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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 • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Godchild: 1963

Godchild: 1963

We broke out the slides when my father was near death this past Winter. By the time of his funeral I had pared it down to a select hundred or so and entertained Mom, my siblings, and our kids a couple of times. Not that Dad missed out. He got one last show when I visited earlier in 2007 and brought them down from the upstairs closet along with the old Graflex Constellation projector. The smell of a warm projector! I love that smell.

Having kids of our own allows us to recognize the sweet and delicate and vulnerable embrace my brother's godfather is relishing in this shot and it ties us to the past more strongly than we could have expected when as kids we were squirming in front of the screen waiting for the next slide and hoping yourself was in the shot.

Dad used his trusty Kodak Retina in the smooth brown leather case. My older sisters always complained that he shot on slide film instead of prints that they could more readily enjoy or share with friends. Dad preferred the clarity of Kodachrome and I didn't know that about him until after I cultivated my own preference for quality, which in my time means preferring film to digital.

Retina Reflex III

My dad used Kodachrome religiously in his Kodak Retina Reflex III in the early '60's. When I got into photography in the '70's, I used the Retina with both Kodachrome and Ektachrome, and I still prefer the slides for color.

I don't understand the objection about prints versus slides. Just get the slides made into prints. I used to cull through hundreds of slides and take only the best to be printed, and only by Kodak labs too.

The Times of Your Life

I think anyone of any era wishes they had a photo like this of him or herself as a baby. I was born in 1980 and it would have been nice.

Oh, what a godfather!

I just LOVE the tender vulnerability here! I was born in the last weeks of 1963 and wish I had a photo of someone, ANYONE cuddling me this tenderly...what a family treasure!

Thanks for the touching story to accompany such a warm photo.

Sure we didn't have the same Dad?

I've still got Dad's original Retina, along with a later Retina I don't recognize. I've got his Kodachromes from the '40s on, along with some earlier Autocolor and, I think, DuFay (?) Color. It was only in the last few years that he succumbed to color prints, largely because of the 8 x 10s of his grandson that he like to show off. (And by that, I mean both the grandson and the photos!)

Steve Miller
Someplace near the crossroads of America

 
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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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