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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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Fountain of Youths: 1942

Fountain of Youths: 1942

September 1942. "New York. Drinking fountain in Central Park on Sunday." Photo by Marjory Collins for the Office of War Information. View full size.


Re: Knickers

Ahh - but they look like they're buckled *below the knee* to me! Clearly a trouble maker.

A Bubbling Cup

Clearly this drinking fountain provides the "Kiss of Life" versus the dreaded "Cup of Death", as so graphically described in an earlier Shorpy post.


I didn't realize that knickerbockers were still in fashion in 1942, except maybe for pro golfers. And the specimen sported by the young man to the right look too good for hand-me-downs.

Maybe a bit of the curse of many a good son and decent child - a well-meaning mother preferring nice, decent, old-fashioned clothing and making it stick?

These fountains

were a big public health improvement over the faucets and cups used previously!

Germs? What Germs?

Every park in NYC had these concrete drinking fountains. As a kid in the 1950s, I remember lining up with my friends to take a drink on a hot summer day. The water was warm as there was no way to chill it, and no one ever gave a thought to catching anything from the kid who drank before you. Us bigger kids would lift up the smaller ones so they could drink; scraping your knees on the concrete base was no fun!

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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