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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

1st Division Mechanics: 1864

1st Division Mechanics: 1864

October 1864. Petersburg, Virginia. "Mechanics of 1st Division, 9th Army Corps." Wet plate glass negative, photographer unknown. View full size.

 

Mechanics

At least two of the men are farriers or blacksmiths. One holds a horseshoe, the other a horseshoe and what may be a hoof trimmer. Given the background, others were doing duty as wheelwrights although again, the actual job description may have been "blacksmith." (Blacksmiths were generalists, expected to shoe horses or mules and oxen as well as repair just about anything that came to hand.)

Civil War Army Mechanics

I too was going to comment on the pipes and also the beards. I am enthralled at the quality of the photography in this era. The men on the outside seem to be a bit blurry, but so much detail is captured directly in front of the camera. This is truly a great photo.

Army Mechanics

Interesting how many are holding the tools of their trade--the smith/metal worker on the right, painter with brush and paint bucket near the center--can't identify the tool the man on the left is holding, appears to be a similar one on the ground on the right. Fascinating.

Next Stop, Dakota Territory

They look like they emigrated to Deadwood after the war, and took up residence in the Gem Saloon. Fascinating.

11 Pipes, One Cigar

On 19 men that's what I counted. And yet you don't see all the hands. Having your picture taken you had to relax and look cool. Needless to say, this is a great photography.

 
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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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