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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

A Swinging Pad: 1966

A Swinging Pad: 1966

1966. "Portable modular furniture ('box-lodging') designed by Kenneth Isaacs to serve as all-in-one units for one or two people. Includes Isaacs and wife Barbara entertaining guests in their apartment." Color transparency by Reid Miles for the Look magazine assignment "Minimal Living: The Basic Pad." View full size.

Ain't we got fun?

Who could be any hipper than this trend-setting group of the young and the restless proving they know where it's at. From the lady reclining on the top shelf wearing an "op art" dress, to the world's first shag rug, to the 'reefer madness' guy smokin' on the couch to the flurry of perpetual motion and boundless energy depicted by the dancers in their sack dresses and mod (flood) pants, nobody would question that these cats were the coolest and lived on the cutting edge. This picture captures vast amounts of information about those few short fleeting years in the mid 20th century. Let the good times roll.

Which came first

the chicken or the frug? Yep, the chicken which evolved into the frug. I do believe they are dancing the frug!

Jazzy photography

The photographer, Reid Miles, is the highly influential graphic artist who designed dozens of iconic LP covers for Blue Note Records in the '50s & '60s. He also shot the cover image for Dylan & the Band's "The Basement Tapes" in 1975.

The Frug

Speaking as a 1966 high school grad, this to me looks more like The Frug (pronounced: "froog"). I'm pretty sure it's NOT the Twist, the Stomp, the Mashed Potato, the Boogaloo, the Hully-Gully, the Swim, or the Freddie, either. It COULD be the Monkey or the Watusi, but then I've frugged up the dance thing many times. Thanks for the memories, Shorpy.

Spindly

Is the word I would use to describe the "furniture".

If it's in Sweden

. . . IKEA discovers its parents' funky youth.

The Jerk.

No, not him. The dance they are doing.

Sony TV

The little TV set in the top bunk is a Sony Micro TV model 5-307UW, sometimes called a "Tummy TV" since you could lay down and watch it with it resting on your stomach.

Image borrowed from http://www.visions4.net/journal/time-line/

Hang on, Sloopy!

Something tells me the whole rickety contraption's going to come crashing down once this party really gets going.

Sex in the City

Based on the location of the Silvercup Bakery in the background (later to become a studio where, among other things, "Sex in the City" was filmed), my guess is the Isaacs' apartment is in Murray Hill. One of you Manhattanites have a better guess?

[Ahem. "Sex AND the City". -Dave]

If you think this is WILD

Just wait till Ken's tie comes untucked.

 
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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