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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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Pie Town Singers: 1940

Pie Town Singers: 1940

June 1940. Three members of the ladies' quintet at a community sing in Pie Town, New Mexico. View full size. Medium-format safety negative by Russell Lee.

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The woman in the center could be wearing pince nez glasses or more like the ear piiece on the side we can see got beant and couldn't be bent back into shape and broke and either they can't get to where they can get replacements or Can't afford to right now so she's making do. Done it once or twice myself.


They have to be closely related, they look so much alike.

The nose bridge piece on the center woman's glasses is different than the others, and the classes fit more closely across the nose. These may be pince nez type, especially C-type, that stay on by spring or fit power on and around the nose. Teddy Roosevelt wore them, for example.

Want to See the Other Two

I don't think it gets any better.


Such a marvelous picture, brimming with incredibly touching details. "Sow Good Deeds" should be on everyone's playlist, hm?

Hymns and Hers

They are singing from the famous "shape note" song book, "Sacred Harp". Mostly hymns.


...does the hottie in the middle keep those glasses on?

Ladies' Quintet

I want to see the other two. And I want to know what song they're singing.

SHORPY OLD 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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