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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 • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Ritzy Picnic: 1952

Ritzy Picnic: 1952

"Lunch at Wild River, 1952." Linda and her mom, with Thermoses in triplicate. 35mm color slide from the "Linda" Kodachromes. View full size.

Poor Dad

I also know what it's like to always be the photographer and never the subject of the photo.

That lean-to

Is the rough-hewn log building behind Linda's mom perhaps a picnic shelter at a local or county park in Wild River? I'm trying to figure what else that structure could be, since I'm about Linda's age but don't remember seeing similar lean-tos.

Seems to me the family wanted to have a small adventure and brighten up an otherwise average lunch, even though it was a little chilly outside.

And thank heavens there's a big box of Kleenex brand tissues there to wipe up the occasionally messy faces of little girls at picnics.

Flannel lined

Love Linda's flannel-lined pants and big turned up cuffs - turned up that far because they were too long on her. I have a picture of me about the same age wearing flannel-lined jeans with a plaid lining. Both Mom and Linda look cold!

The Trouble With Linda

This photo reminds me of Hitchcock's' "The Trouble With Harry".

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048750/

No doubt filled with sarsaparilla

That's an Aladdin thermos -- Hopalong Cassidy.

Crazy colors

If someone had told me this was a colorized B&W photo, I'd think it was badly done. But no, this is the fifties, and those colors are real!

Oh, and I love those bits of food stuck to Linda's face. Her left hand is a mess, too.

Wild River

Although there are other Wild River sites scattered around the U.S., this scene most likely took place in Jackson, New Hampshire, close to the border of Maine, probably in chilly September.

Look at the camera and say, "sun squint"

That must be Linda's mom. Look at those two faces with only a frown and a semi-smile as the difference. OK, mom is wearing lipstick. I believe I spy a Hopalong Cassidy thermos on the table and could the cups and saucers be Melmac dinnerware?

New, Richer, Crisper Ritz

Here's a period ad from the January 1953 Good Housekeeping Magazine with that exact Ritz box. The model looks like it could be Linda herself in a couple years.

Where's my pie?

Maybe Linda's disappointed that Mom didn't use the Ritz crackers to bake an "apple" pie. Don't laugh: I've had Ritz cracker "apple" pie and it tastes very much like the real thing despite the lack of any actual apples.

Linda looks unhappy about something

She could be thinking, "We left our nice, warm house... for this?" Or maybe she's still not over the tiny piece of cake she got a couple of years earlier on her third birthday.

Look at the colors!

"Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away!"

 
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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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