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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 • FRENCH BICYCLE GODDESS, c. 1898

Totally Tubular: 1960

Totally Tubular: 1960

Well, it's vacation time, and what better destination than the beach in 1960? My brother snapped me and his Cal Poly college chum Bob (who you may recall from Christmas Special) along the Russian River at Guernewood Park, California in July of that year, just one month before my 14th birthday. I believe my exceptionally stylish swim trunks are 1940s vintage hand-me-downs from my father. Hair by beach towel. 35mm Kodacolor negative. View full size.

Tubing

When I was a kid growing up in Knoxville, TN, we would head to the local farmer's Co-op and get 5-6 used tractor inner tubes. Usually they had a huge pile out back so we could have as many as we wanted. Then we'd take them home, blow them up, and fix all the holes with bicycle patches or duct tape if none were handy. Then we'd head off to the Smoky Mountains 45 minutes away and go down the "Y", which was where 3 small rivers joined together. Even in July that water was about as cold as ice.

I think some of my best summer memories are of drifting down the river on an inner tube. That is until they spring leaks.

Russian River

Love this photo. I've spent a lot of time lazing by the Russian River. Western Sonoma County is just about my favorite place in the world. Just last night I uploaded a ton of wedding photos onto my Facebook page, and was lost in how beautiful it is. My wife and I were married there in a meadow on the banks of the river.

Two tall years

Weeeell someone hit puberty with a vengeance! It's easy to forget how quickly kids grow up in two short years.

Kenneth Grahame was wrong

There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in inner tubes.

Russian Tubers

aka vodka.

Tubing down the Russian River.

Did it many a time back in those days. A whole group would bring supplies in separate tubes for the excursion. We'd use our flip-flops mounted on our hands as paddles. Floating like a leaf, without a care in the world. Ah, I can smell the Sea N' Ski squeezed from the green bottle with the orange twist cap now ...

You did have to remember to splash water on the tube before mounting it, as the black rubber became super hot in the sun.

 
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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