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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2017 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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I Am the Egg Man: 1938

I Am the Egg Man: 1938

August 9, 1938. Washington, D.C. "Air conditioned hen house is latest. Biddy increases the production of eggs in an air-conditioned hen house, U.S. Department of Agriculture experts have discovered after extensive experiments. The first temperature controlled maternity ward for hens has just been put into operation at the governmental experimental farm here. The hens have voiced their approval by laying more frequently; also a more uniform egg. R.B. Nestler, poultry expert, is pictured as he removes the eggs from the automatic chute in the new room. Note the air conditioning apparatus on the ceiling." So this poultry man with the wonderful name of Nestler is, contrary to USDA Best Practices, putting all his eggs in one basket. Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

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Chickens I have known and loved.

When I was six, my grandfather who lived with us ordered several dozen little yellow chickens (through a mail order catalog) because he decided he wanted to try his hand at the skill of raising our own poultry. My siblings and I were thrilled the day they were delivered by a mailtruck and proceeded to be totally engrossed in observing them grow and do what comes naturally. We checked our coop every morning for eggs which was much better than an Easter egg hunt and were rewarded with wonderful breakfasts, lunches and suppers of eggs. We scrambled (no pun intended) to be the ones who threw feed every day and fill the watertrays with fresh water. However, when the chickens' doomsdays arrived, we were somewhat jolted out of our euphoria to see that they were being murdered, singed of pinfeathers and dismembered. Talk about an "eye-opener" for us as to the ultimate purpose of our altruism to chickens. I must say though that they were scrumptious, unlike any chickens one might purchase today. A detail that stands out in my memory is the "decoys" of white porcelain and/or milkglass eggs that would be left on display in all the nests to encourage the chickens to lay (at least that was the legend at the time). Does anyone know if they still use the fake eggs to fool the hens? I have not seen them at antique shows. Too bad Mr. Nestler's first name wasn't Nestor. Carry on.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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