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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Syne of Ye Krazy Kat: 1921

Syne of Ye Krazy Kat: 1921

From July 1921, the Krazy Kat club off Thomas Circle in Washington, with Cleon Throckmorton to the right. View full size. National Photo Company Collection.

 

Green Court

I know exactly where that picture is. The building on the right is still there. It's now the Green Lantern gay bar. The building looks like it hasn't changed at all. This is Green Court looking north from the middle of the alley toward Massachusetts Avenue. The building on the left where the Krazy Kat is located is now a gym. I'm not sure if it's the same building though. It looks like it might have been replaced.

Foot

I just loved the cocked foot of the girl in the center. She's so obviously posing, but trying to look nonchalant.

Transformation

I suppose people back then were unaccustomed to escaping into their TV sets on a daily basis. It's so great to see the power of imagination being exercised by these Krazy Kats to create a unique place of their own. Maybe we would all benefit from having a gypsy treehouse in our backyard.

Flappers

Look at the previous photos and you can see the transformation of good girls to flappers.

Wild Things

Check out the knees (and stockings) on flapper gal. The other young ladies, especially Miss Thing on the right, look a bit new to the scene.

Krazy & Ignatz

It appears the Krazy Kats lifted their logo and some of their hep-ness from George Herriman's Krazy Kat cartoon, which was at the peak of its popularity at the time of the photos. The cartoon strip ran in major US dailies and was noted for its irreverance and odd characters. The two protagonists were Krazy (a "kat") and Ignatz (a mouse). Ignatz held an unrequited love for Krazy - and expressed his affection with bricks tossed at the noggin of his beloved (whose sex was never stated or even insinuated). Herriman employed some odd English spellings and syntax as evidenced by this witty and revealing exchange:

Krazy: “Why is Lenguage, Ignatz?”

Ignatz: “Language is that we may understand one another.”

Krazy: ”Can you unda-stend a Finn, or a Leplender, or a Oshkosher, huh?”

Ignatz: “No,”

Krazy: “Can a Finn, or a Leplender, or a Oshkosher unda-stend you?”

Ignatz: “No,”

Krazy: “Then I would say lenguage is that that we may mis-unda-stend each udda.”

Goober Pea

 
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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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