Most Amish today will not pose for a photograph. Considering it a violation of the Second Commandment, which prohibits the making of "graven images," the Amish believe any physical representation of themselves (whether a photograph, a painting, or film) promotes individualism and vanity, taking away from the values of community and humility by which they govern their lives. Occasionally, Amish people did have their photos taken, as you can see with the couple in the first image who likely went to a studio for their portrait in 1875. But by the time photography became popular in America in the mid-19th century and photographers and researchers armed with cameras began appearing in Amish communities, most Amish objected to appearing in or posing for photographs entirely.
The images in this gallery were all taken between 1875 and 1942.
The last surviving member of a California Indian tribe became a sensation in 1911.
Silent film actress Mary Pickford played a pivotal role in bringing Hollywood into the center of the motion picture industry.
The life of the president who saw himself as the heroic defender of the "shining city on a hill." Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody's legendary exploits helped create the myth of the American West that still endures today.
John Wesley Powell's epic journey into the unknown Grand Canyon was filled with adventure as his team mapped the Colorado River for the first time.
Joseph Goebbels, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany, was the mastermind behind Adolf Hitler's success.
It was the deadliest workplace accident in New York City’s history.
Legendary bank robber John Dillinger garnered the admiration of many struggling Americans, but FBI took him down with a message: crime doesn't pay.