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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 • BRIDGE AT ARGENTEUIL, 1874

Tiller Girls: 1926

Tiller Girls: 1926

New York, 1926. "Tiller girls." Arriving from England, 16 chorus girls in the troupe originated by British musical-theater impresario and precision-dancing pioneer John Tiller. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain. View full size.

 

Some Like It Hot

Tiller Girls, eh? I see Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon dead-center of that lineup!

Tiller girls

My grandmother was in the Tiller girls, but 25 years earlier than this. She moved from Ireland to London as a teenager and got a job on the stage as a dancer. She met and married an older businessman.

By 1926 her son was 19, and at sea in the merchant navy. My mother was 9 years old. Uncle Thomas died from TB at 21, and Grandmother left her husband for her son's best friend, Uncle Bill.

Titanic Proportions

The ship in the photos is most likely the RMS Berengaria of the Cunard Line. She was originally the German ship Imperator and in 1913 had the distinction of being the first ship larger than the ill-fated Titanic to make her maiden voyage.

One of the reasons Titanic was shy of lifeboats was because they would block the view of the ocean. By 1913 the lesson was learned, and the boats here are stacked so tall they actually form a wall.

[Based on shipping news items in the New York Times, the boat seems to be either of the Cunard liners Carinthia or Samaria. - Dave]

Sweet Sixteen

Looks like they are ready for rousing game of crack-the-whip!

 
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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