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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Front Porch Self Portrait

Front Porch Self Portrait

My great-grandfather Arthur Zickgraf on a porch swing while courting his future wife, Mary Margurite Myers, in Mason, Michigan, circa 1914. It is hard to tell, but Arthur is holding a primitive remote control in his hand that snapped the couple's self-portrait.

The look of love

What a sweet smile on her face, and her hand so delicately placed on his shoulder. She radiates happiness and love. He, on the other hand, is totally concerned with making his gadget perform!

Porch swing

The "primitive remote" you refer to is probably a camera cable release, which, when attached to the camera's shutter, was used to snap a self-portrait. There were some which operated using a rubber bladder which was squeezed between the fingers and some with a metal plunger apparatus which was pushed down with the thumb. It looks as though your great-grandfather had the metal plunger type.

I had a couple myself and used them not only to take self-portraits, but also to capture time-exposures of the night sky.

Porch Swing

Great pic! My grandparents had a porch swing just like that on the front porch of their home in Dowagiac, MI...many fond memories of sitting there with them & shooting the breeze. It's now hanging at my parents' house, but we're not allowed to sit in it anymore. :(

~Marnie

 
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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