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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 • FRENCH BICYCLE GODDESS, c. 1898

Home Entertainment: 1939

Home Entertainment: 1939

January 1939. "Boy whose father is on relief. Family living in shanty at city dump. Herrin, Illinois." Seen earlier here and here. Medium format negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

 

Now the tats make sense...

Maybe they're carnies, carnival people. The pictures on the table are either publicity photos, or small prints of poster illustrations. Mementos of their glory days.

A lot of circuses and carnival troupes shut down during the 30's...

Phonograph geeks notice...

The phonograph's turntable and tone arm are laying on the table behind the kid's head, so the poor family can't even listen to tunes, at least until the machine is fixed. I also notice quite a few Edison Diamond Discs in the stack of records [these were heavy discs that were about the thickness of three standard 78rpm records].

I remember one of my great-uncles years ago talking about how they would sharpen used phonograph needles with a file so they could be re-used again, simply because they could not afford the nickel or so for a pack of new needles.

Seven Years Ahead of a Fashion Trend

The world's first bikini made its debut at a poolside fashion show in Paris in July of 1946.

Framed photo on left

Looks to be the display picture sold with the frame.

I Scream, You Scream

It looks like this little fellow is sitting on a child's ice cream parlor chair. We had one when we were growing up. They were quite sturdy. My sister still has it and uses it to display dolls.

"Living off the land"

They seem to have salvaged more than their lives.
Very powerful series of photos.

Va-va-voom!!

Forget about the poor child - what is with the subjects of the two framed pictures??? The one on the right is posed suggestively to say the least, and the one on the left seems to be quite a dish!!

 
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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