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.
Vintage photos of:
Children at play circa 1920 as captured by the pioneering news photographer and society portraitist Jessie Tarbox Beals (1870-1942). View full size. In 2000 the New York Times reviewed a retrospective of her work: "One of the reasons so few women entered the profession was that equipment was so heavy. Beals carried an 8-by-10 view camera, glass plates and a tripod, close to 50 pounds of paraphernalia. (She was further encumbered by a whalebone corset and a hat the size of a flying saucer.) Still, when a judge in a murder trial locked the photographers out, she climbed a tall bookcase up to a transom window, snapped a picture before she was detected and had a five-column front-page photograph."