Re-writing history

Old Pics Archive is a popular Twitter account with the following bio:

The most interesting historical photographs. Follow, discuss, share!

They also have a web-site: oldpicsarchive.com

Problem: Old Pics Archive doesn’t always post historically accurate pictures. In fact, some of the pictures are fakes or misplaced.

Salvador Dali

fake Dali picture
See the original picture by Philippe Halsman (Magnum Photos), “Spanish painter Salvador Dali with his wife Gala, 1948”. Fake part: Dali didn’t draw a penis on the forehead of his wife.

PicPedant also pointed out that Old Pics Archive re-posts fake Dali pictures every two weeks or so.

Hitler with panda

fake Hitler and Panda
I will not include the original picture here, but it was taken by Heinrich Hoffmann. It can be found from a book called “Hitler relaxing”. Obviously the panda part is a fake.

JFK assassination 1963

Fake JFK Jackie Kennedy pic
The picture is real, but it’s from John F. Kennedy Assassination Reenactment in Houston, Texas (photo via United Press International), for a 1977 TV-movie called “The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald”. See Hoax of fame for more details.

Giant grasshopper

fake-grasshopper

The photo is not fake. It’s staged. People did pranks before photoshop, too. This is a postcard from Portal, North Dakota (1937) – to tease tourists with fake photos of legendary giant grasshoppers (via Corbis Images).

Potential issues with this kind of activity

  • Unauthorized use of pictures (copyright, license)
  • Falsification of history

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