SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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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.

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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]


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]

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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