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About the Photos

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 • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Motley Crew: 1864

Motley Crew: 1864

A closeup of the gents in the 1864 Civil War photo two doors down. An interesting variety of smoking materials, headgear and footwear. View full size.

 

Guns?

You can bet that these guys had one or more guns close at hand. These are the most dangerous looking bunch of men I have seen in a long time.

1864 Shutter Speeds

At this stage in the development of photography, one had to sit/stand completely frozen for at least five seconds in order to get a clean, unblurred image. Obviously some of these gentlemen found that alot easier to do than others.

Sociopaths?

Maybe so, but one must realize that those men lived in a time and place when dead bodies didn't attract a second glance from anyone. Some of these men had probably killed someone or other over the course of the war, so yeah, life was pretty cheap to them. After the war they no doubt went back to wherever the hell they came from and tried to forget it ever happened.

Crew

I find it interesting that we don't see any guns on these guys.

Band of Beards

Also an interesting variety of shaving styles.

 
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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