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:
August 1942, Corpus Christi, Texas: "It's an intricate operation, installing a 30-caliber machine gun in a Navy PBY plane, but not too tricky for Jesse Rhodes Waller. He's a Georgia man who's been in the Navy 5-1/2 years. At the Naval Air Base he sees that the flying ships are kept in tip-top shape. Waller is an aviation ordnance mate." View full size. Kodachrome transparency by Howard Hollem.
Seaford, Delaware. May 1910. "Mother and children hulling strawberries at Johnson's Hulling Station. Cyral (in baby cart) is 2 yrs. old this May and works steadily hulling berries. At times Cyral would rest his little head on his arm and fall asleep for a few minutes and then wake up, commencing all over to hull berries. While it was found in this investigation that children 3, 4, 5 yrs. were accustomed to start out before sun-up to pick berries, we have not found many cases such as this." View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.
Raymond Bykes, Western Union No. 23, Norfolk Va. Said he was fourteen. Works until after one a.m. every night. He is precocious and not a little "tough." Has been here at this office for only three months, but he already knows the Red Light District thoroughly and goes there constantly. He told me he often sleeps down at the Bay Line boat docks all night. Several times I saw his mother hanging around the office, but she seemed more concerned about getting his pay envelope than anything else. Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine, 1911. View full size