Sin City Flashback – Color Photos of Las Vegas in the 1950s

There’s something uniquely exciting about exploring a city you’ve never visited before. Just about every city has a financial district, an area with parks, a bar zone, and, of course, a neighborhood for gambling and peelers. The sin part of the city, if you will.

But what happens when you have an entire city devoted to gambling and debauchery? Well, that place exists… it’s called Las Vegas. Established in 1905, long before the advent of computers and online gambling, Vegas is the original sin of the gambling world and still stands as the world’s foremost gambling hotspot. The face of Las Vegas has changed substantially since the 1950s. With grand casino heists and sophisticated security systems, Vegas has seen its fair share of criminal activity targeting the city’s iconic casinos.

Las Vegas – The Time’s are Changing

Black and white photos are often stark and beautiful; however, they tend to make a scene look rather… dated. These color photos of Las Vegas were taken in 1955 by veteran Time Magazine photographer Loomis Dean, and if you ask me, they give us a beautiful glimpse into the Sin City of yesteryear.


My original plan was to include only the color photos, but I found this one so awesome that I decided to include it anyway. It’s hard to believe that this is from the same time period as all the others. The simple lack of color makes it feel so, so much older.


Hey buddy, nice outfit you’ve got there. Given the look on their faces, I have a sneaking suspicion that they’re about to blow their entire gambling budget on this table. If you think about it, this fellow is probably long since dead, and the woman is likely quite elderly.


I’ve saved my favorite photo for last here. I don’t think I would actually want to live in Las Vegas, but the neon looks incredible here. It’s a bit like a less shitty version of the world we see in Blade Runner, but with… you know, slightly less sadness and despair.

Anyway, next time you’re in Vegas, pull out these photos and do a bit of comparing as you walk down the streets. It looks like a great many things have changed, but there are still so many things to see and do in Las Vegas. Mostly drinking, of course, but what’s wrong with that? It makes all the neon lights even more beautiful!




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Chad is the co-founder of Unfinished Man, a leading men's lifestyle site. He provides straightforward advice on fashion, tech, and relationships based on his own experiences and product tests. Chad's relaxed flair makes him the site's accessible expert for savvy young professionals seeking trustworthy recommendations on living well.

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