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About the Photos

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 • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Western Union: 1909

Western Union: 1909

March 8, 1909. New Haven, Connecticut. "Telegraph messenger boys. They work until 11 p.m." Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Buttoning up some details?

Some of the boys have their coats buttoned one way, and others have them buttoned the opposite. Was there a specific time in history when fashion, necessity, or someone's personal whim decided that mens/boys coats buttoned one way, and womens/girls coats buttoned the other way?

Inspiration

I bet that this photo prompted the adage "Handsome is as handsome does."

A modest request

I know this is asking the impossible, but: Joe Manning! Tell us every story here!

Hey Mista

I gots a teleygraf for youse.

What a bunch of mugs

Later to be seen at a Post Office near you.

Just kidding of course, they were probably hard working lads who went on to better things later in life.

Kilroy Rising

Young boy in the back row looks like a future Kilroy with a hat.

What, me worry?

Fifth from the right, I spot a young Alfred E. Newman, apparently before he made it big in publishing.

 
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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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