once again u did a remarkable job here…keep up d excellent work!!!

  • jack

    The Armstrong one is fake. The moon has no atmosphere, and had he really opened his visor to the vacuum of space, his head would have exploded.

  • A Bystander

    @jack (133):

    Some advice, attributed to Lincoln: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

  • Davy

    @jack (133): There is glass between his face and space, dumbass.

  • A Bystander

    @Davy re comments #133-135: No doubt that’s what Lincoln actually had in mind, but of course presidents must put things at least somewhat diplomatically.

  • Davy

    @A Bystander (136): agreed

  • Cait

    WOW, those are so freaking fascinating. Just imagine what Jonathan has seen in his entire life, that’s so crazy that they can live to be that old. I love old photographs, I don’t care if I know who’s in them or not. I wonder what people will say about us in 100 years.

  • Peter-oppa is quite handsome neh? ;o

  • Mememe

    About the Armstrong picture and Armstrong’s role in the lunar mission – he was first because he was the most expendable, unlike Aldrin and Collins without whom none of them could come back. Ironic how the ‘boss’ (Armstrong was Mission Commander) got to be first to land, while the ones doing the actual important work didn’t get as much recognition. Armstrong’s a classy guy, don’t get me wrong, but it sure reflects how the ‘corporate ladder’ works everywhere to this day… Cool pic, BTW.
    Nice list.

  • A Bystander

    @Mememe (140): There’s never any single reason for a decision such as this, but even the one you give (that Armstrong was less critical to safe return than were Aldrin and Collings) seems perfectly sensible, as are any number of other explanations (such as that the hatch was on Armstrong’s side of the LEM, requiring Aldrin to climb over Armstrong in order to exit first). I don’t see what corporate ladders has to do with it.

    Everyone on that mission got, and gets, plenty of recognition. I’d be happy to have been *any* of the people who walked on the moon — first, second, or last. In fact, I’m thrilled that people went to the moon at all — me or someone else, Americans or non-Americans. As Armstrong said with (admittedly staged) modesty: one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind (or whatever he actually said). It’s a human achievement, and all this fussing about who should have gone first seems silly.

    Never did like Tang, however. Yecch!

  • Cheer up. It WILL get better.

  • A Bystander

    @Kaitlin Beckman (142): Thanks, but Tang will never get better. It will always be Tang.

  • math17dotcom

    It is great

  • Barbara

    It has been decades but Reader’s Digest had an article about Phineas Gage. The accident did change his personality. He went from hard working to lazy.
    Love the tortoise.

  • Matthew L Lena (Boston)

    @Barbara (145): While normally I would not dream of challenging Reader’s Digest as an authoratative source on the history of neuroscience, here I’m afraid I have no choice but to clarify once agin: as already described (see #76-79, 82, 115 above) Gage definitely underwent some kind of personality change, but there is no evidence that he became “lazy”. Quite the opposite: it’s clear that he supported himself all his life at hard, honest work.

    I like the tortoise too.

  • Karen

    Thank you so very much for taking the time to share these magnificent photo’s with us. History is so important to us all.

  • Andromed

    Wait… is it Peter Schiff or Peter van Pels? I’m a little confused.

  • mikesean

    WOW. King Edward looks EXACTLY like my grandfather (when he was in a grumpy mood anyway). I feel like I’m descended from a timetraveler! :P

  • HongKi

    as for Jonathan, the age is determined by the growth of the shell. that’s as general as i can get. i’m not sure about the specifics. maybe it’s by the rings/ pattern/ height of shell

  • YoungAnabaptistRadical

    @Andromed (148): There are two different Peters. Van Pels was in hiding with the Franks (I don’t believe she knew him before that time). Schiff was her boyfriend for “one whole summer” and was not in hiding with the Franks.

  • katerinaelaena

    “I realize that a recently discovered photo of a tortoise named Jonathan is not very exciting.” – Oh no, it really doesn’t get more exciting than a picture of a turtle, i do beg to differ! =p

    haha, cool list! I loved the pictures! I always wondered what Anne Frank’s boy-frned looked like! I especially liked the picture of Florence Nightingale and Anne Sullivan with Helen Keller. Very nice.

  • DanielClaudius

    Thats not the only photo of Phineas Gage. Another was found with his relatives after that story ran.

  • Matthew L Lena (Boston)
  • Bidzi

    nice list. Love to go through a bit of history again.
    thank you so much.

  • becd85

    Great list, I especially love the picture of Phinaeus Gage when we studied him in psychology I always wondered what he looked like and he was quite handsome!

  • becd85

    The Peter Schiff photo was quite sad. It was really good to see what Phineas Gage looked like having studied his case in psychology. Can I say he was a bit hot?

  • I wonder why #5 is considered a 1848 photo if the description clearly says it was taken in May 1849? Or is May 1849 just the date it was developed?

  • Fuuko

    my my, seems like Jonathan hasnt aged a bit!

  • Psyche

    The Peter Schiff picture makes me cry. He's almost a spitting image of my nephew except my nephew is blond. It's so sad, so mind numbingly awful what happened to Anne and Peter and all the people whose lives and dreams were destroyed by that Nazi insanity.

  • Liser

    Locals say that despite Jonathan’s age, he still has the energy to regularly mate with the three younger females

    – sounds a little like Hugh Hefner maybe he is secretly a tortoise

  • caro

    The Phineas Gage photo is clearly not the only known photo of him, seeing as there is a different one on his wikipedia page

  • Quint

    There is a penis in number 5.

  • kiansmommie

    Its so surreal seeing the post about Neil Armstrong. I’m reading this on 8/26/12. The day after Neil Armstrong died. May he rest in peace.