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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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Shacktown: 1940

Shacktown: 1940

April 1940. Shacktown in Dubuque, Iowa. Many residents keep a cow or a few chickens. View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by John Vachon for the FSA.


Little Girl is Beautiful

The little girl is just beautiful ~ the wind blowing her dress and her little striped socks. Mom standing behind her looks lovely, too. I hope she had a good life and was happy. I don't know why this makes me so sad, though. Wish I knew more about her.

Shacktown residents?

My grandmother talked about a "slabtown" that opened near a mine in rural Virginia. It was called "slabtown" because it was built out of slabs, the cheapest kind of lumber that came from the sawmill, and its residents were prostitutes.

I wonder if this is the same kind of low-rent red light district.

Re: Shacktown IDs

No names in the caption info. Actually there was no caption at all for this one. I got it from a nearby frame.

Shacktown: 1940

Does anyone know if the people in this, and in other Dubuque photos by John Vachon, were identified by the photographer? If he did identify them, where can I find out who they were?

They took my chair!

I have a chair that looks exactly like that one, except there's a part you can sit on. I knew it was old, but now I have an idea as to how.

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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