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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Big Gun: 1917

Big Gun: 1917

Circa 1917. "Military training. Loading big gun." Harris & Ewing. View full size.

 

Guns

Railsplitter: If memory serves, those guns came from Fort Wint, on Subic Bay. The guns at the various Manilla Bay forts were damaged a good deal more, but the overly hasty retreat to the Bataan peninsula left the Subic forts intact.

Disappearing Mount (or Carriage)

Is that picture from Fort Casey on Whidbey Island, in Washington State? The fort (now a state park) has two such guns, brought over from Corregidor in the Philippines. The guns show battle damage from WWII. There could be more such guns at other coastal forts but the Fort Casey ones are the only ones I know about.

There is a similar fort (Ft. Stevens) near Astoria, Oregon, that had the same type of guns. Fort Stevens was shelled by a Japanese submarine during the early days of WWII. The soldiers manning the batteries were not allowed to return fire because the Japanese gun outranged the fort's guns and were more accurate to boot. It was apparent that the Japanese fire was harassing fire only and they didn't appear to know about the fort. Returning fire would only have alerted the Japanese to a real target and they could have caused real damage. As it was, they blew up the baseball backstop in the fort. Morale is said to have reached new lows after the attack.

Ram It Home, Boys!

This photo could have been the inspiration for this not-at-all-suggestive recruiting poster.

Cooties Keep Out

Their will be no bugs climbing up into the pant legs of these fellows, although there looks to be plenty of apartment space for them above the knees.

Fashion Statement

In the 1950's, boys' trousers with that belt and buckle arrangement were the fashion. Apparently, at some time, it was actually functional.

Disappearing Mount - Coast Artillery

That's a coast artillery gun (probably a 12-inch bore) on a disappearing mount. After loading, the gun was pivoted upward by an hydraulic cylinder over the concrete wall for firing. After firing, the recoil compressed the hydraulic cylinder and the gun returned to the loading position. Here's a full view of one in the "down" position:

 
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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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