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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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Basting the Bird: 1937

Basting the Bird: 1937

December 4, 1937. Washington, D.C. "Correct way to bake turkey. Miss Alexander removes the bird from oven and bastes it." View full size.


"Lorain" Oven Heat Regulator

This tells a little bit about the temperature control of those old ovens:

Not for lifting

That oven may be fine for basting, but I wouldn't want to be the one to pick up a 400-degree 25-pound turkey plus sizzling grease from chin height, navigate it over that open door, and transport it safely to a hip-height table.

Not very safety-first

Anything that involves having a pan of scalding hot fat at eye-level for basting cannot be correct.

Hip Heat

Those are some very cool looking ovens. Looks like you could roast up a couple of buffalo in those things.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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