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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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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Northern Lights: 1953

Northern Lights: 1953

December 1953. "Outdoor Christmas decorations." Color transparency from photos by Jim Hansen and Bob Lerner for Look magazine. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Bob Lerner

Very cool. I got the pleasure of hanging out with Bob a few years ago, and having lunch with him at the restaurant in the Chrysler Museum. I picked his brain about photography, and had a nice time. Hell of a nice guy.
Im glad to see an image of his that is different from any ive seen.

Northwest Side of Chicago - Sauganash

The Sauganash neighborhood on the NW Side of Chicago used to be reknown for its Christmas decorations, hence the impetus for the Look article. Here is that house today, where the homeowners thankfully have removed the aluminum door and left the natural wood intact.

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A Sad Memory

I also noticed the storm door, somewhat wistfully. We had the door, we had the grill, but I could never get Dad to spring for the letter. That empty space mocked me day after day. My humiliation knew no bounds. Meanwhile, my highfalutin aunt in Orlando had one with a flamingo!

Something you don't see anymore

The house on the right has the letter "A" in the front door's grillwork, presumably the owners' monogram. I remember seeing such decorations some years ago, a few of my childhood friends lived in houses with them, but they seem very scarce today. Most door monograms available these days are carved in wood.

[The Prynnes! - Dave]

All of those surplus B-29s and P-51s

Turned up as aluminum storm/screen doors with your initial in a circle, in the middle of that scrollwork. It seems like nearly every house had one.


When I was a kid (early 60's) there was a "Christmas Tree Lane" in out town where everyone on the block went all out to make special decorations, a thing of wonder to a 4 year old, this reminds me of that.

My first Christmas!

And who knew the Griswolds went back 60 years?

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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