This is an experiment about how we view history.

We’re going to show you a series of photos from the U.S. and ask you when each picture was taken.

Note: This quiz uses color.

First, what year were you born?

Use the slider below.

It's positioned randomly for each question. This is also how you’ll date the photos.

What year was this photo taken?

What year was this photo taken?

What year was this photo taken?

What year was this photo taken?

What year was this photo taken?


You made it through the quiz, now what does it all mean?

How we view history is largely defined by the aesthetics we associate with each period. When you were dating the photos, you probably looked for context clues — what people were wearing, if there were any familiar buildings, and if you recognized any faces. You were probably also looking at color.

Inspired by this tweet, we wanted to test how color does or does not warp our perception of time. Hannah Beachler, a production designer who’s worked on Beyoncé’s Lemonade album, Black Panther, and Moonlight, posted color photos from the Civil Rights Movement and asked: “Can we stop showing Black and White pictures of the entire decade of the 1960s so people stop thinking it was 1000 years ago. I’m two years younger than the Civil Rights movement. And Ruby Bridges lives down the street from me and is on Instagram.”

You saw the first photo in in color, but others saw a digitally altered black and white photo. Can black and white photos really make us think that events that happened 50 years ago actually took place 100+ years ago? First, let’s look at the 5 photos you saw:

And, here are 5 photos only seen by others: