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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE CITY OF RUINS AND ROSES, c. 1930

Class Project: 1919

Class Project: 1919

Georgetown, D.C., circa 1919. Our second look today at the morose moppets of the Lee School, one of whom seems to have a black eye. (Alternate title: "An Addams Family Education.") National Photo glass negative. View full size.

 

Housemaids-in-training

After learning how to hang miniature towels and fold hospital corners on tiny sheets, they're going learn another useful skill: how to make shoes from the skin of that alligator.

Misery 101

I don't know what could make an entire group of ten girls all so very sad unless they were getting early training in the art of good housekeeping. The first girl on the left looks particularly filled with despair and hopelessness. My grandmother actually did wear that type of bonnet when she did heavy housework. Either they were facing a life of drudgery as potential servants or they had a very mean teacher who just meted out a harsh and unfair punishment. They certainly look extremely disappointed and hopeless. The miniature furniture is beautiful and its hard to imagine that these sweet girls could been naughty; yet they are obviously in emotional pain. Very sad mystery here.

Gator

What on earth is an alligator doing on the back wall? (Maybe the girls with black eyes wrestled it into submission?)

The girl fifth from left, with the necklace, is really quite striking.

Weir's Picnic

Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock comes to mind. If these were photos for future advertisements for the school, they would scare students away! What's with the alligator (crocodile?) roaming on the wall?

Shiners

Aren't there two girls with black eyes? Possibly a little lunchtime altercation?

Gashleycrumb Tinies

They all look so sad. Did they make that furniture? And the alligator on the wall adds even more Edward Gorey to it!

"Leapin' Lizards, Sandy"

You'd look a little mournful, too, if you knew there was a gigantic lizard on the wall behind you.

NO SMILING !

Alright girls, hold still... on 3, - and anyone caught smiling stays after school and gets a black eye.

Doom, Dread and Dismay

They know that any minute the crocodile will climb down off the wall and eat another of them, just like he has 14 times already.

 
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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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