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Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

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Colorized photos submitted by members.

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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Lock Me Up: 1931

Lock Me Up: 1931

Washington, D.C., 1931. "Fingerprinting" is all it says here. Supplementary thought balloon: "Handcuffs." Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.



Or appalled at the amount of grease in his hair?

Freckled Mona Lisa

This auburn-haired girl seems to be very interested in (and looking for a spark of eye contact with) the guy taking her fingerprints, but he is totally focused on making sure the ink is being evenly distributed on her fingers and is seemingly oblivious to the possibilities in her wistful smile. Will he look up and catch her admiring gaze and finally understand her loyalty to him? Will he at last weaken, throw destiny to the wind, rip off his glasses and grab her in a passionate embrace? Will he get stamp pad ink stains all over her new white dress? Only you can finish the story.

If Freckles were Pennies

The young lady would be set for life.

The Old Office

Clearly this building was built before electricity. All those extension cords and the added on electric lines on top of the walls hint the old office started out during gaslight days.

The Look

I like the look that she is giving to the fingerprint guy.

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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