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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

The Secretary: 1920

The Secretary: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "National Personnel Service Bureau." This could be a shot composed by Edward Hopper. National Photo Co. View full size.

 

Dictionary

She needed the dictionary in case her spell-check was on the blitz.

[And then there are those beyond the help of spell-check. - Dave]

Hide the typewriter

Big in those days were desks which acutally hide the typewriter when not needed. Some had a pull-up-and cover-it desk top. But I believe this one has the typewriter bolted down and hinge is used to rotate the machine under, leaving a very nice wooden workspace for the secretary to use.

Not a typo to be seen

What a pleased and composed expression on her lovely, and older, face. An accomplished professional at one with her work. Let's see, perfect margins, no misspelled words, no strikeovers. Her boss is lucky to have her. Wonder what he paid her.

Wonderful Concept

That's a remarkably different composition and concept for its time. And it was a two-person shoot: one squeezing the shutter bulb, another firing a very sizable load of flash powder for light which matched the people strongly enough to equal the outdoor exposure. A very talented shooter made this one.

[The photographers employed by the National Photo Co. were, by definition, pros. - tterrace]

Let's see if I have this straight

She's... inside... so she must be the Secretary of the Interior.

Name change

And today, of course, it would be known as "National Human Resources Service Bureau." Never use one word when two will do.

Have a seat

in one of the cane chairs in the foreground. This style chair is a great set item for time-period theatre productions. Hard to find used in a usable state, though.

 
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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