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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 • NORWAY IN SEPTEMBER, c. 1920s

Toter Tot: 1913

Toter Tot: 1913

April 1913. Columbus, Georgia. "Eagle and Phoenix Mill. A 'dinner-toter' waiting for the gate to open. This is carried on more in Columbus than in any other city I know, and by smaller children. Many of them are paid by the week for doing it, and carry sometimes 10 or more meals a day. They go around in the mill, often help tend to the machines, which often run at noon, and so learn the work. A teacher told me the mothers expect the children to learn this way, long before they are of proper age." View full size. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

Dinner toter

Growing up in Phenix City (known as Sin City in the 1950s, across the river from Columbus), my husband's uncle was quite the entrepreneur, and started his own business as a "dinner toter" in his childhood.

Being a true Southerner at age 53, I still refer to the evening meal as "supper." It bothers me that the word has gone out of vogue with today's "Yankee-fied" young people.

Lunch Carrier

I grew up in the South, and in the process of making myself more "sophisticated," stopped using "tote" for "carry" and "dinner" for "lunch" since I considered such word usage as class markers.

 
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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