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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 • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

The Unknown Bureaucrat: 1936

The Unknown Bureaucrat: 1936

December 1936. This formidable-looking lady either had something to do with the Resettlement Administration's creation of Greenhills, Ohio, one of the first planned communities in the United States, or she was tragically misfiled at the Library of Congress. Either way, her caption has no name. View full size. Medium format negative by Brice Martin. [Update: The mystery lady is Dorothy M. Beck, a regional director of the Resettlement Administration.]

 

Dorothy Beck

You know, I wonder whether she's dressed that way because it's
a) a formal portrait, and after all she's RICH
b) her typical everyday clothing, befitting her professional and social standing
c) her typical everyday clothing, meant to intimidate yokels.

or

d) everyone dressed like that

[I would choose A. Her work attire was a bit more down-to-earth (below). - Dave]

Mrs. Roosevelt

That is most likely not Mrs. Roosevelt. The obvious portrait does not appear anywhere else in Library of Congress photos attributed to her (and there are many!) or in any other collction I have viewed.

It is highly unlikely Mrs. Roosevelt would not have appeared wearing a fur at that time of her life either. Eleanor was a much more "subdued" or "subtle" woman than the one in the photo.

[As we said below, it's Dorothy Beck, who died in 1946 at the age of 59. She started her career in business as purchasing executive for a Chicago department store. She was also a director of the Girl Scouts of America. Her husband was Thomas Beck, publisher of Collier's magazine. - Dave]

Mystery Woman No More!

After digging around a bit I found her photo with a proper caption. It's Dorothy M. Beck, a regional director of the Resettlement Administration.

Who is it?

Is is a photo of a young Eleanor Roosevelt.

Paul Richardson
Past Pres.
Greenhills Historical Society
Greenhills - One of the three GREENBELTS built in the 1930's by the WPA

[An interesting theory but it's not Eleanor. - Dave]

I know who she isn't

Don't know who she is but looks too smart to be part of some histerical group.

[Not to mention hysterical, and maybe even historical. - Dave]

Oh, I recognize her!

That's Mrs. Hillary Hardvisage.

 
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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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