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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

Two Kinds of Cute: 1951

Two Kinds of Cute: 1951

"1951." The boy and his dog, along with a radioactive lawn ornament. From a box of 35mm Kodachrome slides found last month on eBay. View full size.

Asbestos

I still have these on my house - they were installed in 1938. They're perfectly harmless as long as you leave them alone.

Asbestos shingles

Down here in Louisiana plenty of homes sported these shingles in the 30's and 40's. Our family business was covered with white ones. Light green was popular down here too. Most carpenters of the day had the correct tools to work with the tiles. Hole were punched not drilled using a special hole punch specifically for asbestos tiles. Instead of sawing the tiles there was a huge iron "guillotine " type press that shortened the tile. By the 80's it was impossible to get any more for repairs.

It's a Shame

As mentioned in a post for another one of this "blond-headed boy" series of slides, it's unfortunate that a family member does not have access to these great images. Unlike prints, it seems that multiple sets of slides were not common, since the film used became the slide to make dups required extra cost, and most people did not see the need to spend the money...just gather the family around the slide projector at the next party!

Asbestos shingles

I spent the first 34 years of my life in this house that was covered with the things. (Seen here in 1955.)

Let sleeping fibers lie

The carcinogens in the old asbestos shingles are very immobile, and pretty much harmless, as long as you leave them be. The moment you cut or drill them, there's a problem. If you need to remove them, you're in luck as long as they are held in by smooth nails. You can probably just pry them off without liberating much dust. They have done their job for more than half a century, and can do it for a bit longer.

If I had asbestos shingles on the front of my house, I'd leave them there. They're a lot more harmless than the particular mentality that created the lawn ornament.

"Radioactive" lawn ornament?

Don't forget to mention the carcinogenous asbestos shingles. A dangerous world and we didn't know it.

Mom's favorite color

I would guess it's Yellow!

Missing pole

My grandparents had that same lawn statue so I know that the man is fishing. The fishing pole is supposed to mount in the center just behind his knees where there is a hole for it. Maybe the fish stole the hook, line, pole and sinker from this guy lol.

Hard to choose

The three featured items in this slide have their own contest going in which one wins the "Awww" factor first prize but I think the puppy has it, hands down. The boy is a photogenic "natural" and his joy holding his new, round-bellied puppy comes across clearly which is endearing while the African-American lawn ornament also presents itself as a nostalgic decoration that is just plain adorable. If I were the "cuteness" judge though, I'd have to go with the puppy due to his irresistible demeanor.

["Inoffensive," unless you happen to be offended by it. - Dave]

You are correct Dave, I apologize and have removed that word.

Collectible

Whoopi Goldberg might pay good money for that thing; she's a notable collector of such items.

 
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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