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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 • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

BRB LOL: 1940

BRB LOL: 1940

June 1940. Washington, D.C. "Direct postal telegraph wire at a truck service station on U.S. 1 (New York Avenue)." So the place was something of an Internet cafe, without the lattes or wifi. 35mm negative by Jack Delano. View full size.

 

Before cell phones and texting

My one cousin is mostly deaf and had something similar hooked up to their phone while he was growing up from the phone company I believe. I'm sure the operator had a fair amount of amusement from his conversations being the go-between.

teletype?

Both of my parents were deaf. Growing up in the (pre texting and Skype) 70's my parents and most deaf folks used government surplus teletype machines communicate with friends and family on the phone. I didn't know of anyone in my parents circle who didn't have one. Every one knew of someone who squirreled away parts for these loud, rumbly and gigantic beasts who repaired them in the basement . Are these things the same machines? They look much smaller than i remember.

 
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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