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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 • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

Steel Parquet Party

Steel Parquet Party

Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, late 1940s or 1950s. The officers and staff of the Standard Steel Spring Company pose for a (Christmas?) celebration with nary a spouse in sight. One hopes that the tinsel was fire resistant. These men fabricated automobile bumpers and leaf springs in volumes sufficient to fill several railroad boxcars per day. Owned by Willard Rockwell, these operations were moved to Illinois in 1960. At that point, my grandfather, Alvin F. Shaw, (fifth from the right of the row nearest the camera) simply retired, ending a tenure that began in 1926. View full size.

Coraopolis Steelers

@perpster: I'll suggest that this photo is more remarkable as a snapshot of an economic paradigm from America's past. Specifically, you see a bunch of guys, modestly educated for the most part, who made a decent buck by working with their hands in a factory. Many, like my grandfather, worked in the same plant for decades. They would then collect pensions, as my grandfather did for 29 years. Not a shabby deal, and virtually impossible to duplicate today. There was a flip side, however. These facilities belched air and water pollutants with little consequence. Workplace safety was also an issue. Per my grandfather, one of these men-- I don't know which-- fell into a crucible of molten steel. Hopefully he didn't suffer long.

Nor youngsters

The younger men must still be on the shop floor producing springs.

Black and White

Nice to see a racially integrated scene like this from back then.

 
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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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