SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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Say Cheeseburger: 1938

Say Cheeseburger: 1938

August 1938. "Itinerant photographer in Columbus, Ohio." View full size. 35mm nitrate negative. Photograph by Ben Shahn, Farm Security Administration.

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The photographer has added a wrapped cloth around the probably deteriorating, light- leaking bellows.

259 East Main Street

I wondered where this was taken so I looked up the Economy Furniture Co. in the 1938 Columbus City Directory.


One of the better portraits that Shahn completed while working for the FSA, imho: rich in detail, rich in human expression. His photos from this period often were "stretches" to make a socialist statement; here he seems to be showing us a straight ahead, working man street scene. Not quite on the level of August Sander's work, but still quite impressive.
Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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