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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 • KEEP CLEAN WPA POSTER, 1939

John H. Spain

John H. Spain

If memory serves me correctly, this Spain was beaten to death while serving time in prison for an unknown crime. From the photo book of Mattie Louis Spain (LeMay). View full size.

John Henry Spain

John was the youngest child of Walter and Ida, born about 1915 in Tennessee, as were all of the Spain family. In 1920, when he was five, his family lived at 60 University St, Nashville, which is now public housing. In 1930, the family, reduced in size to only Walter, Ida and John, was living at 1114 3rd Avenue South, which has now been pretty much stripped of its houses except, it would appear, for theirs. By 1936, Walter had died and, according to the obituary, Ida had moved to Hermitage Avenue, which has since been cleared, as well. As a side note, and because I can't resist cool, old brick buildings, if you turn to the right and follow Third Avenue down to Chestnut, you'll see an old-timer that might give you some idea of how populated this neighborhood once was. If you turn left at Chestnut, you'll see a faded paint-job for "Layman Drugstore." Judging by the size and quality of the building, I'd venture the guess that they did very well on that corner. I'm sure the Spains would have been regulars there prior to Walter's death - and then John's, in 1937.


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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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