Nat Geo Archives: Unpublished Documentary Photos of a Bygone World
A shielded dummy in a basement for atomic bomb testing in Nevada, March 1953
A shielded dummy in a basement for atomic bomb testing in Nevada, March 1953(Photo courtesy: Volkmar Wentzel/National Geographic)

Nat Geo Archives: Unpublished Documentary Photos of a Bygone World

National Geographic is synonymous with some of the world’s finest photography, and that is only what they publish. Buried deep with its archives lie forgotten, unpublished photographs of life across the world, spanning almost a century. Images so fascinating that they make one wonder how did these not make the cut?

Well, they have now.

Found is Nat Geo’s photo stream on Tumblr, launched in 2013 to mark the iconic Yellow Window’s 125th birthday.

As a part of our ongoing series of curations from Nat Geo’s archives of hundreds of unpublished images, Quint Lens presents Part II of the same: some of the best documentary photography over the last century that captures the many shades of the world, its people and the places of a bygone time.

Alexander Graham Bell and Mabel kissing within a tetrahedral kite, October 1903.
Alexander Graham Bell and Mabel kissing within a tetrahedral kite, October 1903.
(Photo courtesy: Library of Congress

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Men climb the mast of a fishing boat to furl the sail in Port Said, Egypt, 1924.
Men climb the mast of a fishing boat to furl the sail in Port Said, Egypt, 1924.
(Photo courtesy: Maynard Owen Williams/National Geographic Creative)
A chorus line high kicks during a show at Cafe Le Can Can in Miami Beach, Florida, 1963.
A chorus line high kicks during a show at Cafe Le Can Can in Miami Beach, Florida, 1963.
(Photo courtesy: Dean Conger/National Geographic Creative)
A man stands next to the cross-section of a giant redwood tree in California, 1909.
A man stands next to the cross-section of a giant redwood tree in California, 1909.
(Photo courtesy: US Forest Service)
Seated villagers wave arms as they enact a play in front of a temple in Bali, Indonesia, 1969.
Seated villagers wave arms as they enact a play in front of a temple in Bali, Indonesia, 1969.
(Photo courtesy: Donna and Gilbert M. Grosvenor/National Geographic Creative)
A girl pets a calf in Scotland, 1918.
A girl pets a calf in Scotland, 1918.
(Photo courtesy: William Reed/National Geographic Creative)
Two dancers in costume stand between the columns of Poseidon’s Temple, Greece, 1930.
Two dancers in costume stand between the columns of Poseidon’s Temple, Greece, 1930.
(Photo courtesy: Maynard Owen Williams/National Geographic Creative)
An Egyptian belly dancer performs for tourists in a nightclub in Cairo, 1972.
An Egyptian belly dancer performs for tourists in a nightclub in Cairo, 1972.
(Photo courtesy: Winfield Parks/National Geographic Creative)

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Pope John Paul II carries Holy Communion before Mass on Holy Thursday in Rome, 1985.
Pope John Paul II carries Holy Communion before Mass on Holy Thursday in Rome, 1985.
(Photo courtesy: James L Stanfield/National Geographic Creative)
A man burns prickly pear to feed the cattle during a drought in Texas.
A man burns prickly pear to feed the cattle during a drought in Texas.
(Photo courtesy: Luis Marden/National Geographic Creative)
The first successful aerial color photograph — which shows the Statue of Liberty —used the Finlay process, 1931.
The first successful aerial color photograph — which shows the Statue of Liberty —used the Finlay process, 1931.
(Photo courtesy: Melville B Grosvenor/National Geographic Creative)
Wealthy Muslims examine the wedding finery of a bride in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1972.
Wealthy Muslims examine the wedding finery of a bride in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1972.
(Photo courtesy: Dick Durrance II/National Geographic Creative)
Dozens of visitors frolic in the water as seen through a palm frond in Acapulco, Mexico, 1964.
Dozens of visitors frolic in the water as seen through a palm frond in Acapulco, Mexico, 1964.
(Photo courtesy: Thomas Nebbia/National Geographic Creative)
Personifying evil, a costumed mapico dancer in Mozambique hides from spectators, 1964.
Personifying evil, a costumed mapico dancer in Mozambique hides from spectators, 1964.
(Photo courtesy: Volkmar K Wentzel/National Geographic Creative)
Women dance to send off a friend on an airplane trip in Mopti, Mali, 1966.
Women dance to send off a friend on an airplane trip in Mopti, Mali, 1966.
(Photo courtesy: James P Blair, National Geographic Creative)
A sled dog, tied to a whale rib, howls under the midnight sun in Alaska, 1969.
A sled dog, tied to a whale rib, howls under the midnight sun in Alaska, 1969.
(Photo courtesy: Thomas J Abercrombie/National Geographic Creative)

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Visitors crowd a casino roulette table in Swaziland, 1969.
Visitors crowd a casino roulette table in Swaziland, 1969.
(Photo courtesy: Volkmar K Wentzel/National Geographic Creative)
Women sit in a chic boutique in Casablanca, 1971.
Women sit in a chic boutique in Casablanca, 1971.
(Photo courtesy: Thomas J Abercrombie/National Geographic Creative)
A shielded dummy in a basement for atomic bomb-testing in Nevada, March 1953.
A shielded dummy in a basement for atomic bomb-testing in Nevada, March 1953.
(Photo courtesy: Volkmar Wentzel/National Geographic)
A woman shops for a fur coat at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. Her Chinese pug, Miss Puffet, sits on a nearby chaise, December 1964.
A woman shops for a fur coat at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. Her Chinese pug, Miss Puffet, sits on a nearby chaise, December 1964.
(Photo courtesy: Albert Moldvay/National Geographic)
Alan Shepard waits to become the first American in space, Cape Canaveral, 1961.
Alan Shepard waits to become the first American in space, Cape Canaveral, 1961.
(Photo courtesy: NASA)
A farmer buring the hoof of a horse before shoeing it in Scotland, May 1921.
A farmer buring the hoof of a horse before shoeing it in Scotland, May 1921.
(Photo courtesy: William Reid/National Geographic)
John F Kennedy’s coffin lies in state beneath the Capitol’s dome, November 1963.
John F Kennedy’s coffin lies in state beneath the Capitol’s dome, November 1963.
(Photo courtesy: George F Mobley/National Geographic)
Londoners seek shelter during WWII in the Aldwych tube station, April 1941.
Londoners seek shelter during WWII in the Aldwych tube station, April 1941.
(Photo courtesy: Acme News Pictures, Inc)
Welts, scars of beauty, pattern the entire back of a Nuba woman in Sudan, 1966.
Welts, scars of beauty, pattern the entire back of a Nuba woman in Sudan, 1966.
(Photo courtesy: Horst Luz/National Geographic Creative)

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