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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

New Wave: 1941

New Wave: 1941

July 1941. "Detroit, Michigan. Women drying their hair in the beauty shop at the Crowley-Milner department store." Under the Helene Curtis Express. Large-format negative by Arthur Siegel, Office of War Information. View full size.

 

I Remember the Smell

Every department store had a salon when I was a kid in the 50s. The thing that was really scorched into my memory was the terrible (in my view) smell of those facilities. I can only assume it was the various fluids that were used for perming and coloring the hair. Don't know how anyone could work all day in those places!

That's Life

Every Crowley-Milner department store picture so far has had Life magazine in it somewhere - from the desk of the Ad man to the Mattress department, and now here, Life is the ONLY magazine on the table and the one being prominently held up for the camera. Seems the Office of War Information had a vested interest in Life.

[More likely that Crowley-Milner had a tie-in with LIFE. - tterrace]

The Beauty Shop

That reminds me of going with my mom to the beauty shop when I was a pre-schooler. I was awestruck by the ladies with their heads in the dryers as they chattered away amid the din of whirring dryers. I'm also reminded of the strong smell of hair spray, Dippity-Do, and whatever else hung in the air.

Empress

If you look closely, the label on the hair dryer reads
"Helene Curtis Empress"

Helmet Hair

I don't know where my parents got it. But we had one of these in the basement when I was growing up in the early '60s. Used it as a space helmet/ship during playtime when Mom wasn't drying her hair.

Prymaat and Connie

I think I recognize those two women on the left. They're from France.

On track for a promotion

That's George Patton on the cover!

Starr role

Hard to believe this was Ringo's ambition had the Beatles' bubble burst.

 
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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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