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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 • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Wingman: 1942

Wingman: 1942

July 1942. Fairfax bomber plant, Kansas City. "A wing brace for a B-25 bomber being prepared for the assembly line at North American Aviation. With plenty of speed, a 1,700-mile cruising range and a ceiling of 25,000 feet, the B-25 has performed as a medium bomber and as an escort plane. General Doolittle has called the ship the best military plane in existence." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer, Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Attractive

I'm going to have to say, this man's good-looking.

The Union

Interesting, that the worker wears two badges on his overalls. The #32, his employee number at North American Aviation. The other is his UAW, CIO union affiliation button. The United Auto Workers (UAW) evidently organized the workers at this plant and were part of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The unions were the bargaining agents for the workers there. During WWII the right to strike was forbidden by the government, the war effort was more important. Coming out of the depression, nobody wanted to lose their job or see their workplace nationalized. When the war ended, many industries were plagued by strikes, most of them settled so that the businesses could get back to making consumer goods that were not made during the war.

DC-7

My father held me by the hand when we went to see the unveiling of the DC-7 passenger plane. He worked for the CAA (later to become the FAA) and all of his buddies stood around laughing because "it's a great piece of engineering, but they'll never fill it with enough passengers to make it pay." He died before the Boeing 707 was introduced.

 
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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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