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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 • SUMMER IN ITALY, 1951

Cool Quartet: 1961

Cool Quartet: 1961

My sister-in-law, left, previously seen here with her Chevrolet Bel Air, in 1961 with her brother and friends in the foothills of the San Fernando Valley in Southern California. 35mm Kodachrome slide. View full size.

This was taken at the William Hart Ranch, now the William S. Hart Park and Museum, in Newhall, CA –- Deborah

William S. Hart

This must be my week for William S. Hart, had a couple references to him on Facebook the last couple of days. Anyhow, William S. Hart was THE GREATEST of all western stars EVER. He started out as a very successful Broadway actor, and was known for his Shakespearean roles. But at the age of 49 (1914), he got into movies. He tried very hard to make his western films represent to true west that he had known in his youth in the 1870s and 80s. Great, great silent film actor. He was pretty passe by the late 20s, but his stature is assured in the movie pantheon. He did very well financially, and left his ranch as a museum and tourist destination.

In 1960 San Diego-

Those haircuts were called Flattops With Fenders and they defied gravity. In retrospect, they look so innocent, neat and tidy after recalling the long stringy hairstyles that followed during the 1970s.

Cool Quartet location nailed

As Deborah notes in her caption update, the shot was taken at the William S. Hart Ranch, the retirement home of the legendary silent-film cowboy star.

[That explains the backward "WH" on the arch below. - Dave]

William S. Hart

I drive past the Hart mansion several times a week. Though there has been development in the area since the photo was taken, the scene, as shot, hasn't really changed a great deal. Downtown Newhall looks much as it did 50 years ago. Drive a few miles to Valencia and the story is much different. Houses packed together on small lots, multiple Starbucks and all of the amenities of the SoCal lifestyle

Flat Top with Wings

In western New York, it was derisively known as a D.A. (for a duck's posterior)...

Griffith Park

Is what it looks like to me.

"Progress"

This is just a guess - but I imagine that bucolic scene stretching from the parking lot all the way to the foothills in the distance is today an endless expanse of asphalt.

Flat Top with Wings

In Baltimore we called that style haircut a Detroit. Never heard it called a Flat Top with Wings. But I must admit that description is much more appropriate.

Fashions

The ladies fashions are definitely in line with the times, but the interesting thing is that, to me, if you looked at the guys, they could be clean cut young men of today.

In eight years from 1961, they will look anacronistic, but the tide has swung back.

Camera girl's friend

The dude sitting on the rail is sporting the late 50s tonsorial fad, a Flat Top with Wings.

The 60 Chevy

and early 50s Rambler wagons are an easy ID. What’s that between them? The left tail light assembly seems to resemble a 52/53 Merc.

Four Tops

Throw a few musical instruments into the mix an it would look like an album cover.

Camera girl

She's holding what looks like an Ansco Shur Shot.

 
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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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