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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 NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Glued: 1963

Glued: 1963

August 1963. My nephew Jimmy (who you may remember as the Suburban Cowboy) watching a cartoon on TV in South Gate, California. He's three here, and I was 17 when I shot this Kodachrome. I haven't been able to nail down the cartoon, but it has a mid-1930s look to it. View full size.

Grasshopper and the Ants

One of the figures looks like the Grasshopper in "The Grasshopper and the Ants," a Silly Symphony from 1934.

I sure hope Jimmy was potty trained when that picture was taken.

The Brain Drain...

it begins!

Maybe this will help

I distorted the image in Photoshop to provide a "straighter" view of the TV screen. It looks like something on a tree stump on the right side of the image. I can't figure out what the rest of the items are.

[Looks like a camping scene -- canoe, stone fireplace, a barrel. - Dave]

Onionskin

Those onion-head haircuts still exist; I give my kids one every month or so.

What I see here

Is cover art for some band's CD. Possible iTunes immortality.

Sitting in front of the old "Radiation King"

Can't make out the tv's brand. Probably built 1951-56 or so.

I thought it might have been a Packard Bell or Hoffman (both California brands), but www.tvhistory.tv has brochures for both brands, and the center control covers on both are metal with the logos stamped on. The cover on this tv appears to be plastic, so it might have been a private label, maybe from Western Auto or some other retailer.

I can't make out the cartoon either.

The TV

A Dumont?

Nothing on

I love that he was watching cartoons (by all appearances) unclothed! Mom definitely was not home for the naked face-in-the-TV cartoonfest.

Love it!

This photo is phenomenal. Kids in front of a TV have the same look on their faces no matter what the decade.

Mom Wisdom

According to the prevailing wisdom of the time, the poor kid "ruined his eyes" by sitting so close to the TV.

Too close!

Jimmy, back up before you go blind!

 
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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