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:
1946. Woman (Milah Birnie?) in an experimental plywood lounge chair. View full size. 35mm Kodachrome transparency, Charles and Ray Eames collection.
Children at play circa 1920 as captured by the pioneering news photographer and society portraitist Jessie Tarbox Beals (1870-1942). View full size. In 2000 the New York Times reviewed a retrospective of her work: "One of the reasons so few women entered the profession was that equipment was so heavy. Beals carried an 8-by-10 view camera, glass plates and a tripod, close to 50 pounds of paraphernalia. (She was further encumbered by a whalebone corset and a hat the size of a flying saucer.) Still, when a judge in a murder trial locked the photographers out, she climbed a tall bookcase up to a transom window, snapped a picture before she was detected and had a five-column front-page photograph."