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About the Photos

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 • TAKE A KODAK, c. 1930s

Washday Blues: 1941

Washday Blues: 1941

April 1941. Washday in South Side Chicago. 35mm safety negative by Russell Lee for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

 

Grandma's house

A kitchenette apartment! My grandma lived in one during that time.

Not Quite Candid Camera

Russell Lee did not burst into her apartment and catch her by surprise. She must have thought that if someone was going to take pictures of her, she should look nice for the occasion. She succeeded, because we admire her clothes and her self-respect.

[She's a clerical worker at an insurance company about to leave for work. - Dave]

A Well-Dressed Generation

Wow.... nice dress, nice shoes ... Then again maybe it's the only thing left that's clean.

[The June Cleaver school of housework. - Dave]

 
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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