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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 • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Paree the Flying Cat: 1910

Paree the Flying Cat: 1910

In 1910, on the first airplane flight across the English Channel to carry a passenger, American aviator John Moisant flew from Paris to London accompanied by both his mechanic and his cat, named either Mademoiselle Fifi or Paree, depending on which newspaper you believe. Later that year Moisant died in a crash near New Orleans. View full size. George Grantham Bain Collection.

 

Wheels of War: 1865

Wheels of War: 1865

Park of Army wagon wheels at City Point, Virginia, in 1865. View full size. Wet collodion glass plate stereograph; photographer unknown.

 

Mime Goes Motoring: 1910

Mime Goes Motoring: 1910

November 30, 1910. The caption just says "Mime" motoring. After putting in a request to the Shorpy research division, we can report that "Mime" is the dog, a Papillon who lived at the Hotel Walton in New York City and was by all accounts a fan of fast cars (and, from the looks of it, fast women). View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress.

 

Lady Libertine: 1902

Lady Libertine: 1902

From 1902, another of Fitz Guerin's metaphorical maidens.View full size.

Careless Matches Aid the Axis

Careless Matches Aid the Axis

Circa 1942 silkscreen poster by Louis Hirshman encouraging safe disposal of matches, showing stylized Japanese soldier standing behind a tree with a match, with the rising sun in the background. Federal Art Project / WPA War Services Project. View full size.

 

A Lonely Job: 1911

A Lonely Job: 1911

January 1911. A lonely job. Waiting all alone in the dark for a trip to come through. Willie Bryden, a nipper, lives at 164 Center St. in South Pittston. It was so damp that Willie said he had to be doctoring all the time for his cough. A short distance from here, the gas was pouring into the mine so rapidly that it made a great torch when the foreman lit it. Willie had been working here for four months, 500 feet down the shaft, and a quarter mile from there. (Shaft #6, Pennsylvania Coal Co.) Walls have been whitewashed to make it lighter. January 16, I found Willie at home sick. His mother admitted that he is only 13; will be 14 next July. Said that 4 months ago the mine boss told the father to take Willie to work, and that they obtained the certificate from Squire Barrett. (The only thing the Squire could do was to make Willie out to be 16 yrs old.) Willie's father and brother are miners and the home is that of a frugal German family. View full size. Photograph (5x7 glass negative) and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

Willie the Nipper: 1911

Willie the Nipper: 1911

January 1911. Willie Bryden holding the door open while a trip goes through. View full size. Photograph by 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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