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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Clerk 37: 1942

Clerk 37: 1942

October 1942. "Clerk in North American Aviation stockroom, checking to see if the proper numbers of parts were received and placed in the proper bin. Inglewood, California. This plant produces the battle-tested B-25 (Billy Mitchell) bomber, used in General Doolittle's raid on Tokyo, and the P-51 (Mustang) fighter plane which was first brought into prominence by the British raid on Dieppe." View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Clerk 808

I suspect she's actually Clerk 808, in Section 37.

Sweet Emulsion

Whoever invented Kodachrome at Kodak really hit upon something special. These 4x5 transparencies are almost beyond belief in their quality. The color rendition, sharpness and detail are phenomenal. I bet seeing the originals on a light table would blow your socks off.

We need to see photographs like this in the age of digital just to be reminded of what film is capable of.


Kodachrome was introduced in professional sizes September 1938. 2.25 x 3.25", 3.25 x 4.25", 4x5", 5x7", 8x10" & 11x14". Sheet film sizes were discontinued in April 1951.

4x5 sheet film

You can still get film like this, in slide or negative format. I believe that Kodachrome, per se, is unavailable, but Kodak still makes 4x5 and 8x10 Ektachrome, and Fuji has a competing product as well. The film costs anywhere from about $3.50 to about $10 per photo, depending on which size and brand you buy.

The cameras that use this film start around $1000 with a basic lens, and the price easily ticks over $5000 or $10,000 for fancier setups.

I do not own a large format camera; the time required to master the setup intimidates me more than the cash.

I am wondering...

If she was pregnant? I noticed the bottom button of her shirt is unbuttoned and she just looks a little wide in that area.

Stunning clarity with this film, I have to say.

4 x 5 Kodachrome

These pictures are wonderful - however, I thought that Kodachrome was only available in 35mm ... ??

[Maybe you're thinking of consumer roll film. Kodachrome sheet film, a mainstay of professional photography for many years, was available in several sizes, up to 8 by 10 inches. - Dave]

So beautiful

So pretty! Those cameras must really have been quality back then!

[It's more the film (Kodachrome) and the size of the film (5 by 4 inches). - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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