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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 • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Fortress of Gunk: 1950

Fortress of Gunk: 1950

Once again it's time to head up to the Russian River and some vacation fun with the most awesome toy ever to be placed in the hands of a young boy: mud. This is probably around 1950, so my brother is about 13 and I'm about 4 as we put the finishing touches on our impregnable shoreline fortress. Well actually, even more fun was in store when the River Queen motor launch (think Disneyland Jungle Ride boats) came along and its mini-tsunamis destroyed the ever-loving heck out of it. This shot also reveals the limitations of snapshot cameras everyone had to put up with back then, even a comparatively good one like my sister's Kodak Duaflex: we're not really that close but we're still out of focus, and the slow shutter speed meant additional blurriness from just the jiggle of pressing down the shutter release. But with the standard 3x3 print you got back from the drug store, you probably wouldn't notice. Interesting that, proportionally speaking, my gut is roughly in the same state today. View full size.

D'ja ever get out to Jenner?

To watch the sea lions and seals? The tide pushing the river back up to Guerneville through its cut in the sand bar. Then the river pushing the sea back where it belonged, usually through the same cut, but not always. Nature sure made some nice sand castles at the confluence.

Your fortress

looks a little like a whale wearing a fez.

Next to his big brother

tterrace has gotten a little pail.

Great description

You have summed up the vacation snapshot perfectly.

Fuzziness is sometimes a virtue in amateur photography. Notice how many people these days are running their 10 MPixel digital photos through software that applies the Duaflex aesthetic?

Regarding Your Gut

Mine too.

 
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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