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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Skirting the Law: 1920

Skirting the Law: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Internal Revenue (narcotics -- concealment and smuggling)." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

One for the road, perhaps, Madam?

On the window ledge, something possibly contrabandish in plain brown paper secured with gum bands, as we used to call them. To the right of the switch on the wall, the world's smallest map of the U.S.

Something about this picture

It reminds me of a Johannes Vermeer painting! It's the woman set against the window and wall background that are in many of his masterpieces. Great photo!

A Very Old Master

Vermeer was around in 1920? Who Knew?

Anxiously Waiting

for somebody to invent the polyethylene zip-lock bag.

Good old times?

When the major illicit substance was ethanol C2H5OH, sometimes contaminated with methanol, and some canabis on the side. Rather than meth, crack, opiate derivatives, et al, and only God knows what contaminants ...

Just The Facts, Ma'am

Just what's in the carefully wrapped bottle on that window sill?

Muggles in the Pocket

Looks more like moonshine moo-juice than Bouquet.

It takes one to know one

Wait a minute - SHE has a suspicious-looking pocket on her skirt, 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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