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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 • FRENCH BICYCLE GODDESS, c. 1898

Tony the Bootblack: 1924

Tony the Bootblack: 1924

July 25, 1924. "Tony, a 12-year-old bootblack, at his station in Bowling Green, New York City. He says he makes from $2 to $3 a day regularly." View full size. Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine (one of his final NCLC photos).

 

Tooth and Nail: 1917

Tooth and Nail: 1917

April 1917. "Daily inspection of teeth and fingernails. Older pupils make the inspection under the direction of teacher who records results. This has been done every day this year. School #49, Comanche County, Oklahoma (near Lawton)." View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. Alternate version here.

 

Comanche County: 1916

Comanche County: 1916

Oct. 10, 1916. Comanche County, Oklahoma. "School #45, Ash Grove; Miss Hazel McKay, Teacher. One-room school in fair condition. Opened Sept. 4 for 8 month term. Enrollment 22, average attendance 15; last year: enrollment 27, average attendance 15. The balance are picking cotton and also five more that have not enrolled at all. Pickers may be out two weeks more. Teacher expects 30 enrolled after picking is over." View full size. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

Alley Cats: 1909

Alley Cats: 1909

March 1909. "Bowling alley boys of New Haven, Connecticut. Many of these work until late at night." View full size. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

Meet the Hazels: 1916

Meet the Hazels: 1916

Nov. 10, 1916. Vicinity of Bowling Green, Kentucky. "Hazel family (very poorly educated). Children have not been to school this year although living within 1½ miles of school." View full size. Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

Brooklyn Pin Boys: 1910

Brooklyn Pin Boys: 1910

April 1910. "1 a.m. Pin boys working in Subway Bowling Alleys, 65 South Street, Brooklyn, N.Y., every night. Three smaller boys were kept out of the photo by Boss." View full size. Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

Life in the Slow Lane: 1910

Life in the Slow Lane: 1910

February 1910. "Bowling Alleys connected with Geo. P. Gray's Bastable Cafe on Genesee Street. About eight very small boys employed here. Work until midnight. Photo taken at 11:30 p.m." View full size. Photo & caption: Lewis Wickes Hine.

 
 
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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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