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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 • SUMMER IN ITALY, 1951

All Suits Sterilized: 1910

All Suits Sterilized: 1910

"Hot day at Coney Island." Circa 1910. View full size. George Grantham Bain Collection. What we have here is an ocean of people and a puddle of ocean.

 

Anti- Rash cream available

The thought of wet wool, and heat, mixed in with an extra bonus...sand. Sanitize all you want. More money could have been made selling anti-rash creams.

Wonderful Snapshot in Time

WOW! I could sit and study this photo for hours, really. I think people were more handsome back then precisely because they were less self-conscieous and far less preoccupied over their looks. Great site!

Sterilized

I think that a silent film "Coney Island" had some reference to renting bathing suits.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0007819/plotsummary

You're right about those bodies.

Sure different from today!

As for working from before dawn to after dusk, the old-timers in Texas say "from cain't to cain't" (can't see until can't see).

what he's holding

He is holding what is now days called a 3D view finder. Your eye piece went on the end of the piece he is holding in his left hand. (He appears to be folding or unfolding that piece) There are 3 pictures to a slide. You then can move the picture right or left to see them individually in 3D.

Thin

People were also not guzzling fruit juice and soft drinks 24/7. No Big Macs either.

No Beach Blankets

Look how many people are burying themselves in the sand. Staying cool, or having fun? The woman at Cig Guy's feet did have legs, I presume.

Muscular

Men worked much harder in those days, and women too. Even men with office jobs had duties such has hauling in coal for heat in the winter, plus industrial jobs were much harder then, demanding much more physical energy than today, and especially men in the farm industry, they had to work probably ten times what they do today. My grandfather said that a day of work began at dawn and ended at dusk, as he put it; "See 'til can't see". When I ask him about getting into trouble as a teenager, he said "You were so tired and wore out that you did not have the time or energy to get in trouble"

Pix on a stick

Photos. Selling them, I guess. He's holding an example of the finished product.

Cig guy

it looks like he's holding a picture on a handle. why it's on a handle, i can't imagine, but that's what it seems.

Compare and Contrast

http://www.flickr.com/photos/graciepoo/182734002/

I find it interesting how muscular almost all the guys are. It seems like every one of them has clear muscular definition in his arms. The same scene today looks nothing like that in terms of body physique.

What is it?

What is the guy to the left with cigarette in his mouth, holding in his hands?

 
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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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