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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 • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

The Jackson Four: 1904

The Jackson Four: 1904

Circa 1904. "W.H. Jackson and family. William Henry Jackson with mother Harriet and probably daughter-in-law (wife of Clarence S. Jackson) and grandson Billy (b. 1902)." 11x14 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

William Henry Jackson

He would have been 60 or 61 here. He lived another 38 years and died in 1942, at 99.

I was always struck by a biography of his I read that stated that late in life he had shot Kodachromes. He had started with a portable darkroom and wet plates in the early 1870s.

In any format, he is one of the greatest photographers of all time.

Portrait with a difference

Natural light, I suspect, probably from overhead skylight in the studio, plus a high shutter speed, otherwise the baby would show motion blur - note how that hand is frozen in mid-air. Natural expressions result from not having to freeze in place like zombies for the exposure.

Generations

Not a costume historian, but I find it interesting that (to my eye, at least) the grandmother's dress looks MUCH older-fashioned than the daughter-in-law's-- in fact, the closely fitted black silk sleeves and bodice, the lace at the neck, and the obviously wide skirt read as very mid-nineteenth-century to me, vs. the daughter's lace and fuller up-top silhouette.

Ditto the grandma's hairstyle (parted in the middle, smooth wings over the ears) vs. the daughter's pompadour. It's somehow refreshing to think that even Back In The Day there were older people who stubbornly stuck with the personal style that worked for them in their 30s.

Possibilities

Do we think Clarence took the picture?

[Photographer William Henry Jackson was one of the Detroit Publishing Company's founding partners. - Dave]

Stuffy, Not Fluffy

And doesn't old W.H. look comfortable in that starched collar?

A handsome family

Captured by a good photographer. I particularly like the juxtaposition between grandmother's seams and wrinkles and the baby's smooth skin.

Must. resist. urge.

to draw a mustache on that baby. His mother is beautiful, she reminds me of Alma Mahler.

Mona Lisa smile.

Wow, that woman in the middle sure knows how to pose for a photo. She just has a certain air about her that has reached across time and space.

 
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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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