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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 • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

Come Fry With Me: 1918

Come Fry With Me: 1918

The caption for this circa 1918 photo is, somewhat unhelpfully, "no caption." We can say, however, that it's definitely food-related, and that the lady's hat has wings. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Roadkill school of fashion design

The other day, my granddaughter came in and told me her mom hit a bird with her car. Sure enough, out of the bottom of the grill stuck a wing that looked just like one of those sticking out of this lady's hat! Poor birdie!

Poor Parakeet

The Carolina Parakeet, the only parrot species native to the U.S., was rare by 1860 and considered extinct by 1920, in part because its beautiful plumage (see Google Images) was in demand by the milliners trade. Loss of habitat and indiscriminate killing by farmers, who considered it a pest, also helped do it in.

A Bird in the Hat

My little sister got a book from the library (the title escapes me at the moment) about two women who were outraged at how many birds were being killed to decorate ladies' hats, and worked to make it illegal. It was fashionable back then, though we laugh at the hats now. I just wonder what the next couple generations will laugh at in our wardrobes.

[The snowy egret was hunted almost to extinction early in the 20th century, when its plumage was used to trim women's hats. This led to one of the first conservation laws in the United States -- the Migratory Bird Act of 1918. - Dave]

Lighter than air

The hat wings come in handy when you're eating greaseless doughnuts. Don't ask me how I know this. You're just going have to trust me on this one.

Popular Hat, or Popular Lady?

I recall seeing another picture here on Shorpy. It's an above-view picture of a large lawn party or some such gathering out of doors. Near the front is a woman wearing a hat complete with an entire bird on top of it, not just wings. I'm just wondering if it could be the same lady as the one in this picture, or if birds were just the "in" thing for that particular year.

With all the trimmings

It was a big thing back in the day for ladies to have all kinds of trimmings for their hats. Department stores such as Lit Brothers in Philadelphia would trim hats free of charge, as evidenced by this sign still above the door of the building (sadly no longer Lit's):

War Surplus

I'm reminded of some shots of people distributing war surplus, and wondered if that might be the missing caption.

Could be worse.........

As bad as that hat thingy is it could be worse.
The camera captures an instant of time but those wings could be flapping !!!

The Style of the Times

at all times is to make fun of women -- past or present, posed with dogs or hats, whether perfectly made up or in candid photos.

The style of the times

The style of the times, at all times, was to make fun of women's hats.

And the caption is ...

"FDA raids suspected trans-fat cache."

Ode to Canned Milk

My West Texas born-n-raised grandfather always said of canned milk:

"No teats to pull
no hay to pitch,
just poke a hole
in the son of a bitch."

Hats need stuff

If you were a lady living in this era, your hat would also have stuff - plenty of stuff on it. Nothing idulgent about it, just fashion - like going out in all kinds of weather with no stockings on as women do today.

Take a look:

http://www.costumes.org/history/100pages/1900HATS.HTM

This lady is helping the poor - good for her!

More MPG

"More miles per gallon of gas" and "Makes any gas engine do better." But what is it?!? The top of the poster got cut off and I really need this information.

Pileated Snark

"Well, ma'am, I'd say a bird in the hat is worth ... three bottles of Wesson Oil and this here sack of cornmeal! Whattaya think there, Shorty?"

Hat!

I know that hats were in style at the time, but considering I never saw a hat quite like this one, I suspect that our laughter is completely justified. I mean, she has bird wings coming out of the sides! That has to have been considered a pretty indulgent (to say the least) hat.

Bird Strike!

Mrs. Smith runs through her post-emergency checklist after making a forced landing at Hudson's Grocery in Manhattan.

She's a Lady

Two things:

This woman is involved, in some way, in feeding the needy.

It's time we accepted the fact that the hats, which receive so many derisive comments, are the style of the times. They really aren't much more ridiculous than fashions of any era and certainly not deserving of the snarkiness that has been so much in evidence lately.

Labels..

1. That has to be the funniest hat I've ever seen, that wasn't intended to be funny by the wearer.

2. I LOVE the old labels on the cans of Wesson Oil and Borden's Evaporated Milk. Any time there's a picture on Shorpy featuring stocked shelves, I can't help by scan the shelves for interesting labels. They were almost works of art.

Alternate Title

I'd have gone with Wessonality: 1918.
The proper lady and the rougher men make this look like a scene from a food bank.

Never Frozen

WOW. This tells us a lot about changes in the grocery business. The boxes are actually wooden crates, and the contents are all canned. The man on the right holds a purchase wrapped in brown paper and tied with a string. Meanwhile, the lady on the left has visited the local millinery shop where fashion has met road kill.

Red Bull

Gives you wings!

Fugetaboutit

Hey, in the white tie, isn't that Joey "the chin" Giraldo from the local teamsters union?

 
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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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