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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Pioneer Parachute: 1942

Pioneer Parachute: 1942

August 1942. "Production. Parachute making. As these two girls thread shroud cords through the material, these yards of silk become more nearly recognizable as one of the parachutes turned out by this Eastern plant. Pioneer Parachute Company, Manchester, Connecticut." Photo by William Rittase for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

By any name, still a parachute

Pioneer Parachute Company became Pioneer Aerospace Corporation and in 1988 was purchased by Zodiac Aerospace Group. Today, Zodiac Parachute and Protection America still manufactures a variety of parachutes and aerial delivery systems.

Silk City

For over a century Manchester was a center for silk production and still has the nickname "Silk City." The first factories opened in the mid-1800's, and by the beginning of the 20th Century the industry employed a high percentage of city residents. It was already in decline when World War II gave it a temporary boost, with the last factories closing about twenty years after the war. Some old silk mill buildings and workers' houses are preserved as the Cheney Brothers historic district. The mill buildings themselves have been converted into generally upscale apartments.

And after the war ...

... they all found jobs in the bridal gown industry.

 
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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