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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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Mod Cafe: 1943

Mod Cafe: 1943

Sept. 3, 1943. "U.S.O. canteen, Penn Station, Harrisburg, Pa. Serving bar." Our second look at this proto-Googie extravaganza, brought to you by Travelers Aid and the Pennsylvania Railroad. Gottscho-Schleisner photo. View full size.


How avant-garde

Amazing, I would have dated this at least 1950 or later. I had no idea these modern interior designs would have actually been used in 1943.

Free for all?

Servicemen/women? I always thought the USO was free to all those in the service during the war; but I see a cash register here. So, no freebees?

Clever, those psychologist-architects

GI enters USO Lounge, intent on drunken mayhem, but is so befuddled by the interior design that he decides that maybe he's had enough and repairs to the waiting room to read "Grit" until his train departs.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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