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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 • THE CITY OF RUINS AND ROSES, c. 1930

Picnic in the Park: 1956

Picnic in the Park: 1956

The Well-Dressed Family is back for an outing at the park somewhere in Southern California circa 1956. Please ignore the commotion in back. View full size.

Location?

Long Beach near the boardwalk. Have to be near ocean, ice plants on the 'dune' behind them and a sailor out for the day.

Brown suit

The skirt suit the standing lady is wearing looks like one I remember my mother wearing. I love the two dresses worn by the two ladies sitting on the ground. I not only love the look of dresses, but I think they are more comfortable. Around here, everyone wears dresses to church, but I'm the only one I know who wears them all week!

I believe the dress worn by the young lady, with all the rickrack, was what was known as a "squaw dress". I remember once reading a story by a woman who had been a teenager during that time, who said that the most highly sought after dresses where real full and had lots and lots of rickrack. The one in the picture looks like a gorgeous example!

Rickrack!

The white & black dress with all the rickrack is to die for! And the fellow's socks are amazing.

Days gone by

I wish ladies still dressed as modestly. The dresses are so fresh and pretty. I, a 48 year old lady, am sitting here at the computer in a Bass Pro Shops t-shirt and Old Navy jeans!

San Diego?

Those were the days - 7 oz. Cokes, paper (not plastic), pedal pushers and submissive sailors!

Corpus delectible

No one seems to notice the dead body way in the back.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Two possibilities. - Dave]

1. Bad potato salad
2. Good wine

Scuffle in the background

The boy on the ground must have on a pair those badass striped socks, and the other lad is jealous.

[Fellow on the ground is wearing a sailor's uniform. - Dave]

Sharp Dressed Man

Wonderful shirt.

Many people today

Don't dress this nicely for church, let alone a picnic!

Cups

Are those In-n-Out burger cups I see?

That's My Brother-in-Law!

At least it sure looks like him! On the far bench, upper right corner.

Yeah, that's him, alright.

On lookout for the commestibles

Looks like those binoculars Daddy brought are handy while Mama's looking for her brother and his wife who, I imagine, are bringing the picnic basket. Everyone looks a little hungry! But despite their appetites, those young women with their dresses are lovely. Such a picture of wholesome clean living circa 195

[Or maybe they're looking for a dictionary. - Dave]

In a child's eyes

Only the baby seems to notice the violent attack happening in the background. He's searching for his wallet! HELP!

Alternate Title

"Sox-n-Mocs."

 
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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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