Every day, you scroll through your feed and see cute pics of dads carrying kids on their shoulders and feeding babies in highchairs. But these sweet family photos are nothing new; long before selfies or social media, dads and kids were posing for the camera (even if the film inside was black and white). These
vintage photos of dads show that fathers and their children have made perfect portrait partners for decades.
There are so many time-honored traditions that dads have been snapped sharing with their kids over the years, from the art of tying a tie to the secret of making a perfect Bolognese. Some father-and-kid traditions are unique to this generation of fathers, of course. Our grandfathers, alas, never knew the joy of battling their kid in a video game (or the stress of trying to remember the right login to access their kid's homework assignments online). But as the pics below prove,
some things never change: Hugs, laughs, walking hand-in-hand. The things that really matter.
In honor of all fathers, both past and present, take a look at these vintage photos of fathers doing what they do best — loving and supporting their children in every way possible.
1 Doing Dad Duty Harry Benson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
This little cutie can pretend they're a caped crusader flying through the air, thanks to Dad. Dad seems to truly be in the moment with his child, laughing as he tries to see how high he can make his kid soar. And being in the moment is what parenting is truly about.
2 Homeschooling... In The 1960s United Archives/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
For all the parents who are
trying to get work done while the kids are home from school, this one's for you. This dad looks like he's trying to focus on his work while his son strangles (er, lovingly gives him a bear hug). Dad, we feel you. 3 “8 Ball In The Corner Pocket” Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images
With a tremendous amount of concentration and focus, this father (actor Jerry Orbach) is teaching his son the art of playing pool. It’s sweet to see him focused on the ball while his son tries to line up the shot.
4 "Carry The One..." H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Every homeschooling parent can relate to this predicament. You just want your child to finish schoolwork so you can have .0026 seconds of peace before they ask you to play. The expression on the dad's face says it all... and it's probably only 10 a.m., too.
5 Feeding Time Debrocke/ClassicStock/Archive Photos/Getty Images
It’s utterly adorable when you see a dad feeding his baby. This father seems so incredibly happy as he bonds with his little one. We love the one sock on (and one sock off) the baby's feet.
6 Talking A Walk H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Walking along a path, a father holds his young son's hand. This black and white image is so beautiful because it symbolizes a dad's strength and love as he leads his son forward. And you can't beat the nostalgia factor, from the little boy's clothing to the dad's suit, plus that cool car they're walking towards.
7 Story Time Archive Photos/Archive Photos/Getty Images
When you think of vintage Dad photos, this one definitely comes to mind. Dad is sitting down showing the headlines of the daily newspaper to his young son, who looks somewhat interested... or like he's about to take off.
8 Posing And Proud Historical/Corbis Historical/Getty Images
A father and a son pose in this picture taken in New Orleans, LA. Dated March 1943, the dad is a dock worker who proudly has his arm around his son, who smiles for the camera.
9 A Meadow Moment Bettmann/Corbis Historical/Getty Images
Taking a picture in a grassy field with the family makes for a timeless photo. But when Dad is dressed to the nines and Mom is boasting a darling dress, well, that's just next level. Total inspiration for your next portrait session with your own crew.
10 Tying It Right Rae Russel/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Learning how to tie your shoelaces takes some time, effort... and help from your father. Dad does his best to tie his little guy's shoes as the boy looks on. From the looks of things, he'll be able to time his shoelaces soon enough.
11 Beachy Vibes Chicago History Museum/Archive Photos/Getty Images
There’s nothing more fun than getting flung in the air by your father. This little boy is flying high (literally) in this sweet shot that was taken at the 57
th Street Beach in Chicago, IL. 12 Victory Lap Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images
As this competitive swimmer finishes his swim meet, he grabs his child and holds them high in the air in celebration. This pic showcases how our dads always appear like superheroes to us when we’re little.
13 Digging In Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
It's hard to tell who's happier about that big beautiful birthday cake — the father or the son. In this case, the dad just happens to be American baseball great Jackie Robinson celebrating his son Jackie Jr.'s birthday. All we know is that that's a home run of a cake.
14 Building Memories ullstein bild Dtl./ullstein bild/Getty Images
Sure, it might not be a LEGO set, but dads building with their little buds is as old as time. The father and son in this photo are actually creating what looks like an airplane — but most importantly, they’re building memories, too.
15 "Can I Come With You?" Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix/Getty Images
Sure, it's wonderful when you get to leave the house and have a few minutes alone. But when your kiddo clings to you and wants to come (and in this case, hangs onto the side of your car), it can make leaving that much harder... especially when he has his lovey, too.
16 Flying High Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix/Getty Images
Being carried by your military dad is cool enough, but when you also have your own flight gear and helmet, well, that's pretty heady stuff for any mini Maverick.
17 Cowboy Conversations Shel Hershorn - HA/Inactive/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Having a heart-to-heart with your child can happen anywhere, even in a field. The little boy in this photo listens intently to his dad as he drags a saddle that's almost his size.
18 Mechanic Memories John Chillingworth/Picture Post/Getty Images
Whether it’s fixing a fender or checking the oil, getting some mechanical guidance from your dad is such an amazing experience. From the look on the dad’s face, though, he's serious about showing his son how to ensure that the engine runs smoothly.
19 It's As Easy As Riding A Bike ullstein bild Dtl./ullstein bild/Getty Images
Dads are famous for teaching their kids how to ride a bike. But maybe this kiddo wasn't planning on having big bags tied to his bike once the training wheels came off. No worries, Dad and a sibling will make sure that he doesn't fall off.
20 Seeing Eye To Eye H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Isn’t this the epitome of parenting? Having one child crawling on you while you care for another. Seeing a dad dressed in his work clothes while still having the time to care for other child is truly what parenting is all about.