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.
Vintage photos of:
Larkspur, California, the small town I grew up in, about 15 miles north of San Francisco. Here in 1955 the population was around 3500. Within its three-block downtown there were: two grocery stores, both with full service butchers (here the Rainbow Market, or "Ernie's," and next door The Food Center, or "Fred's"); a drug store, where I also bought my comics and had my film developed; a hardware store with everything from bins of nails to small appliances; a variety store, where I bought my Matchbox cars; a dry goods store; two barber shops; a movie theater; my doctor and dentist; a TV repair shop; a soda fountain; a caterer; a florist (on the left in the photo), as well as the gas station, garage, post office, bank, fire house and city hall, the latter with the library. Oh yeah, and three bars. I never went to those, but you could often find me at the library investigating dinosaurs or old coins or freeways or whatever else I happened to be obsessed with at the moment, all with the indulgence and encouragement of Miz Wilson, the long-time librarian. 35mm Ansco Color slide by my brother.
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