Great Sphinx, Egypt
Photograph by Donald McLeish
In 1928 National Geographic Editor Gilbert H. Grosvenor wanted "outdated" photographs of the Great Sphinx of Giza—images made prior to excavation—removed from the archive. This 1921 photo by Donald McLeish survived and has been in the image collection for over 90 years.
Women With Cherry Blossoms, Japan
Photograph by Eliza R. Scidmore
In a tinted black-and-white photograph dating to the 1910s, women pose with cherry blossoms in Japan.
Photographer Eliza Scidmore served as the National Geographic Society's first female writer and board member and played a pivotal role in bringing the now beloved cherry trees to Washington, D.C.'s Potomac Park and Tidal Basin.
Oak Tree, Louisiana
Photograph by Edwin L. Wisherd, National Geographic
Children play on an oak tree near St. Francisville, Louisiana, in this photo published in the April 1930 issue of National Geographic.
While on assignment in Louisiana, staff photographer Edwin Wisherd explored New Orleans for over a week before shooting a single picture.
Photograph by Jules Gervais Courtellemont, National Geographic
Wearing a traditional bonnet, a woman in Provins, France, carries a wicker basket in this circa 1930 autochrome by Jules Gervais Courtellemont, who spent more than two decades photographing his travels.
Photograph by Kiyoshi Sakamoto
Japanese students await a turn in the water for a swimming lesson in this 1927 autochrome.
The previous year, photographer Kiyoshi Sakamoto—a frequent contributor to National Geographic magazine—had traveled to Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., to master the techniques of autochrome photography.
Photograph by Maynard Owen Williams, National Geographic
Parisians walk past lottery and vermouth advertisements on the City of Light’s Boulevard des Italiens in 1936. The poster for the national lottery says, "Try Your Luck."
Photographer Maynard Owen Williams had many adventures as National Geographic’s first foreign correspondent, including reporting on the opening of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1923.
Photograph by Franklin Price Knott
A circa 1926 autochrome image by Franklin Price Knott shows a group of men in M’Sila, Algeria.
An autochrome series by Knott composed the first color photographic essay to be published in National Geographic.
Photograph by B. Anthony Stewart, National Geographic
In this picture from the early 1940s, travelers in California’s San Joaquin Valley gather owl’s clover and blue lupine in a field along Route 99. The photo originally accompanied a 1942 feature story on California’s abundant wildflowers.
Photograph by Jacob J. Gayer, National Geographic
In a circa 1928 autochrome, ships approach a vast dock to unload millions of tons of iron ore near Ashtabula, Ohio. The photo was published in the May 1932 issue of National Geographic.
Photographer Jacob J. Gayer served as a staff writer and photographer for the magazine from 1921 to 1931.
Harbor, Canary Islands
Photograph by Wilhelm Tobien
Children sit by fishing boats at rest in a Canary Islands harbor in this autochrome published in the May 1930 issue of National Geographic. The image was part of a photo essay—"An Elysium for the Beauty-Seeking Traveler"—that accompanied an article on the Spanish islands.
Its amazing how the sands of time,can cover up and hide mankind in a short period of time..The earth shall enhatit..and take back what man creates
I love to compare old photos to modern ones. It is interesting to see how Sphinx and Pyramids have changed from 1921.