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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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Mrs. Ostermeyer: 1936

Mrs. Ostermeyer: 1936

December 1936. "Hands of Mrs. Andrew Ostermeyer, wife of a homesteader, Woodbury County, Iowa." View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by Russell Lee.

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Also a descendant

My great-grandmother is Margaret Hiller--her daughter. I had seen this picture before even knowing I was related to her. Amazing.

I am a decendent of this woman

Her name is Theresia Ostermeyer born 3/21/1863 in Woidhofen, Germany. She is my mother's great great grandmother therefore she is my 3x great grandmother. She died 10/28/1948 never knowing the picture of her hands destin to fame. The photo was taken after they had just lost their second farm due to the great dust bowl.

Steichen liked this one too, I guess

This photo was in the famous "Family of Man" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1955. In the catalogue, it's on p. 79,

I miss my grandmother's hands.

Mrs. Ostermeyer's hands remind me of another woman' grandmother's! "Nanny" also lived through the Depression--the twisted, gnarled hands that had picked & chopped cotton, wrung chicken necks, and sewn her family's clothes were the very best back-scratching hands God ever put on this earth! When Nanny would flip up the back of your shirt (usually Johnny Carson's Tonight Show) and scratch your back, you were guaranteed to MELT!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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