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:
Filling station and garage at Pie Town, New Mexico. Photograph by Russell Lee. September 1940. View full size. "Original owner sold pies, hence the name 'Pie Town.'" Wikipedia says that person was Clyde Norman, who started a dehydrated apple business there in the 1920s. Pie Town hosts a Pie Festival in the fall; photographer Lee took dozens of pictures of the 1940 rodeo and barbecue, which we'll be posting. Here we can see details of the the 1940 fair, and that gas was 21 cents a gallon. (Goodbye everyone, I'm moving to Pie Town - Dave)
"Mission where Elsie Sigel met her slayer." Photograph circa 1915. The body of the 19-year-old missionary, granddaughter of Civil War hero Franz Sigel, was found in 1909 bound in a trunk in her lover Leon Ling's fourth-floor apartment at 782 Eighth Avenue in New York, next to the Chinese restaurant where he was a waiter. Ling disappeared, and the crime remains officially unsolved. View full size. Read more about this notorious murder here (continued here). 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.
"3 p.m. Some of the boys at a busy trolley junction in Jersey City. Three brothers, Salvatore, 9 yrs. (in front), Joseph, 11 yrs. (cripple), Lewis, 13 yrs. (between these two). 'We would be murdered if we shot craps.' Boy at left sold me pair of dice for 2 cents." November 1912. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.