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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Living Barbie: 1959

Living Barbie: 1959

My mother was a fashionista before they had the word fashionista. She was also a dedicated sew and sew. As a consequence more than half of the photos in our family album are documentation of the clothes she designed and sewed. I think this may be the dress she made for my father’s mother’s funeral in 1959 because it is black, but I am not sure. Another theory is that she made it for the trip to Cincinnati that RCA sent my father on. That week-or-two trip included wives. In any event, it looks a heck of a lot like Barbie’s “Solo in the Spotlight” even down to the fake flower by her left knee.

In this photo (taken by my father) she is leaning on the top of the Paul McCobb "captain's chair" (previously seen here) in front of three drawings she did. The far left is a portrait of three-year-old me. The center picture is a tree. And behind her shoulder is a portrait of my father. The bricks in the foreground are part of the free standing fireplace that was a central feature of this mid-century modern Levittown home.

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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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