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.
Not absolutely sure of the date on this one, but it's probably Christmas 1959. I was born in August 1956 which would make me three and a bit when the picture was taken, which seems about right. The picture was taken by my Grandfather with a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye (with flash and leather case), which I still have. The airplane, which was my proudest present that year is a tin-plate DC-7 in United Airlines colours. It has a clear plastic bit over the passenger compartment and a friction motor that spins the props when you push the plane along the floor. The wing assembly detaches, probably because that was the only way they could make the plane. If you had skinny fingers (which I do) when you took the wings off you could stick the tip of your finger through the open door at the back of the passenger compartment. I still have the plane, though it's not in pristine condition. A couple of years after this photo was take I noticed on TV that when the propellers of real airplanes spun you didn't see the tips and on my plane you did - out came the scissors and off came the tips. I still have the plane and the camera, and all too few of the glass ornaments on that tree. The socks (thankfully) are gone forever, although they and the TV are immortalized in my blog profile photo.