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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 • PROTECT HER FROM TUBERCULOSIS

Society Girls: 1915

Society Girls: 1915

New York circa 1915. "Eleanor Davies -- Marion Gibney -- Emalena Sizer -- Caryl Hackstaff -- Elizabeth Kirlin -- Laura Parsons -- Sophie Young -- Elise Rice (Mrs. Winfield Linn)." 5x7 glass negative, Bain News Service. View full size.

 

Missing Tag

These young ladies didn't rate the "Pretty Girls" tag? It's not their fault they're so moldy.

[Good point. Fixed! - Dave]

Cleaner complexions

By way of comparison, the LOC negatives include three individual head shots from this same group portrait, in much better condition than the overall view: The Misses Kirlin and Parsons, and Mrs. Linn.

Finally

Despite the mold lines (because of the mold lines? No.), this is by far the most beautiful group of women ever on Shorpy, by today's standards. I'm not out on a limb here. I'm in on a limb. Way in.

Follows facial features

Does anyone know why the mold lines follow facial features in some cases? That is strange and spooky.

[Mold feeds on photographic emulsion, an organic gelatin compound. The best feeding ground is where the emulsion is thickest, which on a photographic negative are the densest, darkest areas, such as faces. - tterrace]

Society Girls

yet they mold just like commoners.

Fairies at the Bottom of our Ballroom

These young society women are dressed in their costumes as the Fairy Queen's courtiers in an elaborate amateur musical comedy, "Old King Cole," a "melange of sprightly nonsense" performed in the Plaza Hotel ballroom on April 15, 1915, and organized by Miss Spence's School Society for the benefit of a class of tubercular crippled children. The play, followed by dinner and dancing, was repeated on the evenings of April 16 and 17. A detailed description of the production and its participants was reported in the New York Times.

 
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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