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About the Photos

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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Pure as Sunlight: 1939

Pure as Sunlight: 1939

Spring 1939. Street scene along the main thoroughfare in Greensboro, Georgia. View full size. Medium-format safety negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the FSA. Note that the cop in the Coca-Cola sign seems to have been literally defaced.

 

Sign Painter

I'm a retired journeyman sign painter. I learned from a master. We did everything freehand, as did other (real) sign painters of the era. We laughed at what we called "home grown" signs (done by the proprietors).

We had no templates nor any stencils, nor did we need them. We used leaded paints to lend to the vibrancy and durability of the signs. The best sign painters' brushes and quills were made of squirrel tail hairs.

Not much call for us these days.

Aunt Esther

Any of the ladies on the right bring to my mind, I think her name was Esther, Fred Sanford's sister-in-law. Mannerisms and the way they carry themselves.

Under the Coke Sign

The folks on the right are a bit camera shy while the man on the left with two boys seems to have just cracked a nervous joke to the grandma sitting apart. Check the grimace on her face the seemingly sudden turn of her away from the man and the boy closest is givin' the bug-eye. The man also seems to be cringing slightly at his mishap.

Sign Painters

This is a good example of the sign painter's art. I wonder if the Coca-Cola company furnished a template to sign painters to be used on brick walls.

The telephone number for the drugstore--24--reminds me of Jack Benny's response when asked for his Social Security number: 1

 
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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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