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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 • FRENCH BICYCLE GODDESS, c. 1898

Gridlock: 1941

Gridlock: 1941

May 1941. "In the convict camp in Greene County, Georgia." A show of hands. Photo by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

Not Much to Say Except

"What we have here is a failure to communicate."

Things have certainly changed.

This one made me cry

My split second reaction was that this was a picture from a slave market. The way these men were used probably wasn't any better. I hope their lives improved.

Nightmare

Must have been a nightmare to live through and it's nightmarish to see this: Claustrophobic. Dark. Anonymous hands coming through a wall.

Almost defies caption

I assume these prisoners' day job is working on a road gang or rock pile (making little rocks out of big ones), and just when the temperature hits triple digits, they come "home" to this. These poor souls are definitely not free-range inmates.

It's hard to imagine

the abominable conditions behind that grid.

Too Sad for Words

What a haunting image. I hope these guys lived to see at least some of MLK's dream realized.

 
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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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