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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 • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Drink Joe's Egg Cream: 1936

Drink Joe's Egg Cream: 1936

New York, November 1936. "Hair tonic salesman advertising his wares, Seventh Avenue at 38th Street." View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by Russell Lee.

 

Burgers 10 cents

I enlarged the photo as best I could to get a better look at the signs in the upper left of the photo. It appears to read "Hamburger Sandwich 10 cents." This is somewhat amazing to me because as I recall from my mother, McDonald's hamburgers in the 1950s were 10 cents and cheeseburgers were 15 cents. So is it safe to assume that food prices remained almost virtually unchanged for 20 years? Now THAT'S amazing! Or, conversely, as a friend pointed out, hamburgers were probably a nickel everywhere else, and had already climbed to a dime in NYC. Either way, what an incredible snapshot in time!

Hats

My grandfather was a haberdasher in NYC back then, I wonder if any of the hats were made by his company. How fascinating!

Hairologist"?

As I read it, that banner ends with the words, "If any hairologist is among you, please step up and examine my hair." Sorry to see that word never caught on.

Class Act

Don't know what it is, but the black lady to the left just has "class" written all over her.

Samson

"Yes, gentlemen, you too can have a full head of luxuriant hair like mine. Step right up. Only a dollar!"

 
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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