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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 • GEORGE WASHINGTON CROSSING THE PIES

Focus on Father: 1976

Focus on Father: 1976

My father - here about to turn 75 - browses the tool and garden section of a Montgomery Ward sales catalog in the living room of our Larkspur, California home. We were regular Wards customers, for both in-store purchases and catalog orders. Several editions of their complete catalog were always to be seen on bottom shelf of the pink enamel cart in the Salmon Kitchen™, conveniently located for my mother's perusal. She was of the generation that still occasionally referred to it as a "wish book," although that term most often meant the Sears catalog. Non-union Sears, however, was off-limits to us as Father, a member of the Retail Clerks International Union, was loath to be seen entering one of their stores. In the background, my record collection. Some sharp-eyed Shorpy detectives might be able to identify the chap pictured on the one on the middle shelf, but extra points for pinpointing the album. Note, though, that there's something of a forensic complication. Kodachrome slide, shot with bounce flash.

Regardless of the album

Regardless of the album, it's a great shot of your father. The epitome of a man comfortable in his own skin, and in his own home.

Amazing

Amazing to see Pavarotti when he was slim(mer) and less hirsute.

The album

I no longer have it, and the only image I could find of the back is the UK Decca version; mine was the USA London (OSA 13117). Pavarotti here, Sutherland was on the front.

I was going to say Tom Jones

However, I agree with Geezer9 now. I too think it's Gordon Lightfoot.

Its the shirt....Gordo had one real simular to it on one of his album covers.

Awaiting Verification

I have to check my old albums, but that sure looks like "Gord's Gold" - Gordon Lightfoot, circa 1974?

Nessun dorma

Especially when I had my stereo cranked up to 11. It's Pavarotti all right, but the tricky part about identifying the album is that it's the back, not the front.

Record collection

The visible record cover looks like Luciano Pavarotti, maybe "L'Elisir d'Amore"? The logo in the upper left corner is definitely London/Decca records!

Right off the top of my head

I would guess Engelbert Humperdinck, or Neil Diamond?

Of course, Pavarotti, that was my next guess.

 
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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