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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 NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Alice Through the Looking-Glass

Alice Through the Looking-Glass

Circa 1900. It looks like she went to a lot of trouble to take this picture. Scanned from the original 4x5 inch glass negative. View full size.

Auntie's house

This reminds me of the houses of aged relatives, living in tiny Ohio towns, I had to visit when I was a kid. They didn't dress like the woman in the photo, of course, but the wallpapers and ceilings looked the same. This lady has put a mirror (with great upper molding) on a footstool and leaned it against the wall. You can see the chair it goes to in the reflection. I'll bet the mirror was walnut. One of the pictures on the right has a woman with a hairdo that looks like hers. Did the box on the lower right hold the camera?

Everything old is new again

This is awesome! You can go on flickr today, and find entire groups devoted to self portraits, including taking your own picture in a mirror.

No shutter delay on this camera!

I suppose this was about the only way a photographer could take her own picture back then. I think I would like to have known this woman.

Photo Mania

More than her effort to take the picture I am amazed by the shelving full of matted photos. Although in similar vintage images my relations have also had a number of photos on display. I'll hazard to guess that for a photography enthusiast it was an interesting era when photography became "mainstream". It was probably similar to the giddiness I experienced in the early 1980s as I became aware, interested and active in the new field of Personal Computers.

 
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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