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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 • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Greaseball: 1943

Greaseball: 1943

October 1943. Frederick, Maryland. "Greaseball, a mascot at the Stevens Airport." Photo by Esther Bubley, Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Oh, Fer Cryin' Out Loud

That is the best puppy ever! This dog, and this composition, makes me want to drop everything and travel the road as a photographer. *sigh*

Terrier mix

I suspect Greaseball was a fox terrier mix. They were VERY popular during this time. What a cute little pup!

Greaseball looks like one of the "He followed me home, Ma. Can I keep him?" types that are forever popular with small kids.

Go Greaseball!

Greaseball may have replaced Sgt. Jiggs as my favorite Shorpy pooch. It's a very tough call.

Shhhh...

That has got to be the cutest pup in the world. Don't tell my dog I said that!

Airport Dogs

To this day, many small airports have a mascot dog. All the ones I have met have been great!

Eye to eye with Greaseball

Do you like the perspective? Looks like it was done with a 6x6 cm twin lens reflex, almost certainly the Ikoflex shown in her portrait.

Great camera for dogs and kids, if you know how to use it, and she sure did. I was unfamiliar with Esther Bubley and I am amazed at how many memorable images she produced.

Esther Bubley

Looking at her other work for OWI, it's obvious that Esther Bubley was a very talented photographer. It's always obvious when you're looking at the work of a true professional, someone with the skills and the "eye." She worked for Vogue and it shows.

We live in a world where cameras are ubiquitous, but you rarely see compositions like this any more. It's a 1940s sense of strong geometry and lighting contrast, plus a little bit of fun and whimsy.

What a cool picture

There's something so amusing and offbeat about the whole composition and subject matter here. A plane, anonymous legs, a cigarette, an empty field, and an appealingly moppish puppy. It works!

From Stearmans to ... uh, steers?

Howard L. Stevens opened "Stevens Airport - Hansonville, MD" in 1942 and it closed in 1949 when the property was sold. It was used as a bovine artificial insemination facility from then until 1990.

"The site of Stevens Airport is located on the west side of Route 15, south of Mountaindale Road, five miles north of Frederick."

http://www.airfields-freeman.com/MD/Airfields_MD_Frederick.html

According to the Freeman site, one of the half-men in this photo might be Walter Spangenberg, flight student. There's no mention of what might have become of "Greaseball".

Airplane

It looks like an Aeronca Chief.

Fido

"Yeah its my mutt, what's it to you Mac? And leave my mug out of the shot!"

Whattamutt!

With those windblown ears I would have named him "prop-wash"

Directionality

Who needs a wind sock when you've got those ears?

Adorable!

I love this dog! He reminds me so much of my Cairn Terrier, full of mischief and ready for someone to play a good game of fetch with.

Attention!

Esther Bubley sure got this one's. What a sweetie, grease and all. I believe I would have wanted desperately to sneak him home with me, clean him up, and call him my best friend.

Guauuuu...

Es una foto magnífica. Se ve que es un perro muy listo.
Presiento que lo de atrás es una Piper Cub.
Gracias Shorpy.

Wow!

What a great photo and what a great dog! He is damn near perfect! Great expression and perfect stance! Thanks, Dave! You've done it again.

 
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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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