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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 • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Full House: 1937

Full House: 1937

"Trailer camp, June 4, 1937." More tourists at the Washington, D.C., trailer camp. Photo-op casserole, anyone? Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

 

My Take

Older son refuses to eat air, Dad smacks him, Mom empathizes with son, younger brother watches to see how older brother reacts and Miss Goody-goody sister is triumphant.

Family resemblances

The older son looks just like his father and the daughter looks just like her mother. Can't tell about the little fellow. Everyone is dressed very comfortably and looks tanned and fit!

Cream of Nothing Soup

Did'ja ever eat dinner with a lump in your throat when there had just been a family fight at the table? Looks like the mother and son on the left are both about to burst into tears. But don't worry, they'll all cheer up when we pass out the rotten bananas for dessert.

Enamelware

That's enamelware, not china. The plates and cups are porcelain-enameled metal. Still sold at camping supply places.

Matching China

I find it interesting that this family would have matching china including cups and saucers in a travel trailer. I don't do that much camping but I don't remember seeing anyone using fine china in a trailer. On the few occasions my parents went camping back in the 50s-60s they had a complete Tupperware set. Plates, tumblers, cups, saucers, etc. At least it wouldn't break.

With the csserole dish angled away from view perhaps Mom is just getting ready to serve everyone.

Whats for supper?

"We're having Breeze Pudding , and Air cake for dessert. Take a Banana for later - if you get peckish!"

Photo-Op Casserole

78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, 1 percent trace elements. Serve at room temperature.

My mother-in-law

ate every meal like that, at least when I was there. I don't think the poor woman ever got to finish her meal without interruption. The only way to keep her from popping up to get whatever anybody wanted was to get up and get it yourself without saying anything. She always insisted she *wanted* the slightly burned toast.

Trailer Treat Stew

Reminds me of the one pan supper my mom used to make: Trailer Treat Stew with franks, kidney beans, canned tomatos, canned corn and spices. I think I need to make up a batch!

Children's Tea Party

Notice how healthy and slim they all are. Maybe more of us should have pretend parties like this.

My family's hippie trailer.

My family trailer growing up was this vintage thing, even though it was the the late 80s/early 90s we had this sweet trailer with orange and brown interior and big hippy flower drapes, although we brought real food with us, not imaginary.

Coleman

Gasoline stove on the left. Still have one but never used it inside. Per the Coleman website, yes they are still made but now they are called "Liquid Fuel" stoves.

Booth seating

Mom should always sit on the outside so she can jump up every few minutes to wait on someone or fetch something. At least that's the way it was in the 50s when I was a boy. I don't think Mom ever ate a meal in peace.

Especially for Shorpy fans

For all of you out there who find the present and past such interesting companions, you have got to check this out:
http://woa2.com/a-walk-through-time/

Colors

I would love to see the interior in color, because looking at the various patterns and textures, you know it was brilliantly bright. It's also interesting that the nautical theme is in the camper -- same idea, I guess, traveling in a small, compact "home away from home" enclosure.

The other day...

...I had a cool water sandwich and a sunday-go-to-meetin' bun. Bow bow bow...

It's...

invisible casserole!

What are they eating?

I see bananas in the middle plate but every one else's plate is empty. Makes you wonder what big brother has on his fork.

Bananas and what?

What are they eating and drinking....all the vessels and dishes look empty. My wife and I had a little travel trailer in the late '60's when we were first married. It was such a joy to have this little home away from home that was all your own...sleeping on your own sheets and eating your own food just like at home but being anywhere you wanted to be. It was a wonderful time. Great memories...thanks Dave.

Fun in the sun

Everybody's getting a nice tan.

 
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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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