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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 • FRENCH BICYCLE GODDESS, c. 1898

Boy Cave: 1955

Boy Cave: 1955

My brother, via self-timer, in his half of the bedroom we shared. At the time - May 1955 - he was 17, I was 8. Later that year he'd be off to college, but the room didn't become completely my domain until he moved into our sister's when she married in 1958. Here the only sign of my occupancy is at the lower left, part of the disorganized agglomeration of junk I always had covering the child's table I called my desk.

On the wall, the incongruous juxtaposition of a holy water font and a protractor. I can't remember if the former ever actually held any holy water; on the other hand, you never can tell when you might need to draw a circle. The chart shows U.S. mineral distribution. On the side shelves of his desk, stacks of science and nature guidebooks, including some Golden Nature Guides which later became mine. I still have them. The photo tacked to the upper right corner of his bulletin board is a collage of two other Tri-X shots he took in his high school classrooms. Yes, we still have that too, complete with the original Scotch tape. There are also several 35mm film canisters on the desk - metal ones, remember? I think he took this with bounce floodlight; it looks too bright for the room's normal illumination.

Note the complete absence of rock band, supermodel, sports and movie posters. Yes, it was a different world. View full size.

A Different World

Yes, it was a different world. It was when boys were boys and Men were really MEN. Somehow the lines have been blurred since then. Only my humble opinion.

When does the TTerrance coffee table book come out?

"TTerrace: An American Century"

Thanks JohnHoward

Your comment about the temporary professional furniture dressing probably explains the missing wrought iron railing on the landing at the bottom of the stairs. It was probably removed to facilitate getting the furniture to the upstairs.

I was wondering why the railing was missing in that photo and thought it a bit unusual as well as unsafe.

Thanks, tterrace

Your contributions to Shorpy's are wonderful. I was born in 1941 so we are pretty much contemporaries. These are great memories; keep up the good work. Thanks to you too Dave for giving TT plenty of space.

The Furniture

I suspect the house has been professionally "dressed," with the furniture, throw rugs and wall hangings to make it more enticing to prospects.

A House is not a Home

Last July, 2010, I had occasion to visit my old hometown and driving by my childhood home, was astounded to see that it too was for sale and vacant. Since nobody was living there, my family and I parked and went around the entire house peering into all the windows to see the changes in the last fifteen years since my mom died and it was sold. She had lived there 54 years, from the time she was 33 until she was almost 86 and it was always the place where everyone wanted to spend time, holidays, vacations and even just visit for a cup of coffee or tea and chitchat and always, always lots of laughter. Needless to say, the place had been "updated" and stripped of its warmth and frankly looked like very bastardized architecture. The rooms were modernized, yet strangely appeared cold and the huge vegetable and flower gardens were all sodded and as slick as a golf course. The interior was without a heart or soul and the cozy familiarity had been completely stripped out, leaving me missing most the occupants who made it what it once was. I would not want the house the way it is now because there is nobody I love inside and nobody I know to greet me; it is just a house. The people who dwell within are what makes it so much more. Like the poet said "You can't go home again." I do keep it all intact in my memory as I keep all my most valuable and priceless treasures. Tterrace has once again tugged at everyone's heartstrings with yet another outstanding presentation of life's 'moments in time' that we can all identify with. As Bob Hope said, thanks for the memories. Nobody can take them from you.

9 Arch Then and Now

Here's a short slideshow using images from the real estate listing and vintage shots from our collection:

http://tinyurl.com/3kk36xu

re: Lost its charm

Holy mackerel, home furniture inflation has been almost as dramatic as home price inflation. The only room that seems less overwhelmed by the contents is my old video room in the basement (below in 1979). Interestingly, the cabinet, shelves and even the shelf brackets are the same ones.

I've actually long indulged in the fantasy of somehow (by winning the lottery?) reclaiming 9 Arch and restoring it, along with my father's garden, to precisely the way it was in, perhaps 1960.

Lost its charm

Although someone put a lot of money into fixing up the place, they have only succeeded in stripping it of its original character and warmth.

[As a great statesman once said: I have a dream house. What if the place were purchased by the Shorpy Trust for Historic Rustication. We'd buy it back and hire tterrace as the curator and resident guide, tasked with restoring the house to its former grandeur. Sell all that Martha Stewart froufrou on eBay or trade it for some decent 1950s appliances and period furniture. Unfortunately the Trust is woefully underendowed. Who wants to chip in? - Dave]

Rod Serling

I think he would appreciate the surreal nature of this posting; to find your house on Shorpy while, in its moderne duds, listed for rent 56 years later. Great coincidence.

9 Arch Street

Last sold for $1.175 million, November 2005. "Terraced grounds" (well of course they are). Property taxes a mere $11,000 per annum. Alas, the Salmon Kitchen has been replaced by a "chef's kitchen." Living room invaded by Giant Slipcovered Ghost Furniture.

Realtor Reality

The poor Realtors who have your old home listed are going to have one heck of a mystery as to why this particular property receives an incledible number of views this week! LOL!

Great house!

I checked out the realtor's photos -- what a great house! I think you should buy it back.

Boy Cave today

My brother just found this listing for a rental of our old home. Much changed inside, but still recognizable. There's one shot of our old bedroom, the 9th thumbnail: Start slideshow.

Timer Photos

When ever a self timer was used, folks try to act as if it's a purely candid shot. Great picture. And, back in the day, I would have loved that wallpaper with the P-38 too.

Conformal Posture

"Ma! You don't want me to slouch, then fix the ceiling in our bedroom."

(Smack!)

Nerdland

Reminds me of my bedroom about ten years later: upstairs with sloped ceiling, technical/non-art tacked on the ceiling, science books.

Cozy Bedroom

I love the nautical bedspread and lampshade. That wallpaper looks familiar!

Degrees vs Circles

Methinks that the object hanging on the wall is a compass and as you noted is used for drawing circles. A protractor is used to measure degrees of an arc forming part of a circle.

P-38 Sighting?

Looks like a P-38 on the wall above your brother's head, and some other planes about? If that was fighter plane wallpaper, I'm jealous.

Brother's photo

That print stuck at the upper right of his bulletin board. The fact that this teacher's initials were G.O.D. was a source of much amusement, I understand.

Alternate Title

"Self-Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (About to be Farked and/or Colorized)."

 
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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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