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Historical Photos Of The Early Days Of Las Vegas


Historical Photos Of The Early Days Of Las Vegas


Ah, Vegas! Sin city known for gambling, mobs, ladies of the night, weddings, and wild parties. Las Vegas is one of those cities in America that stands the test of time. But, what was it like in the old days? The history itself yields enough material to make a sensational mafia movie. This seventeen pictures of vintage Las Vegas deliver stories that will make historians sing praises to the moon.

Dunes Hotel

The Dunes Hotel was a hotel and casino on the Las Vegas strip. Sadly, this proud building of great importance didn’t last forever. It operated from May 23, 1955 to January 26, 1993. You can see the building and sign’s destruction on YouTube.

 Gabor Sisters

 These lovely ladies were no stranger to the lime light. Before the Kardashians made headlights in the entertainment headlines, Zsa Zsa, Magda, and Eva were the talk of Vegas and Hollywood. Between acting, multiple marriages, and Zsa Zsa slapping a cop, these ladies still managed to turn heads. Eva died on July 4th, 1995, Magda died on June 6th, 1997, and Zsa Zsa was the last sister to die on December 18th, 2016.


 Showgirls are Vegas iconic sex symbols. Their art has stood the test of time as their beloved city ages into the future. The showgirls first came into existence in 1952. They performed the openings and closings for Las Vegas headliners, sometimes they danced around said headliners.

 The Welcome Sign to Las Vegas

 This sign alone is the first indication that travelers and tourists are coming in for a wild adventure. The sign might change and be updated to keep it up in good condition, but it will always stay the same. This welcome sign was first created in 1959 and still stands fifty-eight years later.

 The Flamingo

 This is one of the many iconic hotels in Las Vegas. It first opened the day after Christmas in 1946. Through its seventy-year history, the Flamingo has gone through many changes in hands with its ownership. The hotel still holds onto its art decor appearance.

 An Elephant in the Dunes Hotel and Casino

 No, this is not a joke. Only in Vegas will you see an elephant at the crap table. Apparently, they would be in Circus-Circus as well. In this picture, Tanya, the elephant, is helping the card sharks with their game.

 Tanya the Elephant

Speaking of Tanya the Elephant, she is a star in her day. She is a Siamese elephants who always played cards in front of large crowds in Vegas. You can’t say that you have experienced old Las Vegas without playing a game or two with Tanya. This would be a story for the grandchildren.

 Elvis Presley

 Nobody can talk about vintage Vegas without bringing up the king. This man is known the world over and still has countless numbers of fans to this day. Presley preformed at the Sahara Hotel in the prime of his career. He died on August 16, 1977.

 Water Craps

What’s better than playing craps with Tanya the Elephant? Playing craps in the pool. That’s right, in the summertime, players could beat the heat by playing card games in the pool. Sadly, this pastime has fazed out due to reckless partiers splashing the players.

 Cal Neva Lodge and Casino

 Before Vegas exploded into the wild party and gambling city that it is today, this hotel was the place to be in the 1960’s. This place was owned by Frank Sinatra after visiting the place in 1951. Since then, he and the big celebrities of the day made this place the talk of the town.

Before There Were Casinos

Yes, there was a time before there was casinos in Las Vegas. The city used to be just a settlement in 1906 before the glamor and high energy of the Vegas charm that is famous today. Looking at this picture, anyone would think that this was just another old picture out in the desert out in the West. Or maybe they would think that this was set from a Western movie.

 Casino Construction

 From the previous picture in 1906 to this one in 1952, this is a casino in the making. These men are hard at work with this future center of entertainment. One has to wonder as they look at this picture, did these men have any idea of what was to come as they laid down the foundation for these high-powered icons known around America? Did they ever picture Vegas and their bright lights of today?

 The Tropicana

 Many old buildings are torn down in Las Vegas to make way for fresher, new ones. This hotel first opened on April 4th, 1957. Fifty-nine years later, it still stands. However, that might not be the case with talks of demolishing it circling this old building.

 Casino Floor

 You can’t think about Vegas and gambling without thinking about the classic casino floor. They haven’t changed since they first opened. The same games are still king here. Because really, do you really have to change everything all the time?


 Even in vintage Vegas, people loved to feel pampered and refreshed at the spa. In the old days, you would have to travel out to the spa for the royal treatment. Even then, the miles were well worth the treat just to feel like a king or a queen for a day. Today, the spas are in the hotels and guests don’t have to travel far to be pampered.

 Slot Machines

 Another oldie, but a goodie. Slot machines are another staple in Las Vegas. Much like the beloved showgirl and casino floor, these babies have stood the test of time. Slot machines may have been updated to keep up with modern times, but they will never go away.

 First Casino in Vegas

 This is the El Rancho. It was first opened on April 3rd, 1941. Closing on June 17, 1960, it stood for fifty-six years. It was burned to the ground around that same year. The El Rancho may be gone, but its legacy still lives on.

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