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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

Street Games: 1909

Street Games: 1909

Children playing in street in New York City. From the George Grantham Bain Collection, April 2, 1909. View full size.

 

Children's Clothes

An article in a Carnegie Museum Magazine (I can't remember the exact name of the publication) said that early children's fashion was the adult style of twenty years before. Weren't those hats popular in the 1880s?

Grow into them

I can hear the parents -- "That's all right, son. You can get a lot of good wear out of that hat. Why waste money buying a new hat every year when you can wear it for a few years and then it'll be just right for your little brother."

Kids

Children from this era looked like tiny little adults, the way they dressed them. Some of their hats are too big for their teeny heads!

Perspective

It's a hell of a thing to be able to look at these kids in this picture, and then realize that they've all grown up, gotten married, had kids of their own and eventually died having lived full lives (ostensibly).

I hope they had good lives.

My grandfather would have

My grandfather would have been 6 years old in NYC in 1909. While I don't think he's in the picture, he sure could have been. The image gives me an insight into his world growing up...

 
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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