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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 • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Sal the Grocer: 1936

Sal the Grocer: 1936

December 1936. "Scene from the Bronx tenement district from which many of the New Jersey homesteaders have come." Medium format nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

 

Symphony

Weighing in a bit (all right, a lot) late: The "6 million symphony" poster is almost certainly advertising the movie "Symphony of Six Million", starring Ricardo Cortez and Irene Dunne.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0023545/

One wonders if there was a print dubbed into Yiddish.

Jersey Homesteads

It's interesting to compare this with a photo that Rothstein took in Jersey Homesteads (now known as Roosevelt, NJ), outside one of the "modernist" cement block homes being created for the resettled New Yorkers.

Check

Uh, guess I'm voting for Nowak. He seems to be the tallest candidate.

Upstairs

Looks like a rousing round of tic-tac-toe.

Inside job

It would be interesting to see inside Sal's Grocery!

Semejantes.

Interesante fotografía si se la compara con "Bathgate Avenue: 1936." Tienen muchos elementos en común: toldos, abrigos, cochecitos de niños, gente.

Der Dishvasher

A Yiddish musical by H. Yablakoff.

Yiddish posters

The poster on top bears the (now) rather ironic words "6 million symphony." The one below says "The Dishwasher."

The first word written in chalk is "flame!" in Hebrew, don't have the slightest clue why.

Melting Pot

It's really interesting to me that in this photo we see so many different cultures. There's the Italian grocer, an ad in Hebrew and a political poster for someone with the last name Nowak (Polish or Czech possibly?).

My great-grandfather was a grocer in the Bronx at this time. I'm not sure if he had a shop like this or if he was more of a distributor to larger markets but this photo made me think of stories my grandma used to tell. Especially the title "Sal the Grocer." She would describe people in terms like that: "Charlie the Cab Driver," "Georgie the Milkman" etc.

She also talked about getting milk delivered by a horse and wagon. Clearly that's not what this horse is carting, but it's fun how many stories come to mind from this one photo. Thanks Shorpy!

Chalked

Be interesting to know what kinds of things are being written in chalk on that door at the left, and why.

 
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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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