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.
Vintage photos of:
Tenement homeworker with clothing tags. Roxbury, Massachusetts. August 1912. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size. Homeworkers, often children, sewed tags onto finished garments or performed other piecework at home instead of going to school.
"Bring out yer rats." Ferrets were used in turn of the century New York to track down rodents. Here is the result of one such hunt in 1908. You want to be dressed in a jacket and tie for this kind of work. From the George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.
Street corner, Brockton, Massachusetts. January 1941. Two blurry figures pass by a fire hydrant in this time exposure by Jack Delano. View full size. Using the 125 above the door and the street sign as clues, we were able to find this building in Google Maps: 125 Pleasant Street at North Warren Avenue. It's the building to the right with the white roof, and seems to be more or less unchanged. Some of the apartments above the store are on the market as condos. The building the photographer used as his vantage point has disappeared, replaced by a parking lot.