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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.

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Robert Hill: 1943

Robert Hill: 1943

March 1943. "Topeka, Kansas. Robert L. Hill, steel car repairer and rivet driver, at the car shops of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad." Medium-format nitrate negative by Jack Delano, Office of War Information. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Robert Hill -- 1940 US Census

Robert Hill, born about 1900 in Arkansas, was married to a Mattie (born about 1903, in Arkansas).

Five children, two boys named Wilson (age 17, born in Kansas) and Earl (13, born in Kansas), and two daughters, Viola (age 21, born Arkansas), and Georgia (age 19, born in Kansas). There's an infant named Winifred, age 2 months, listed in the household. Her relationship is not stated, but as she's listed directly under Viola, it's probably her daughter, making her Robert's granddaughter.

They lived at 608 East 18th Street in Topeka, and owned their own home (value $1,200). Robert earned $1,728 in 1939 ($28,000-$29,000 adjusted for inflation to 2013 dollars), making him by far the best paid man on his census page.

Employer is listed as the Santa Fe Railroad, of course, his occupation "Machine Labor".

Robert L. Hill

Same name, born 1892 in Arkansas, fled to Kansas and worked in a meat plant in Topeka.....

Could this be Robert Jr.?

Heck, if he is 51 this is Robert Sr.!

Wonderful portrait

I'd echo allie's sentiments. Mr. Hill's handsome, dignified face and bearing reveal something about his character, at a time when many of his countrymen regarded him as a second-class citizen.

I hope this image has been copied to a more stable and durable medium, for posterity, than the nitrate it was captured on.

[These images have all been copied and preserved by digitization. - Dave]


Samuel L. Jackson will play him in the movie.


I love this man's face. It's a face of courage and a proud dignity. I would have liked to have known him.

What a portrait!

I hope Mr. Hill's grandchildren have copy of this photograph. It is such a beautiful image of this gentleman. My grandfather was a welder, but passed away before I was born. The only photos I have of him are of a frail old man. I would love a photo of him in his prime, like this one.

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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