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About the Photos

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 • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Church of the Nativity: 1940

Church of the Nativity: 1940

Christmas in the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem circa 1940. View full size. 4x5 glass-plate negative, G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection.

 

Wish You Were Here: 1921

Wish You Were Here: 1921

1921. "Bathing Beach." Taking the waters somewhere along the Potomac River at Washington, D.C. View full size. National Photo Company Collection.

 

Incubators of Doom: 1942

Incubators of Doom: 1942

February 1942. Cincinnati, Ohio. "A battery of 1,000- and 2,000-pound furnaces roaring threats to the Axis. These are rotary oil-fired melting furnaces at Aluminum Industries Inc. Destination of the finished aluminum products is kept secret." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer. View full size.

 

Bedbug Alley: 1912

Bedbug Alley: 1912

November 1912. Central Falls, Rhode Island. View of privies, garbage dumps, etc., in back yards near Bed-bug Alley and High Street. View full size. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine for the Child Welfare Exhibit of 1912-13.

 

Oscar Radnisky: 1916

Oscar Radnisky: 1916

June 22, 1916. Fall River, Mass. Oscar Revinsky [Radnisky]. Born Jan. 11, 1900. 16 years old. Lives at 99 Oak Grove Ave. A scavenger on Pine Street Dump. Case known to S.P.C.C. (record No. 4322) since 1910. In 1913 parents refused to let child be committed to Wrentham, Mass. In 1916 father came to office asking that boy be committed as he spent all his time on the dumps. Deficient mentality. Neck covered with scars and boils. "No work, no school" since 1912. Never cleans up. Doesn't go home to meals. Eats from dump and steals from dinner pails. Was in baby grade at Ruggles School and was expelled. "Is father alive?" "No, he's a milkman." View full size. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

Toter Tot: 1913

Toter Tot: 1913

April 1913. Columbus, Georgia. "Eagle and Phoenix Mill. A 'dinner-toter' waiting for the gate to open. This is carried on more in Columbus than in any other city I know, and by smaller children. Many of them are paid by the week for doing it, and carry sometimes 10 or more meals a day. They go around in the mill, often help tend to the machines, which often run at noon, and so learn the work. A teacher told me the mothers expect the children to learn this way, long before they are of proper age." View full size. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

A Vintage Christmas Carol

A Vintage Christmas Carol

"The Works Progress Administration in Ohio presents the Federal Theatre for youth in 'A Christmas Carol.'" This poster for the Federal Theatre Project presentation of "A Christmas Carol" was created between 1936 and 1941.
View full size | Vintage Christmas Photos

 
 
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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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