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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 • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

Outfall: 1936

Outfall: 1936

September 1936. "Pittsburgh waterfront, Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers." Medium format nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the FSA. View full size.

 

Mini-mills

The US, as the third-largest steel producer, puts out about 1/4 as much steel as the largest (China). US production is majority mini-mills these days. Still a lot of integrated steelmaking, but we've got a lot of scrap to use, and it costs less.

Incidentally, Japan is number two in steel production. They have 40% of our population.

Something in the water

My dad grew up in Braddock (a part of Pittsburgh) quite near and perhaps even more polluted than this photo shows. All four of his daughters had to face breast cancer as adults (the first in either side of the family). Who knows if this may have been a contributing factor.

Employment versus pollution.

The nasty, polluting steelmills are in China now.

We now have time without end to enjoy the fresh clean water and air. We have nothing to do, because the well paying jobs left too.

[In the 2008 national rankings, the United States was the world's third-largest producer of steel. - Dave]

Chroma

If this were colorized, it wouldn't change a bit except for the sky (yellow) and water (heaven knows what).

How to see

This is the kind of photo that black and white was made for.

Angling

This is where I caught all those three-eyed fish.

Down by the Win-e-gar Woiks

Oh I live under the viaduct
Down by the winegar woiks
Where they chain all the chilluns
To fences and logs
They do it to keep 'em
From biting the dogs
Oh I live under the viaduct
Down by the winegar woiks!

 
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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