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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Wipe Feet: 1942

Wipe Feet: 1942

August 1942. "With a woman's determination, Lorena Craig takes over a man-size job in Corpus Christi, Texas. Before she came to work at the Naval Air Base she was a department store girl. Now she is a cowler under civil service." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Howard Hollem. View full size.

 

Lorena Craig

I just realised what it is that attracts me to this photo, and I am sure it was deliberate:-

1) The lady's clothing is oversize, no doubt to induce a feeling of pathos towards the person.

Look at the sleeves of her shirt....much too large and folded back, which makes her arms look thinner.

2) The hose trails off to the left and she is leaning that way, emphasising the appearance of her having to really haul on that damn thing to get up the ladder to where-ever she is going.

3) Yet her expression is completely neutral; she is neither smiling nor grimacing. She is determined to get the job done and that comes through in the set of her face.

Beautifully posed.
Whoever set this up was an expert.

BK
Canberra
Australia

Lorena Craig

There is some quality that I can't define in this woman's appearance which just grabs me. It's obviously a posed setting and I take that into account but there is just something about this shot......!

BK
Canberra
Australia

Lorena Craig

Amazingly sharp photo for 1942.
Graeme Thomas
York, England

[It's a Kodachrome transparency made on 5x4 inch sheet film. What we would call "high definition" today. - Dave]

 
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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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