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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 • VOLUNTEER FOR VICTORY

Going Down: 1908

Going Down: 1908

Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, circa 1908. "Diver repairing a lock gate." Detroit Publishing Company glass negative. View full size.

 

I can't see

do I go up or down the ladder?

It's Coming Back

Helmet diving, or "Surface Supplied Diving", is making a come back! Proponents say it's easier and safer for amateurs to use helmets for shallow dives than scuba tanks (the old canvas full body suits are gone though). Tourist resorts throughout the Caribbean and the Bahamas offer helmet dives - no PADI certification needed.

It's a great way to take an underwater walk on the reef, and you can hold a conversation with your buddies while you're down!

It's Simply The Way It MUST Be

Even the diver is wearing a hat.

The Original Leadfoot

Wonder if he wore those shoes driving his new auto home?

Supervision

He has plenty.

Those Were The Days

"Hardhat" divers had it rough. Tough to see and work in that outfit and, heavy as the diving suit was, he still needed a huge lead weight on his chest to stay down. I can't figure out why all the guys in suits surrounding the diver but it must have been an important dive. If it had been me though I would have opted for a younger man at the wheel of my air pump (on the left of the photo).

Claustrophobia galore

I think I'd die of heart failure before I even got into the water!

 
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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