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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 • KEEP CLEAN WPA POSTER, 1939

Slice of Life: 1935

Slice of Life: 1935

September 1935. Washington, D.C. "Front of Negro home near Capitol. Interiors of these homes vary little. A chair or two and a table, a bed and perhaps an extra mattress on the floor cares for six to ten people." 35mm nitrate negative by Carl Mydans for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

Washngton Confidential

As late as 1951, when Jack Lait and Lee Mortimer published their book "Washington Confidential," they obviously expected readers to react with shock and outrage to the "confidential" information that there were actual *Negroes* in Washington, living right there in the city!

They also reported, with some annoyance, that one major Washington paper in its coverage of crime had the effrontery to refuse to identify "Negro" suspects by race: the paper would report, for instance, that in connection with a particular case the police had arrested "John Smith", but would not specify "John Smith, a Negro". Lait and Mortimer complained, in all seriousness, that it was easy to identify suspects by their ethnicity when the paper reported the arrest of Juan Rodriguez, or of John Schmidt, or of Giovanni Napolitano; but not identifying John Smith specifically as "a Negro" was *a slur against white people* because readers might assume John Smith was white.

Plus

a couch, and possibly a bookcase (not to mention a wooden
crate). It's still sad to realize how little some of our relatives had back then. Unfortunately, there is still too much poverty in the world to this day.

Helianthus!

The sunflowers are growing tall. It looks like they'll be giant and beautiful in another month!

Oh how Capitol Hill has changed!

Now a two-bedroom row house goes for at least $500,000. And usually cares for two to three people.

 
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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