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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE NAVY NEEDS YOU IN THE WAVES

Payday on the Levee: 1906

Payday on the Levee: 1906

New Orleans circa 1906. "Payday on the levee." Don't spend it all in one place. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Stymie

Waits patiently by the Worcestershire.

Priorities

They'll probably spend a large portion of their pay on whiskey and women, and waste the rest.

Being Green

I take it they recycle their rainwater?

[Cisterns were big back then. - Dave]

Dirty Dancing and the nun's ruler

Anyone who has ever been to a teen dance at a parochial school in the 50's will remember that dancing partners had to dance far enough apart for the chaperone/nun to fit a 12-inch ruler between the couples' chests, lest anyone get evil thoughts. The nun in this photo does not seem concerned about that even though this line of anxious money recipients would be considered dirty dancing or 'grinding' which is totally forbidden at most school dances today. I'm puzzled by the nun in this picture but this is another stellar example from Shorpy of the inspiration their photos provide for fiction writers. Thanks Dave for this great picture. I'm lovin' it.

Close Quarters

Obviously these men waiting to get paid have no fear of pickpockets, since they are probably penniless temporarily.

Why wait.

Didn't these guys ever hear of direct deposit?

No Cutting in That Line

Curious why the people in line feel the need to hang onto each other.

[It might have something to do with the photographer, and the size of this photograph. - Dave]

Something for the palate

Lee & Perrins? Makers of the Worcestershire Sauce I use on my steaks? Interesting and tasty too!

Payday II

An alternate version. The nun has moved! Also note little girl. Click to enlarge.

Union Station, NOLA

This would be Union Station in New Orleans that serviced the Southern Pacific railway (opened on June 1, 1892). it was demolished in 1954 and replaced by the current New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal.

Payday

I would guess that a substantial portion of the funds disbursed here will be divided between dice and the bottle, that counts as more than one place.

That's an eager looking line.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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