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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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Birdhouse Boys: 1921

Birdhouse Boys: 1921

January 20, 1921. Washington, D.C. "American Forestry Association bird house contest." Back when ornithology was something a boy picked up on the streets. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


At Least One Is Cord

Zooming in shows that at least the boy second from the right is wearing corduroy. The one on the right may be, but either the resolution isn't high enough or he's wearing something like a velvet like material.

I like the bark birdhouse myself.

Before thermostats

The variable opening size radiator cover on the vehicle helps solve the possibility of boiling over when the air tempature rises after a cold morning start.

Creative yet rustic

Looking at the variety of birdhouses built by these boys shows an interesting mix of ideas but the one featured being held by the apparent "judge" is quite ingenious as it is obviously manufactured to bird specifications but is veneered in natural bark which would not only appeal to the birds but would blend right into the tree when in use. The boy sitting high up in the center (in the trench coat)seems to be having the best time, so maybe he feels he is gonna win. And are those velvet suits the two on the right are wearing? They don't look like corduroy. Seems like those wholesome and innocent days were long ago and far away.

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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