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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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Lost and Found: 1919

Lost and Found: 1919

"Tracing lost property of soldiers," circa 1919. View full size. The soldiers seem to be a musical bunch. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.



The end of WW1 marked the end of the mandolin boom, which had spawned mandolin orchestras and clubs since the 1890's. The "watermelon back" style of mando was of Italian origin and predominated in Europe - this one may be a souvenir; most American mandos were flat or arched on the back.


I have that same model mandolin. Handed down to my son and myself by my grandfather. He was a soldier too, but am unsure if he actually tried to bring his instrument with him. I can only imagine the mando and bugle accompaniment in the mess hall!

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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