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About the Photos

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 • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Open House: 1936

Open House: 1936

Circa 1936. "Dormered cabin. Georgetown County, South Carolina." This is the kind of place the real estate listings describe as having "character." 8x10 inch acetate negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.

 

On the Square

Say what you like, but it was built well - it is more square than my deck, and my hallway ceiling.

Georgetown, SC in the Mid 20th Century

The home seen here was not unusual for the period from the 30's through the 60's. Most people were generally impoverished, but were happy. Note the picture here of my family members living in similar residence in Georgetown in a moment of playfulness

http://www.shorpy.com/node/3668

I think the enormous poverty found throughout the south that resulted from the Civil War and finally came to an end in the late 60's has never really been documented or experienced by states above the Mason Dixon line.

The south generally suffered 100 years of poverty as a result of the war. The stark contrast of photos from Washington DC north cataloged by Shorpy tells the story very clearly. Pictures are indeed worth a 1000 words.

The average farm family in Indiana, or New Hampshire, or Iowa fared far better the his southern brethren.

To be sure there were wealthy families in the south with large estates, but most of those fine estates all along the coasts of the south were bought by very wealthy families from the Northeast and used as winter estates. Very few native southerners managed to hang on to family properties or to any degree of wealth following the war.

The Dust Bowl era held the same in store for the Oklahoma / West Kansas / Eastern Colorado / North Texas areas in the mid to late 30's, but was of shorter duration and is well documented.

Ghost porch

The rotten gap in the fascia and the dark diagonal line just below explain the fact that there is any paint left at all. This porch was roofed until somewhat recently. I've never cared for the ersatz look and feel of aluminum or vinyl siding, but the photos of F.B. Johnston do explain the popularity of such products.

Amenities

Has security system. (Visible in left dormer.)

Flaky Manor

I still see a little paint left on the front of the house. I wonder how old it was at the time and what it looked like when new.

Sold As Is

In the Midwest it reads, "Needs TLC". Need more firewood? Look under the porch.

Stop by any time

The door is always open!

Same As It Ever Was

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself -- Well, how did I get here?

Egads

The door's always open, because, well, it's gone.

Selling Strategies

So many titles for the real estate listing: Nifty Fixer-Upper; "Open Concept," or Landscaper's Delight. Loads of yard just waiting for your own touch! I think I have been watching HGTV too much!

Fixer-upper

Around here (the Bay Area) this would be a "handyman's delight," listing for $600,000.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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