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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 • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

In Washington DC: 1931

In Washington DC: 1931

I don't know who took this photo on a street in Washington, D.C in the spring of 1931, but the smiling six-year-old on the right is my father. The depression hit his family hard, with neither of his parents having much of an education to equip them for finding well-paying work. Partially out of financial necessity and partially because it would be a fun thing to do, my father Howie and his sister Elsie (center), the two youngest children in the family, were sent to spend some time with Uncle Gus Karless, who lived in Washington.

Gus had been a veteran of World War One and had been a mustard gas survivor during it. His war injuries disabled him for regular physical work, so he received a government pension, which meant he had an income, to buy food and necessities, despite the depression.

The other two people are my father's Aunt Frances and (kneeling) Herbert Einhorn, a cousin of my father's. My father recalls this visit as a very happy time, and from this picture, it looks like it was indeed a happy time for all of them.

 
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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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