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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ST. NICHOLAS RESTAURANT, c. 1873

Army Balloon: 1918

Army Balloon: 1918

Vicinity of Washington, D.C. Army balloon circa 1918-1921. View full size. Glass negative from the National Photo Company Collection.

 

Passive restraint

These 'Barrage Balloons' were a cheap coastal defense against enemy planes attempting to strafe or bomb the areas inland of them. Beside the many ropes attached to them, they carried a woven steel cable anchored to the ground. Running into a cable at speed would usually shred enemy aircraft. Getting them aloft required great quantities of hydrogen gas, usually produced by pouring sulphuric acid over iron filings, a method little changed since the civil war.

 
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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