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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 • GEORGE WASHINGTON CROSSING THE PIES

Fear Factor: 1942

Fear Factor: 1942

New York, 1942. Kathryn Crum, the wife of bandleader Eddie South, in the dental chair. Another of Albert Fenn's uncaptioned photos from the OWI archive. Now, Mrs. South, if you'll just open a little wider, this won't hurt a bit. View full size.

 

1940s Dentistry

Only the pain in your ankles from when your feet crashed through the ceiling kept your mind off the agony that was happening in your mouth. I have fond memories of trips to the dental office back then. It only took two cops and my mother to undo my death grip upon a hydrant to get me inside.

Unpleasant Memories

I have a bunch of 1950s vintage fillings from a drill just like that. And on top of that Novocain wasn't used for any of them either.

OWI is right! Ow!!!

The thought of having dental work done in 1942 makes me quake in fear. As late as the '90s, even simple dental procedures HURT!!!

Low Speed Drill

Those low speed uncooled drills are manly drills, painwise.

The modern high speed water cooled drills that came in in the 60s are a piffle, nothing.

 
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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