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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Church of the Nativity: 1940

Church of the Nativity: 1940

Christmas in the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem circa 1940. View full size. 4x5 glass-plate negative, G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection.

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Today's Top 5

I'm sorry

But Anonymous Tipster is right, all the ladies clothes date from between 1928 and 1930.

[The dating comes from the photographer's logbook. -tterrace]


That's a Queen Elizabeth Hat, very stylish among British women of a certain age between about 1937 and 1940.

(Referring to the late Queen Mother, of course, who became Queen Consort at the end of 1936.)


Judging by the western ladies hats the date would be more like 1928-1930 I think.

[It's not. - Dave]

So, what are those?

The hanging things are oil lamps, not censers. Just above the lamps themselves are oval ostrich eggs -- a symbol of hope and the Resurrection. The lamps are lowered during the day to be refilled and have their wicks trimmed. Orthodox churches in Jerusalem and elsewhere have dozens of these lamps, many of them donated over the centuries by Christian pilgrims.

[Thank you! - Dave]

So, what are those?

What are the things hanging in the picture? Incense?

[Answer above. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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