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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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The Goblins Next Door: 1911

The Goblins Next Door: 1911

November 1911. "Thanksgiving maskers." A door-to-door ritual for kids in costume back when Thanksgiving was a kind of proto-Halloween. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.


Trick or Turkey?

SNL had a skit last week incorporating this concept. Is there really some historic basis for it?

When did costumes switch holidays?

I remember reading about costumed children on Thanksgiving in the book "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."

When did dressing up make the jump to Halloween? Was it a gradual transition? Was this also a regional difference in the US?

Ragamuffin Day

My mother grew up in the 1930s in northern New Jersey. They had "Ragamuffin Day" the night before Thanksgiving. The preferred treats were nuts and apples.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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