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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 • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

The Summer of '42

The Summer of '42

July 1942. "Sunday loungers at Hains Point." Peaceful wartime Washington. Photo by Marjory Collins for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Been there Done that!

My wife and I used to ride our bikes there and later drive that in the early 60s when we were dating. It was also a lovers lane at night. We may have gone that dozens of times. It was a very nice place to go to. Sometimes we would park at the northern end and walk all the way to the tip on one side and back up the other side.

Out of state plate

The bike on the left is a Schwinn New World with a fillet-brazed chrome-molybdenum frame and a Hamilton Ohio license tag (it was one step below the top of the line, lugged frame Paramount model). Nice bike!

Many localities at the time encouraged/required bicycles to be registered and have metal mini license plates attached because it supposedly greatly increased the chances of getting a bike back if it got lost or stolen, at least that's what we were told by the police who occasionally came to chat about such things at our school assemblies. I shudder to think about what they must talk about now...

The War years

Dad spent WWII in the Pacific as well, in the SeaBees. I can't recall when he enlisted, but it was probably '43, when he was 44 years old. (WWI vet, as well; lied about his age to enlist!) Puts me in the near forefront of Boomers, class of '46.

And the Spring of '47

My dad spent the war years in the Pacific. Mom & Dad were married in May 1947, and I was born 2/21/48 (Dad didn't waste any time!) They honeymooned in Washington, DC - I can't tell you how many pix I have of them in poses similar to this.

Draft Age

Interesting...
My grandfather entered WW2 service in 1944 at age 33, much older than many inductees. He was married with 3 children at the time. I've been told the pool of eligible draftees had really dwindled by then, and he may have enlisted to avoid being drafted. He was always very proud of his overseas service.

Uncle Sam Does't Want You

At first I wondered why a fellow that age wasn't in uniform given the time period. Then I noticed his spectacles. Maybe defective peepers kept him out of the war?

[Not even half of draft-age American men were in military service during the war. The notion that just about any young guy you might see in these WW2-era photos was destined for military service is something of a fallacy. - Dave]

Whew

I can just feel the stifling heat.

Bike license

What's the story on a "bicycle license"? Theft prevention / proof of ownership? Prosecution of traffic violations? Tax collection? Other? Right now I would put my money on the tax people.

Low Hanging Fruit

I'll take the three easiest cars to I.D. L to R: 1940 Hudson, 1937 Ford, and 1940 Ford Standard.

Catching Up

Along with some relaxation and lunch, looks like they may be catching up on their newspaper reading, most likely war news at the time.

Sturmey Archer Hub

The girl's bike has a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub, and is probably a Raleigh. The guy's bike is more used, probably a Schwinn one speed. The live in different towns, to judge from the license and lack of one on the two bikes.

 
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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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