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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 • THE NAVY NEEDS YOU IN THE WAVES

Naked Lunch: 1920

Naked Lunch: 1920

Washington circa 1920. "Barretta interior, 9 (maybe G) St." The nice thing about glazed wallpaper is it's so easy to keep clean. Nat'l Photo Co. View full size.

 

Baybee, this is class

"I'm takin' ya out to dinner honey, an' I'm payin', don' chu worry; and baby, this is a place wit REAL CLASS."

Lipstick on a pig

Living in the South as I do, this room looks to me like a very primitive attempt to dress up a very plain meat-and-three with newish furniture, a couple plants and a few randomly chosen wall hangings. Oh, and people like music while they eat so let's toss the old Victrola into the middle of the room. I bet the acoustics were just awful.

This would have been the kind of place to benefit from being on Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares program.

The cadaver is good today, sir!

The ambiance is akin to the autopsy room in a morgue. I wouldn't be at all suprised to see someone wearing 1920's scrubs step out from behind that screen at the far end.

That wonderful Ceiling

A superb tin ceiling, looks fairly new
and the skylight at the rear is most effective!
I own a twin of the cabinet
the Victrola is sitting on!
Another gem of a pic!

Bluto

Almost a perfect job cleaning up after the wild food fight.

Just so

All the aisle chairs are turned at the same precise angle. Someone took their time setting this up.

Table for four please

Wouldn't you hate to be the quartet that gets seated at one of the tables with the Boston ferns in the center? (No salad for me, I'll just nibble on the centerpiece.)

Decor

Those little Budweiser plaques on the walls might be the most understated advertisements I've ever seen.

Why, clam chowder would be swell!

There's something wonderfully surreal about The Victrola in the aisle. During meal service, someone would have had to stand there, changing records every two minutes. Perhaps they took requests. "Say, do you have any Jolson?"

Luncheon entertainment

I love the "live" entertainment in the dining room: what appears to be a Columbia Grafonola on a separate record cabinet, cleverly designed so it appears to be a more expensive all-in-one floor-model phonograph. Imagine the waiter having to wind the spring motor and change the steel needle in the tone arm every 3 minutes when the 10 inch 78 record side was over!

 
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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