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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 • AUSTRALIA: GREAT BARRIER CORAL REEF

Jersey Shore Jesus: 1908

Jersey Shore Jesus: 1908

Atlantic City, New Jersey, circa 1908. "Sand modeling." Kindly remember the worker, and don't forget to visit the gift shop for a postcard or two. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

WWJD?

Probably not THAT.

Wow

James Taylor is older than I thought!

Sand Artists


Park and Cemetery and Landscape Gardening, Vol. XXI., No. 6, 1911.

Sculptures in the Shifting Sands.

Atlantic City has become the happy hunting ground of the sand sculptor. The vulgar populace there find nothing so fascinating as to hang over the Boardwalk, milady chewing a wad of gum, her husband smoking his stogie, and watching the sand artist. Sometimes he'll select one of those standing near and depict him from life. It takes time, of course; one must wet the sand to stick — but at Atlantic City time is no matter.

And what pictures they do make — those sand artists!

"Some of 'em is all right, and some of 'em ain't," says the beach patrol, as he orders the immediate overthrow of many. But others — well, they're works of art. For these latter one needs a license. And then one ropes off an area of beach. Sometimes they're only children, these artists. One, a lad of nine, modeled a picture .of two baseball players. "Safe!" is its title, and it shows the baseball player just coming to base, with his rival close behind and about to catch him. The work is done by hand, with just now and then a sharp-pointed stick to get in the details. Sometimes after its all done the figure will be painted, but that rather spoils it. Of course there are actual works of art. For these there are large boxes, in which the sand is carefully packed. Then it is dampened, and then worked. It's a matter of hours, often, this latter. "The Seasons," after the old Greek tapestry effects, is a prime favorite. It is in white sand on a black board back-ground, and, not content with that, the sand, too, is painted black. The Lion of Lucerne is also often shown.


Notable Atlantic City sand artists of the early 1900s: James Taylor, La Rue Yost, and Harry A. Ross.

Spam '08

Shameless self-promotion, 29 years before the word we now use for it was even invented.

Somethin' Else

This left me speechless. (A condition I rarely find myself in.) I've just sent the pic to members of my Bible study group. I'll be interested to see their reactions.

Catchin' some rays

Shall I assume my fellow Shorpyites will all ascend to the heavens, tomorrow?

And, can I have your stuff?

 
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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