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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 • NORWAY IN SEPTEMBER, c. 1920s

Pie Town Barbecue: 1940

Pie Town Barbecue: 1940

September 1940. Barbecue dinner at the Catron County Fair at Pie Town, New Mexico. View full size. 35mm Kodachrome transparency by Russell Lee.

 

Kodachrome...

I still find it stunning to see a photo of this vintage with such incredible color. I don't know when Kodachrome was first introduced but it must have knocked people's socks off! No wonder Paul Simon wrote that song.

[Circa 1935. Kodachrome is a transparency film (positive as opposed to negative - the image has to be projected or backlit for viewing), so was not used much for making photographic prints (snapshots), but was widely used for color separations in publishing. Before slide projectors got popular, the public's main exposure to Kodachrome was color pictures in magazines. One of the first to use it in a big way was National Geographic. - Dave]

BBQ

Awesome image. Everyone is just going about their business and nobody notices they are being photographed. It's like the photographer was completely invisible.

Kind of odd that there are no tables or chairs or benches anywhere. It looks very ad hoc.

[How can we tell from just one photo that there are "no tables or chairs or benches anywhere"? They're here. And here. - Dave]

 
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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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