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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

Hot Tub: 1938

Hot Tub: 1938

July 1938. "Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Scene in the alley on the east side of town." (A photographer? And the Internet? Please go away!) 35mm negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

 

Must be Saturday

The line forms at the top.

How Green!

Washing body and clothes at the same time.

Laundry day

You're supposed to take the clothes off before you wash them.

Taking turns

My mom who was born in 1910 once told me that when she was a child, many people did not have hot running water and it had to be pumped and then heated on the stove. She said that on Saturday nights most kids got their weekly bath and they went in order of age, either the youngest first and then up the line or vice versa. Either way, it seems pointless to bathe in someone else's used bath water and being fully dressed while bathing could not have been a thorough cleansing. We are so spoiled.

Cool

I'd guess it was a way a way to get cool.

Today some dog owners put out baby pools for their pets, on at least the same principle. Evaporation causes cooling.

 
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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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