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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 • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Lollipops: 1910

Lollipops: 1910

"Lollipops." Mina Turner and her cousin Elizabeth in Waban, Massachusetts. 1910. View full size. 8x10 dry plate glass negative by Gertrude Kasebier.

 

Go Figure!

Funny, I always imagined that woodwork -- save that in kitchens and bathrooms -- went unpainted until much later in the 20th century. I'm still glad I spent all winter stripping and staining mine in an effort to restore my house, but had I wanted an excuse to get out of the job, this photo surely would have sufficed.

Beautiful image -- wallpaper, sunlight, clothing, woodwork -- love it all!

Meow

There's a curious little kitten in Elizabeth's lap.

Thermostats

What we recognize as a thermostat was called a damper regulator in the 1910s. Unlike a modern thermostat, damper regulators, which came into use around 1885, didn't turn the heating system off and on (since there is no "off" for the fire in an old-fashioned coal furnace) but rather regulated temperature by controlling a damper that sent heated air either through the ventilating system (making the house warmer) or up the chimney or flue (making the house cooler), or in intermediate positions, partly through the ventilating system and partly up the flue. The regulator was usually mounted near the furnace, i.e. in the room above its location in the basement. Early regulators used a vacuum line or steam pressure to control the damper; later ones were electric. There were also regulators for steam lines in houses with boilers and radiator heating. One early design was the Minneapolis Regulator from Minneapolis-Honeywell.

Min and Liz

The lighting on the two kids is fantastic... very glowy.

One of my faves

A rather straight shot from one of my fave photogs of the Pictorialist era.

Thermostat

At least that's what the thing on the door frame behind the lady's head looks like. Very primitive, big, and installed with no thought of aesthetics. Technology run amok.

[Similar to this Minneapolis setback regulator on eBay. - Dave]

Sweet

This one has a very innocent, sweet appeal, not just for the candy, but the overall mood.

Great Wallpaper!!!

My grandparents used to have a similar type of wallpaper in their house in Arlington. I used to love it when I was a kid, though I'm sure my parents thought it looked tacky.

Stairs

Craftsmen being craftsmen, I went back to admire the woodwork after my first comment. And I did find a little glitch that someone might have caught some flack over. But since I can see it, maybe not.

Look at the corner post at the landing. You'll see the post cap trim is severely out of level. Get that guy back to fix it is what our boss would say. It was likely either the rookie or the old guy whose eyesight is not what it used to be. Happens.

[That's the lens, not the trim. - Dave]

Woodwork

As a carpenter I find this shot is a feast of fabulous woodwork. From the exquisite filigree of the bannister to the graceful curves of the stair treads, plus the door casings and the oversized moulding as it flows up the stairs elicits admiration and awe since I'd guess most of this was accomplished without the myriad of power tools, pneumatic nailers, and high tech equipment we have on the jobsite today. Those guys would drool over what we can do so quickly and easily. Whereas we are knocked out by their ability to do such high quality work with much more basic tools. Craftsmen are craftsmen, just the times we live in make for the differences.

The Walls

What amazing wallpaper! Beautiful!

 
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