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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 NAVY NEEDS YOU IN THE WAVES

Vis-O-Matic: 1950

Vis-O-Matic: 1950

June 6, 1950. "Vis-O-Matic department store," a premonition of virtual retailing. One of at least 200 photographs taken by Bernard Hoffman at retail magnate Laurence Freiman's newfangled catalog store in Pembroke, Ontario. The cards were an index of merchandise on color slides viewed by customers on rear-projection screens. Life magazine image archive. View full size.

Another first?

Hey! Did they accidentally invent the scroll wheel?

Whatta Rolodex!

I've been a lurker here for a long time, so you don't know me. The wheel used to flip the Rolodex looks big enough to turn a boat! It must have been for show, because current Rolodexes use a much smaller knob.

[The junior-size Cardineer rotary index that she's using is quite a bit bigger than a Rolodex. - Dave]

Jaunty Chapeau

I imagine it must have taken tons of pins to keep that hat on her head. Could also be contributing to the expression of tooth-grit pleasantry.

Pembroke, Ont.

Pembroke is such a sleepy little town. With a lot of history. It's hard to imagine that it had a store like this back then.

Zoinks

She looks like she's been staring at the rear-projection screen a bit too long. Take a break, girlfriend.

 
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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