SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
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About the Photos

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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Look What Mother Made: 1957

Look What Mother Made: 1957

A high percentage of the photos in my family’s album are not pictures of the people in the photos, but pictures of the clothes. This is one of those. The location is my mother’s sewing room in our first family home that was in Levittown, Pennsylvania. My mother has undoubtedly handed me a new dress that she had just designed, sewn, and completed for me to wear. I am just kind of studiously holding it in response to her handing it to me for the first time. I have no doubt that the little jumper and blouse that I am wearing was also designed and sewn by her.

She didn’t approve of store-bought clothes because their craftsmanship was not up to her standards. I remember a particularly dramatic experience at a store when my elementary school required every girl to get a jumper for physical education class. She took one look at the required garment’s large stitching and baggy shape, and refused to buy it. Instead she designed and sewed an entirely different P.E. jumper for me to wear. It was nicer than the commercial outfit, but not much like those. Fortunately the school did not make an issue out of my mother's creativity. I was being raised to be a little non-conformist by default. View full size.

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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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