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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

Hospital Hookup: 1924

Hospital Hookup: 1924

Washington, D.C., circa 1924. "Radio at Garfield Hospital." Feeling better yet? National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Footlong

OMG! I just checked and sure enough. I looked at my arm and said "no way!" It was exactly the length of my forearm. Didn't realize my foot was so big!!

So that's what they looked like

In early 1931 the Kiwanis Club chapter in my small Alabama hometown raised money to buy and install a radio and headsets in the local hospital. On April 9 of that year, World War veteran C.H. Smith became the first patient to enjoy the radio and headsets that were so installed. According to a newspaper article of the day: "Mr. Smith, an injured employee of a roofing company, is wrapped in a plaster cast from his shoulders to his knees and says the radio headset in his room will make his stay a good deal more tolerable." I've wondered how the device was configured, and now I see. Thank you.

What are you in for?

Brick walls, wire mesh over the windows ... what was this, a mental hospital?

[Kids under quarantine -- boys especially -- were often inclined to leave the premises. - Dave]

Wide Angle Effect

Note the effect of the wide angle lens. The seated woman's left foot from toe to ankle is about the same length as her forearm in the image. Probably not so in real life.

[Not a wide-angle lens. And for most people the foot is indeed the same length as the forearm. - Dave]

Romeo

Next, we'll look at my etchings.

Nice Radio

A nice battery powered set! Notice that they "split" the two earpieces, leaving the frame of the headset behind the radio. The radio probably had no built-in speaker, so this was the only way two people could listen at the same time.

Everything old...

It was news a few years ago how people would share their iPods in this manner, as if it was something new.

Those two...

grew up to marry each other.

They look pretty healthy to me.

Personality Transfer Machine

The piece of equipment pictured is in reality a Fix-A-Kid® Personality Transfer Machine. The theory of operation is as follows: The patient is connected to his older sister via twin cerebral transducers. Typically, after fewer than half a dozen treatments, the young fellow will start to exhibit the manners and decorum of his more couth sister, such as picking up his soiled laundry, more frequent bathing and avoidance of excessive swearing.

 
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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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