Using vintage photos can be a rich source of designs for your products, as anyone is free to use photos that have passed into the public domain.

However, determining whether certain photos are in the "public domain" is not as straightforward as you might think. It depends when the photo was originally published, where it was published and whether the copyright holders properly renewed the copyright rights when the terms came up for renewal.

It is possible that the magazines may still be entitled to the copyright rights on the photos, in which case you would need permission from the magazine to use them. Best to speak to an intellectual property to map out your strategy for using them.