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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Darn, Darn, Darn: 1943

Darn, Darn, Darn: 1943

December 1943. "Lynn Massman, wife of a second class petty officer studying in Washington, D.C., darns socks in the afternoon while baby Joey has his nap." View full size. Medium-format safety negative by Esther Bubley for the OWI.

 

Darning - thread box

Can't get over all the details in this -- check out the lampshade. Also, Whitman Sampler box for thread, detailed print on upholstery, stylish belt, print in wallpaper, even the pores in her face. This is a lovely photo.

Grandmother's darning egg

When I was a kid my grandmother taught me how to darn socks. She used a darning egg which was a small oval ball with a small handle on it. You put it in the sock and it would help make the repair smooth. I wonder why we got away from that. Now days people just throw socks away.

Whitman's Candy

Besides darning socks, another example of Lynn's thriftiness is her sewing box. It's an empty Whitman's Sampler candy box, probably a gift from her husband. My mother kept candy boxes given to her by my father and used them to store assorted keepsakes.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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