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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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A Real Life Saver: 1913

A Real Life Saver: 1913

May 24, 1913. Joseph N. Callahan modeling "Coxey's Life Saver and Water Wings." View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.



Our intrepid model, Mr. Callahan, is clearly in need of "Coxey's Atomic Wedgie Preventer."


If he clenched any tighter he'd pop those water wings!!

Cold Water

In the Titanic's case the lifejackets were not the problem - everyone had one. The problem was that they all froze to death.

Hot item

Considering this is dated just over a year after the Titanic's horrific human toll, this was probably one of many similar products rushed to market.....just as after 9/11 many feared flying, I can imagine many people were afraid to go aboard ship without guaranteed personal flotation devices.

Extreme modeling

Yikes, I hope a frontal view doesn't exist.

[Just you wait. - Dave]


That's enough for some of us to hope for a return of the lovely Grace Valentine!

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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