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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 • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Bottomley's Berry Farm: 1909

Bottomley's Berry Farm: 1909

July 1909. "Mrs. Bissie and family (Polish). Bottomley Farm, Rock Creek. They all work in the berry fields near Baltimore in summer and have worked at Biloxi, Mississippi, for two years." Glass negative by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

No day at the beach

They knew they had to work hard to survive but retained a certain dignity in their attitude while doing this menial labor. I love Mrs. Bissie's genuine smile and her effort to fix her hair for the photo and also the youngest girl's defiant crossed arms just in case someone is looking for a fight. The closeness of all the family members comes through the picture.

Shorpy for teenagers

I've got to start making my teenagers look at some of these Shorpy photos. Maybe then they won't whine so much when I tell them to empty the dishwasher.

The Rest of the Story

I understand that the Eastern European laborers were frequently paid with brass checks bearing their initials and numbers representing the number of quarts or pecks that had been picked.

This golf course is now located on the site of the old Bottomley farm. I find this much less heartbreaking than seeing old buildings becoming decrepit or being torn down.

 
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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