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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Night Service: 1942

Night Service: 1942

Circa 1942, in the vicinity of Washington, D.C.: "Conservation of fuel oil." When the tradesman takes that pencil from behind his ear and uses it as a pointer, you know he's telling you something important. No photographer credit but we will guess Ann Rosener for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

They don't make'm like they used to.

Boy, this brings back some memories. In 1956 I went to work as a sixteen year old helper for a plumbing and heating contractor. Those threaded pipes behind the mechanic are 1 and 1/4 inch black iron pipe that I had to cut and thread by hand, apply single strand lamp wick and pipe joint compound to the threads. and either hand it to the mechanic or put it together myself, under his direction of course. No copper, sweat/soldering, plastic or glue used here. This is a hot water hydronic heating system as can be confirmed by the "T" shaped fitting on top of the boiler, and the malleable black fittings into which the pipe is screwed. What is missing from the installation is the paper/cardboard insulation on the pipe sections, and then after mixing dry asbestos with water to the consistency of cement, this was troweled on all the fittings in an effort to maintain hot water until it reached the radiators located throughout the building. That right folks dry asbestos floating so thick in the confines of a boiler room or basement, that one could hardly see the other side of the room. Ah, those were the days!

Brand name correction.

Feel better Dave? Must be nice to know everything.

[I don't know everything, but I do know the difference between carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. - Dave]

The Equipment

A Bacharach "Fyrite" combustion analyzer, which has something to do with measuring carbon dioxide, or CO₂.

The eyes have it

I don't know if I'd want this crazy-looking furnace mechanic in my basement!

Shiny oil burner

It will never be that clean again.

 
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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