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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Meet the Rommels: 1915

Meet the Rommels: 1915

Oct. 30, 1915. Fort Collins (vicinity), Colorado. "A case of 'Economic Need.' Jacob Rommel and his family live in this roomy shack, well-furnished, with a good range, organ, etc. They own a good home in Fort Collins, but late in April they moved out here, taking contract for nearly 40 acres of beets, working their 9- and 10-year-old girls hard at piling and topping (although they are not rugged) and they will not return until November. The little girl said, 'Piling is hardest, it gets your back. I have cut myself some, topping.' The older girl said, 'Don't you call us Russians, we're Germans' (although most of them were born in Russia). Family been in this country eleven years." Glass negative by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

The Walla Walla Germans from Russia

My maternal Grandmother was of the first generation of our family to be born in the USA, in 1908. In school, she said they were called The Dirty Little Russians. She was a bit of rebel, marrying someone who was not also German Russian. Grandpa was mostly German, with a little French, although his family had come to this country shortly after the Civil War. Grandpa was very dark when they met, in the early Fall, and she asked her friend if she knew what he was, because her mother had told her never to bring home an Italian (That´s EYEtalian). When it came to marriage, though, not being German Russian was too much of a stretch. When, at 19, they asked their families to sign for them to get married, Grandma´s parents and Grandpa´s mother objected, telling her son he could do better that to marry a German Russian. It took some creative effort to get that accomplished, and they were married in 1929. They were one of the happiest couples I´ve ever known. Grandpa was a terrible tease, but Grandma told me that she had always felt loved. They were happy until Grandma passed away, in 1974. I look at my adopted kids and their multiracial families and marvel at how far things have come!


Shocking to see the age of Alice, mother. She is 48 and looks well beyond her years. Due to the crushing burden of house chores, cooking, taking care of children, and work. My great grandmother was a beauty but by middle age barely recognizable. Farm, husband died in an accident, 5 children 1912.

Germans from Russia in Nebraska

When I was visiting my uncle in Lincoln Nebraska I noticed a sign for a Germans From Russia Museum while driving about the city. After a quick google I found the museum is run by the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia which has chapters thoughout the US.


Is the inner of the pairs of suspenders actually a strap for carrying a basket of produce? The outer pair seems to be doing a perfectly adequate job of keeping his pants up.

The Rommels: Colorado Beet Farmers

This is Joe Manning, of the Lewis Hine Project. I interviewed the granddaughter of Mr. & Mrs. Rommel, who is also the daughter of Martha Rommel, the youngest girl in the photo. The family has a very interesting story, and Shorpy readers can see it at:

The girl on the left looks

The girl on the left looks so beautiful. She could be ready to laugh, on the verge of a joke... So much emotion in her face. And her face is mirrored so well by the girl on the right. Same tilt, different emotion. Her laugher may not be as free.


My family is German and also came from Russia. They were driven out by the Russian Army and settled in California. Many times they were referred to as Russians.

Germans from Russia are not Russian. We speak German, cook German food and many of us belong to the Historical Society of Germans from Russia.

When I read that the oldest daughter in this picture asked to not be called Russian, it stirred up some old memories. Please do not refer to us as Russians. We are German.


Papa's wearing two pair!


I am continualy struck by the amount of character in each of the faces from so long ago. If you look at each of the 6 in this picture....well, you can read tons of emotion and stories in each one of them



As I look at the photos on this site, I'm frequently thankful that I live in an age when shoes are comfortable.

SHORPY HISTORICAL 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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