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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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Helping Hands: 1956

Helping Hands: 1956

February 1956. "Domestic worker fixing girl's hair." From photos by Bern Keating for the Look magazine article "The South vs. the Supreme Court: What Is a South­erner?" Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection. View full size.


Kate and Bern

I, too, knew Kate, Bern, Frankie and John when I was growing up in Greenville, Mississippi. It is stunning to know that someone else who visits this site knew them as well as Caledonia.

Kate was a favorite of Bern who made a number of books with her as the centerpiece. She died suddenly while on a trip to Canada, as I recall, leaving a terrible and unfilled space in the hearts of Bern and Frankie.

Their son, John, is a surgeon in Atlanta.

Kate and Caledonia

Kate is the daughter of the photographer Bern Keating. Caledonia worked for them many years at their home in Greenville, Misssissippi. Mr Keating was a well known magazine photographer and writer. His wife, Frankie, was also a well known photographer.

Reality of the time

This picture could have been my older sister around this same time in Richmond Va. We had a maid who took care of the 3 year old version of me while my mother and father worked. Nothing anti-southern here, just a realistic view of the south in the 1950's.

The watch

Appears to be a Longines. No cheap timepiece I assure you. She may have been well paid or perhaps a gift from the family.

[Or maybe she made an average amount of money, and saved her wages until she had enough to buy a watch. -Dave]

Is it just me?

Shorpy seems to have a definite anti-Southern bent.

[It's just you. What is it about this photo that upsets you so? -Dave]

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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