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About the Photos

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 • BRIDGE AT ARGENTEUIL, 1874

Jumpers: 1941

Jumpers: 1941

April 1941. Children jumping rope on the sidewalk of a South Side Chicago street. View full size. Printed from a 35mm nitrate negative shot by Russell Lee.

 

Mailboxes

Mailboxes on the street can be for two separate purposes: a collection box is for the public to deposit their outgoing mail; a relay box is used to store the mail for the next portion of a carrier's walking (as opposed to motorized) delivery route. They look pretty much the same and I believe in olden days were both painted olive drab. Relay boxes are marked, somewhat inconspicuously, "Not For Deposit of Mail," even though that would be impossible even if you tried. They used to be much more common in the days when most mail routes were walked rather than driven, so a marking like that in the photo might be helpful in alerting the public, with just a glance, what kind of box it was. Still, it does seem unusual, and the "Postal Station" marking is kind of a puzzler. I wonder if this was in front of a postal facility?

U.S. Mail

I like how the Postal Station says "For Letters."

 
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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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