12 Historic photographs that were actually doctored (14 HQ Photos)

With the advent of powerful desktop publishing software like Adobe Photoshop, digital image manipulation has become mainstream. However, even before the invention of such software, doctored and tampered photos were used to alter perception and shape history.

Post found via fourandsix


  • etcrr

    photoshopped even before computers

    • Murphy, it's you

      and the prize for stating the obvious goes to…


  • ander

    original Photoshop!

  • Patrick

    This was probably the most historically interesting thing that Chive's ever done.

    • nemesis

      Agreed. Good find, Bob. More of this kind of thing.

      • WSU

        I love this type of thing, if you want to read the really in depth and comical version cracked.com ran something similar awhile back. Keep this type of stuff coming chive!

  • myself

    Reminds me of a all the photography classes I took, before digital destroyed film. It was so cool to block something and the readjust the negative or swap in a different one and block what was already exposed on the paper. It was a pain in the ass to get it to look even slightly crappy, but was so fun.

    • Old School

      Used a similar trick to make a sweet fake ID back in 1990. Worked at a graphic arts shop and scanned my license and someone elses than blacked out my birth year and put the other person's in. This was back when scanners were carzy expensive and were cutting edge technology. We had a flyer that showed how we could morph a parrot and a tiger together to impress clients. Pretty funny to think most 12 years olds with photoshop can do the same thing today.

    • SARmedic

      Yup, I remember altering photos in the darkroom too. It sure took a lot of forethought in order to have it turn out halfway decent. Fun as hell though. 🙂

  • yeeha


    • captain thunderbolt

      What about the turtles…..?

  • Pokepoke

    What, no Oswald?

  • MultiTrollin101

    8. Benito Mussolini Removes Hose Handler, 1942. Who knew fluffers have been around that long?

    • MultiTrollin101

      Also, Marjo General Alexander M. Cook. Get some sleep Bob, tired eyes miss things.

  • JOHN

    #14 nothing like the "neutrality" of media, no matter how benign it may seem.

    • chris

      the idea was to create an understanding of the tragedy, not LOL at the screaming girl with a stick in her head

      • JOHN

        So apparently the journalist took it upon his or herself to "fix" the photo so the masses could understand the image. My point regards the condescension of journalists who believe the gravity of the situation could be underminded by a simple background object. You'll also notice i made note of the action's banality to underline how gradation of such tampering greys over time. Journalists have agendas.

        • Holmespump

          "distracting fencepost…was removed by an unknown photo editor" not a journalist with an anti-fence agenda.

          • nemesis


        • nemesis

          I agree with you partly, but I don't think it was about understanding the image, more about bloating the emotional response by directing the focus of the viewer. Still, I think it's not necessary and it's that kind of attitude that moves journalism away from reporting and toward manipulation.

          • ?

            What is unfortunate is that the editor is absolutely right. That fence post destroyed the image and would have distracted from what the point of thw picture was. So, in all actuality, all the editor did was accent the emotion in the picture by removing somwthing would actually be undermining said emotion. It’s common practice. It’s not manipulion of facts. It’s accenting what he already knows to be there. He didn’t add the dead body.

        • ThatGuy

          I don't think you understand what banal means.

  • chris

    Benito Mussolini Removes 'Hose' Handler ?

    • Intellect1618

      He was a pimp, he had alot of "hose"…

  • cb

    #10, hose handler?


    Intresting facts that we all didnt know and that history is changed with OG Photoshopped

    • flibble

      I knew about these.
      jus' sayin'.

      still interesting though.

  • Farrukh Pervaiz
  • kingbersiii

    Goebbels was probably photoshopped because he had a club foot therefore giving him a disability. The Nazis tried to get rid of all people with disabilities and didn't want to have people see him and would've been found hypocritical. Most photos of him show him from the waist up

    • G2theAZZA

      Seems a bit pointless as Hitler was an Austrian who was the opposite in every way to his favored 'Aryan Race' ideal. But saying that, your right he probably was that ironic lol

    • nemesis

      My theory is it was more likely that Hitler wanted to be surrounded by women looking at him while another man looks on, rather than two three women + Goebbels.

      "I'll give them the total destruction of Europe, bitches love the total destruction of Europe."

      True story.

      • nemesis

        that "two" shouldn't be in there. Curses.

      • nomiss05

        That is the funniest "bitches love.." I have ever read. That almost got me in trouble at work for spitting water everwhere.

    • M.O.T.

      That's really interesting that, KCCO.

  • Anonymous

    NOTHING WE KNOW FROM HISTORY IS REAL!!! That means no moon landing!!!!!

  • Terri

    #11 didn't have two watches by the way, he had one watch and one compass. It was a standard arrangement for soldiers but could have confused civilians.

    • Kotlet

      Uhm, no. Compass was on the lanyard in officer's breast pocket. Standard for the soviet army at the time was scavenging boots off the dead bodies, not issuing shiny wrist compasses to each and everyone.
      Russians were notorious for stealing watches – big thing to have one back than as only the wealthy could afford them back home.

    • Corey

      Exactly right

  • daveh873

    Of course it's fake. I can tell by some of the pixels.

    • Underbaker

      If I was to call one of those a reprint it would be the one with John Calhoun in it, before the computer age one would take a picture of a picture and there would be a loss of detail in the copies. So with these two pics to look at I would say someone photoshopped Calhoun's head on Lincoln's body.

  • http://marcussam.wordpress.com/ marcussam

    Amazing find, great read…thanks..

  • anonymous

    In photo 11 it is his left leg that you are pointing to not his left arm

  • http://twitter.com/Dirtbags311 Kevin Atkins (@Dirtbags311)

    Time to go watch the History Channel now. I feel smarter. KCCO

    • The J

      Well, watching the History Channel will sure cure you feeling smarter. Can you say "Swamp People"?

    • Pointed Sticks

      Not much left on the History channel that will make you fell smarter unless you want to learn about aliens and wild conspiracy theories from random greek philosophers, or ^^Swamp people^^.

  • Cdnclipper

    4 guy sitting 5 guy not sitting what’s that got to do with standing far right? Does anyone ever proof the crap that gets published?

    • nemesis

      Relax. This isn't the Sunday Times.

  • Average John

    #10 You said "Hose Handler"……I know immature…..couldn't help it…..

  • http://twitter.com/MOLA1 @MOLA1

    #1 Blew my mind. Honest Abe huh? No.

  • http://twitter.com/MOLA1 @MOLA1

    #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 "Great Scott!" These all reminded me of Back to the Future.

  • BloodScrubber

    So the whole "I'll believe it when I see it" theory in life is pretty much out the window now. Dam. o.0

    • http://twitter.com/MOLA1 @MOLA1

      We'll have to change it to "Pics or it might not have happened." :/

  • payson1

    Actually the photos # 4 and 5 are 2 different ones. Note that the backgrounds are different, the camera angles are different and #5 has what looks like a Sink in the left foreground. So these are two photos taken at different times, not photo shopped. The rest are interesting. It shows how history can be rewritten so easily.

    • jeb

      no, those are all additional changes made when adding Sherman to the photo. Every wrinkle on their clothes is identical, you cant get that level of continuity. Its more likely that they cut the whole group out, and added them to a new background at the same time they added Sherman.

    • Nitr0125

      I think if you can add a person, you can get rid of a sink and add a curtain or two

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