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About the Photos

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 • SUMMER IN ITALY, 1951

Flood Refugees: 1937

Flood Refugees: 1937

April 1937. "Flood refugee family in tent at Tent City near Shawneetown, Illinois." Photo by Russell Lee for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

 

Treadle

My mother had one of those treadle sewing machines that very much resembled the one in the picture. I liked to sneak in and work the treadle by hand.

Sunday Funnies

Remember when the Sunday comics were this size instead of the present miniaturized version?

Important Things

Is that a toy motorcycle on the floor to the mother's right? The youngest has a doll. And mother saved her sewing machine (a major investment and a tool for further savings by making things). Today, after the family members, what would we save? Photo albums? Computer disks with photos?

Let there be music

There's also a cabinet Victrola in the right hand side of the photo next to the sewing machine.

Sewing machine

The treadle sewing machine behind the boys seated on the floor has features typical of models from the earlier part of the century (1900-1920); curved drawers and a drop-down head. When the hinged top was opened, a cable lift mechanism raised both the machine and front panel, to allow access for the operator's legs. Nearly every household had a sewing machine, which means that there were millions produced, and that their value today is negligible.

Sewing Machine?

Is that a sewing machine behind the two boys? I think so... it is interesting what people look to save when the flooding begins.

[Fancier than my mother's of similar vintage, interestingly. She was still using hers up into the 1970s. - tterrace]

Worth A Pretty Penny

A few items that would be of value today would be the sewing machine cabinet (holding the clock and lamp) and the Mickey Mouse shirt the little boy is wearing.

Castor Oil?

It looks like the bottle next to the Pet canned Milk might be Puretest Castor Oil.

It'll never happen

No matter how long they watch it, that pot will never boil.

 
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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