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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

Hackensack Bride: 1959

Hackensack Bride: 1959

October 23, 1959. "Bloomingdale's, Hackensack, New Jersey. Green Room, Sutton Place. Raymond Loewy, client." Where all those Stepford Wives got their start. Large-format acetate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.

 

If you can breathe it's not tight enough!

A woman would have to be pretty severely trussed up to attain the look of any of those mannequins. The dress on the right with the criss cross midriff looks particularly challenging, even for a woman with a good figure.

Raymond Loewy, client

Is this THE Raymond Loewy, the great industrial/automotive designer? I wonder what the connection is, especially if he's the client.

[His firm designed this space. - Dave]

Perfect Lighting

I am amazed by the perfect lighting in all of these Gottscho commercial interiors. I can't detect any sources of additional lighting, yet surely these spaces weren't this perfectly lit on their own.

[While they would have been cropped out in printing, some of the supplementary lamps occasionally do show in the negatives, for example here. - tterrace]

Last Minute

This looks like the kind of salon where a Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn would visit, with a William Holden at their side, for some last minute frocks before the long trek to Florida for the winter.

So Much Space!

I remember going into stores like this with my mom when I was a kid; of course, Bloomingdale's was only once in a while. My mom preferred less expensive stores: Gertz, Alexanders, and Newberrys etc.

The floor space then was amazing, especially to a little kid. Go into any major department store today, and you can barely move around. Racks everywhere; no shopping baskets, of course: there isn't any room.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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