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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Abide in My Love: 1908

Abide in My Love: 1908

New York City, May 1908. "Children's Aid Society." A tottering array of tots. 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

Useful skill

I think I know what became of these kids.

Balancing Act

They are (almost) all trying to do their very best to sit still for the camera. The little one holding the ball is particularly sweet. I'd like to adopt them all, but since they were all of my grandmother's generation, they would have had to adopt me instead.

Shishkebabe

Apparently one of the commandments was to hold still or you'll topple over and split your wee head open on the piano, or the very hard wooden floor. Good grief, that bench is high for those shrimpy little legs. And isn't it interesting that you can kind of tell the boys from the girls despite the baby dresses.

"When boys wore dresses" or "No Seat Belts"

"Tottering" is the right term, by golly. These tiny babies were simply balanced on this too tall bench to wing it on their own, and if they did fall, they would land on their sweet little faces. In fact that third baby from the right looks like he was so poor, he didn't even have a face. In many old photos one can see that little boys wore dresses, sometimes until they actually started school. I guess everything old is new again, huh? Cute photo but it is obvious that some are boys and some are girls and some are of unknown sexuality. Very poignant.

 
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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