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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

Near Earle: 1936

Near Earle: 1936

July 1936. "Negro women near Earle, Arkansas." Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

Relaxing

The product in use here is manufactured by Proline (whose name you can see on the jar). The company was later known for its commercialization of the lye-based hair relaxer, a process that had already been in use in the African American community for decades. I had difficulty finding information about Proline's earlier products - this appears to be a pomade or softener.

Very Interesting Photograph

Other than I believe it to be some sort of hair treatment: I have no idea what it actually does. It is also interesting that there was an entire cosmetic industry especially for blacks. To me it's odd that her hair stays braided even though this product is being applied. Yes, what does it do? Great photo by the way.

 
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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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