Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop

Today, manipulated or 'shopped photos are common in the media and in our everyday life, but that wasn't the case for most of photographic history. Here are some of the most interesting trick photos and image manipulations made before the first version of Photoshop was released in 1989.

Advertisement

Sealed Power Piston Rings, by John Paul Pennebaker, 1933

Pictured above.

(via Stylestation)

William H. Mumler's spirit photos, 1860s-1880s

Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop
Advertisement

Mary Todd Lincoln's portrait with the ghost of her husband, Abraham Lincoln was taken in the early 1870s.

Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop

Left: "Master Herrod (a young medium) in a trance. His Spiritual Body Withdrawn and Appears Behind.", ca. 1868 Center: "Mrs. French of Boston with Spirit Son", ca. 1868 Right: Moses A. Dow, Editor of Waverley Magazine, with the Spirit of Mabel Warren", ca. 1871

(via Wikimedia Commons and Photography Museum)

Man Juggling His Own Head by a French artist, around 1880

Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop
Advertisement

(via Baidu)

Double-exposure portraits from the late 1800s

Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop
Advertisement

Left: Mr. Mansfield, circa 1895
Right: Barber And Customer, circa 1885

(via Photography Museum)

Headless gentlemen from the Victorian era

Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop
Advertisement

(via The Sun)

Tall Tale photographs

Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop
Advertisement

I've written about this century-old photographs before.

Advertisement

(via Culver Through The Years)

Cottingley Fairies (1917-1920)

Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop

The series of five photographs were taken by two young cousins, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths between 1917 and 1920. These were used by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to illustrate his article about fairies. This made the pictures world-famous. In the early 1980s, the old women confessed they've used cardboard figures.

Advertisement

(via Blue Red Porter and Wikimedia Commons 1 - 2)

Man On Rooftop With Eleven Man In Formation On His Shoulders, from an unidentified American artist, around 1930.

Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop
Advertisement

(via Dias of Diaz)

The equator – photographed for the first time in history, 1930s

Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop
Advertisement

(via The Oddment Emporium)

Skiing in Egypt, 1938

Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop
Advertisement

(via Dark Roasted Blend)

The Commissar Vanishes, 1940

Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop
Advertisement

Nikolai Yezhov was one of Stalin's most powerful officials, but in 1939 he was arrested and executed in 1940. The top photo is from the mid 1930s, and the other is from 1940. It's the best-known example of the Stalin-era image manipulation.

(via gandul and 163)

Stocking repairing little beetles

Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop
Advertisement

(via Dark Roasted Blend)

The most heroic portrait of Benito Mussolini, 1942

Advertisement

The handler was removed to create a more heroic look.

(via Col. Milquetoast's Blog)

Alcohol on a Soviet-German meeting? The Soviets said no, 1971

Illustration for article titled The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop
Advertisement

The German newspapers showed a photography about Chancellor Willy Brandt and Leonid Brezhnev with three bottles, but the Soviets altered the picture.

(via tvnet)

Advertisement

Share This Story

Get our newsletter