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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

Dear Sirs: 1902

Dear Sirs: 1902

Circa 1902. "Richmond & Backus Co. office, Detroit." Our sixth glimpse behind the scenes at this printing, binding and office supply business. View full size.

 

Nice office

I bet they didn't have casual Fridays. There is so much to look at in this photo. Mind-boggling how offices have changed.

Yours truly

Boss: "Miss Jones, Please read that back to me."

Miss Jones: "How can I read it back? It's in shorthand."

(The above was an old shorthand teacher's joke in 1955 as it is easier to write in shorthand than it is to read it back. I learned the Gregg method, not the Pitman).

Take a Letter

"Take a letter, Maria. Address it to my wife ... "

Snip!

This is a potpourri of office nostalgia.

My eyes spotted that pair of banker's shears hanging on a hook under the window sill. They were originally used by tellers to cut local currency from large sheets for customers. I used them in the news business to cut columns out of newspapers with just one, maybe two, snips.

They're not found today in big box office supply stores.

Nice Corner Office

"Miss Jones. Take a letter. And after that, freshen up my spittoon."

 
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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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