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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 • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Get Set: 1922

Get Set: 1922

A photo of William Grass on the starting line. National Photo Company, 1922. View full size.

 

3/4 Novelty Grahams: 1910

3/4 Novelty Grahams: 1910

This picture shows the "Four Novelty Grahams" acrobatic performers at the Victoria Theatre, Philadelphia. The father is 23 years of age. Willie Graham is 5 years of age, and Herbert Graham is 3 years of age. At 9 P.M. on June 10th, 1910, these children were performing on the stage. Four times daily they do a turn which lasts from 12 to 14 minutes. Herbert Graham, the youngest, was said by the father to have commenced performing on the stage as an acrobat when he was 10 months of age. Willie, now 5, is said to be the youngest acrobat in the world. The mother of these boys was formerly a school teacher, and is now performing with this trio on the stage. The children are bright and strong, but have a playfulness about them which shows them to have forgotten the best years of childhood. Photo by Lewis W. Hine, 1910. View full size.

 

Nettie Featherston: 1938

Nettie Featherston: 1938

June 1938. Nettie Featherston, laborer's wife with three children near Childress, Texas. "I just prayed and prayed and prayed all the time that God would take care of us and not let my children starve." View full size | Audio interview.

 

'If You Die, You're Dead - That's All'

'If You Die, You're Dead - That's All'

June 1938. Nettie Featherston, wife of a migratory laborer with three children. Near Childress, Texas. "If you die, you're dead – that's all." View full size. Photo: Dorothea Lange. Bio of Nettie (1898-1984) and audio interview.

 

Migrant Jalopy: 1939

Migrant Jalopy: 1939

U.S. 99 in Kern County on the Tehachapi Ridge. February 1939. Migrant workers travel seasonally back and forth between the Imperial Valley and San Joaquin Valley over this ridge. View full size. Photograph by Dorothea Lange. (The billboard up ahead: "76 miles to GRAPEVINE air cooled cafe.")

 

Dorothea Lange: 1936

Dorothea Lange: 1936

Dorothea Lange, Resettlement Administration photographer, in California atop car with her giant camera. February 1936. View full size.

 

Chapel Hill: 1939

Chapel Hill: 1939

Fourth of July 1939 near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. "Rural filling stations become community centers and general loafing grounds. Cedargrove Team members about to play in a baseball game." Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange. View full size.

 
 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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