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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 • NORWAY IN SEPTEMBER, c. 1920s

Hydro-Plane: 1940

Hydro-Plane: 1940

My grandfather Howard McGraw, a photographer for the Detroit News, likely saw the scene in his neighborhood and stopped for the shot. The airplane is an early 1940's Murray Pursuit pedal car with Army decals and machine gun mounts - worth over $1000 today if restored! And the gas pump would likely go for about $3000 restored! Scanned from a 4x5 negative. View full size.

First impressions

Oh my God! Why is that man dousing that small boy with petrol? Then I looked at the hose.

[Quotidian Occurrences of the Past No. 138: Gas station attendant checks and, if necessary, tops off your radiator at each fill-up. - tterrace]

Smiling Jack

The attendant bears an uncanny resemblance to ‘Smiling’ Jack McGrath, champ car driver from the 40s and 50s.

Same thing happened to me

The last time I stopped at a gas station, I got "soaked".

Member of squadron

I'm happy to say that I, too, was a young pilot back in the day. Unhappily, however, I have no idea what happened to my aircraft.

 
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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