SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Christmas 1959

Christmas 1959

In 1959, my engineer father was, as his expression shows, not happy that a part to my brother's new magic set was not working by late Christmas morning. This was my second picture with the Argus C-Twenty camera I received that day so long ago. For $29.95, the camera kit came with one 20-exposure roll of Kodachrome daylight, six No. 5 blue flashbulbs, plug-in flash gun, and a slide previewer. My parents spent an extra $4.79 for the top-grain leather case. For some reason, they never discarded the Fall-Winter 1959 Montgomery-Ward catalog in which the camera was featured. The catalog is now in my home. The camera served me well through high school, college and beyond. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Lead tinsel!

Great stuff! Toxic and beautiful. Our cats specialized in gobbling it down, and then it would reappear a day or two later . . .


My dad came back from Japan with a pair of binoculars, and they are still in that same case on my bookcase. They have "Made in Occupied Japan" stamped on them.

What a great dad!

God bless him.
$29.95 in 1959 is serious money.
And God bless the doggie hoping for scraps, with at least a slice of Christmas ham.

The dog...

seems to be more interested in the magic on the plate of whoever is sitting at the table.

An Argus C20

My parents bought the same camera in 1958 or '59. My dad used it once - the pictures didn't come out and the camera was put away until I found it in 1974. I took it with us when we visited my mom's family in Chicago. Only a handful of the pictures survive today, but I still have the camera, flash & manual in storage.


You can mostly make out your shape in the reflection in the ornament. Awesome!

And the catalog...

The catalog! What would it take to get you to scan and publish that?

Double Vision

Looks like somebody got a pair of binoculars for Christmas. I got a pair for Christmas when I was eleven, and I still use them, almost 40 years later.

Are we related??

Gosh, your dad and mine could have been brothers! And he was very handy too. What a great photo! Do you have more from this special roll?

The kitchen

The dog sitting at the table is great! Some things will never change.

Forward Into the Past

Hope we'll see many more of the pictures from that Argus that served you so well!

I know how he feels

Being a parent, I think I was usually more upset than my son if something I bought for him did not work right.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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