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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Boy of Steel: 1938

Boy of Steel: 1938

July 1938. "Steelworker's son. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania." Don't worry, kid. This'll look great on your timeline. Photo by Arthur Rothstein. View full size.

 

He looks like a happy little fellow

Yeah, he's dirty, but he's been playing all day. Some forget that play is the work of childhood. I think he had more of a childhood than some of our overaccessorized, overscheduled princes and princeeses. Hope he had a good life.

How did we survive?

As an old-timer, I remember when kids were allowed to get filthy dirty, went shirtless in July without being slathered with a thick coat of $10 an oz. sunscreen, AND insect repellent, did not wear helmets for anything, ate sugar, played in the street every day, used our own ice cold garden hose water instead of going to spray parks, played with insects and caterpillars, stray turtles, you name it, and yet lots of us are still here. I'm not advocating child neglect or abuse, but sometimes we seem paranoid and I wonder if Obsessive Compulsive Disorder was recognized then, when being a kid was so carefree.

 
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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