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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

War Chef: 1941

War Chef: 1941

December 8, 1941. San Francisco. "North Beach Italian restaurant during blackout." Medium-format nitrate negative by John Collier. View full size.

 

No wonder I remember food tasting much better!

Look at the bowl of butter!!!

Yum! Liver!

My dad loved liver & onions, but I've always contended that the BEST recipes for liver involved the use of a garbage disposal; much like Brussels sprouts in that respect!

Cosa c'è per cena?

Liver and onions! That makes much more sense than my idea that this "Italian Restaurant" cook/chef/hash-slinger/culinary-artist was actually going to fry spaghetti and sauce.

Keeping up with Collier

Farm Security Administration photographer (and visual anthropologist) John Collier Jr. apparently had a hectic December 1941. Based on this group of photos in Library of Congress archives, his subjects that month included Hot Shoppe customers in Washington D.C., San Franciscans the day after the Pearl Harbor attack, painters of a War Bond mural in some unknown location, and flight attendants and passengers on a commercial airliner operating into and out of San Francisco.

War Cook

I'm guessing if you called him a chef he'd punch your lights out. Could that be liver and onions he's making? (Cue the kids running screaming from the room).

Blackout

My Grandfather was a block warden at some point during the war in Berkeley CA. His responsibility was to patrol and ensure that his assigned area was kept dark. Porch lights were to be out, curtains drawn, headlights slit etc. Any stray light was not tolerated.

 
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