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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 • FLY TO THE CARIBBEAN BY CLIPPER, c. 1950s

Crowded Commute: 1943

Crowded Commute: 1943

April 1943. "Baltimore, Maryland. Students and workers returning home on a trolley at 5 p.m." Please leave by rear door! Medium format nitrate negative by Marjory Collins for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Bus or streetcar

Surely this was a streetcar, not a bus? I'm an English viewer but like to think I know the difference!

[As noted in the caption, it's a trolley, but some other commenters have overlooked that. - tterrace]

Those Men Were Not Raised By My Mom

One of the first rules of etiquette my Mom taught me was to always offer a lady a seat on a public conveyance.

It didn't matter how tired or hard worked you were no lady was allowed to stand while any of her children were sitting down.

The Nerve

You would have thought back in the day that those gentlemen would have offered their seats to those ladies having to stand in the aisle of the trolley compartment.

Strap Hangers

Yup, that's where the term comes from to describe people at meetings and other functions that are "just there for the ride"!

Cigarettes on buses?

Is the man in the lower left corner smoking a cigarette, or does he simply have an unlit cigarette in his mouth? I want to say smoking was not allowed on the bus, but say it was -- where would you ash (or put out) your cigarette on such a crowded bus?

[On the floor. - tterrace]

Win Some, Lose Some

On the positive side -- given that a few years later, Baltimore would close its public swimming pools rather than racially integrate them -- several African-American passengers seem to be sitting near the front of the bus. On the negative, the smoker in the first row is taking a few seconds off each of his fellow passengers' lives, with apparent impunity.

 
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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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