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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 • SUMMER IN ITALY, 1951

The Travelers: 1943

The Travelers: 1943

January 1943. "At the information desk at Union Station, Chicago." Our Lady of the Rails. Photo by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Flag of the Philippines

In the upper right it appears there is a flag of The Philippines hanging. I recall seeing other photos showing that many flags of The Allies were on display in Chicago Union Station during The War.

My mom did this

In 1943 my mother, a new wife, made the rail trip from New Orleans to Los Angeles to be with my father before he went to the Pacific war. Mom, with no child in tow, made the trip sitting on her suitcase; no gallant GI offered his coach seat.

Mother of Us All

Her little boy, if still with us, is now 72 or so and has seen a lot. To his mother, we owe who we are. She kept America together during the war, doing the job that, until then, only a man could do. When her man came home, she kept the family together while he went to school on the GI Bill. Then she raised and nurtured us to be who we are. My hat goes off to Our Lady of the Rails.

A Brave Gal

You can just tell from the look in her face: traveling alone, perhaps her first time away from home -- worrying about how much the fare will be -- protectively holding onto her child while she waits for an answer of some sort --

Amazing strength of character!

Horsie, Mommy, horsie!

The lady's pin is so shiny, I can imagine the little one pointing to it, and the Mom perhaps wishing she were riding one rather than the rails. No telling whether she is getting good news or bad about the seat for two she was waiting for.

Looks like

a still from a film noir. Great stuff!

Breaking The Rules

If that photo was one year later that could have been my mom and me traveling from Phoenix to San Francisco to visit my dad who was in the hospital after being wounded at Leyte. She told me many stories about travel during the war and how difficult it was due to the priority given to the military. On one trip she traveled with her "husband" (a guy in uniform she met at the station) to get a seat on the train.

 
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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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