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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Bunny Roosevelt: 1920

Bunny Roosevelt: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt Jr." Née Eleanor Butler ("Bunny") Alexander. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Bunny and Mr, Marshall

I am reading a book about WW2 leaders and Mrs. Roosevelt's name came up. She contacted General George C. Marshall and asked him to put her husband back into a combat unit after he was hospitalized. She apologized for using her position to get this. Marshall replied that it was "always alright to pull strings and favors if what you wanted was a more dangerous job than the one you had."

Sounds like quite a woman. Real looker too.

When I first started retouching...

back in the early seventies, we would lightly use the edge of an X-acto blade to carefully remove the silver layer of black and white photos to remove darker areas. This was pretty harsh, and you could easily damage the photo if not careful. By that I mean you could tear into the paper backing. Soon came the use of iodine bleaches, that would lift the silver more gently, and leave the emulsion intact. Again, care and experience was key, as too much bleach,or too long a wait to neutralize would bleach the image to pure white. It was fun in a way, but I'd rather use Photoshop now.

I'll leave retouching E6 transparencies for another time. You may as well have been doing brain surgery.

Accentuating the negative

>> some of this may have been achieved in the darkroom or perhaps even later with a copy of the photo

Messing with the apparent depth of field on the negative is extremely unlikely, almost impossible, but touching up negatives was common. I worked in a portrait studio in the 1980s, and "spotted" negatives (and prints) with a fine-point brush, hiding blemishes & wrinkles.

[This negative, like most of the H&E portraits, was marked up with a pen or pencil to add highlights. - Dave]

Depth of Field

Another poster mentioned the nice out of focus portions of this photograph but under close examination it appears that some of this may have been achieved in the darkroom or perhaps even later with a copy of the photo. Is that possible?

[This was imaged from the original glass negative. - Dave]

"Bunny"

Did they call her that because she liked to wear two or three at a time?

Tactile Memories

I can feel that fur against my face from when I was small in the late 30's and used to snuggle into the fur on my mother's coat. It looked just like the one shown here. Sure proves to me that one did not have to be rich to wear fur because we most certainly were not.

So chic!

The lady is clearly a beauty, and has a wonderful sense of style! No wonder Teddy Jr. fell for her.

She's beautiful

She's a very pretty woman; I'd rather see her without the hat, though.

Absolutely lovely

Such modesty. "Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art." -- The other Eleanor Roosevelt

The Great Escape

It appears to me that a smile is about to break out.

PETA

...would have a field day with this one. Fur, fur and feathers.

Wow

That is all I can say - WOW~!!!!!!

Who needs color?

This is some picture. The richness of detail, the depth, the way it goes in and out of focus. Plus the subject is quite striking. Whatever she paid for this portrait, she got her money's worth.

[Who needs color? Funny you should mention that. - Dave]

 
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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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