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.
Vintage photos of:
May 1942. Langley Field, Virginia. YB-17 bombardment squadron. "Hitler would like this man to go home and forget about the war. A good American non-com at the side machine gun of a huge YB-17 bomber is a man who knows his business and works hard at it." View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency: Alfred Palmer.
December 1936. "Wife of owner-operator and wife of hired hand cleaning chickens in cellar preparatory to canning them. Chickens at this time of year are bringing six cents per pound. These are for roasting. Harry Madsen farm, near Dickens, Iowa. 360 acres, owner operated." Medium format nitrate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.
November 1936. Eighty-year-old woman living in squatters' camp on the outskirts of Bakersfield, California. "If you lose your pluck you lose the most there is in you -- all you've got to live with." View full size. Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration.