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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Young Moderns: 1955

The Young Moderns: 1955

My parents' first apartment in Chicago in the mid 1950s. My father was just out of architectural school and his midcentury modern tastes are evident. Full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


coffee table. The rest of the room too.

Objet d'ash

And the obligatory ceramic ashtray. I recognize that from my childhood, as well. It seemed everyone smoked (and indoors!) back in those days.

A bit woozy

What did they rent -- a shipping container? The giant radiator just completely messes up my perspective. Neat furniture, though.


As a Chicagoan I think I recognize that space--did your parents rent the second story of a Chicago Bungalow? They did a great job with it. I love the driftwood on the table to the right. We had one on our coffee table.

That table

I, too, love that coffee table. Do you have any other photos of this room, maybe with different angles, yet showing the coffee table? I see a woodworking project just crying out at me.

Love it

Love the floor lamp!!!

Silk purse from a sow's ear

It looks like your folks were living in a garden shed, but WOW did they have excellent taste in furnishings! They probably could've made a chicken coop look like a penthouse suite.

Tiny Tim?

How tall are your parents? That apartment looks like it should have been for the small people in Wizard of Oz.

Function and all that Jazz

Simplicity always works. Very nicely done; well adapted. That C.I. radiator on the right side really jars the perceived scale of the space! Is that a picture-less frame on the right wall? Cool! And a good use of the 'heta' materials.

Floor 7-1/2: The Mid-Century Years

I seriously love it, not a single thing out of place, but I must say I get a definite Being John Malkovich vibe.

Magazine-worthy creativity

Wow, this photo really caught my eye on the homepage. The apartment looks small, but the room flows nicely and is beautifully decorated. Just shows how much you can do in small spaces. This should be in a furnishing magazine.

Thanks for sharing!

Fan of it all

Thank you thank you shorpy!! A huge fan of mid-century modern, great photo!


Between the sloping attic ceiling and the too-big-radiator for the room, this looks like a child's playhouse. Our first apartment in 1954 looked very, very much like this one. Had to take turns to turn around but we were happy.


That picture looks like a scale model of an apartment. I think it might because of the sloping walls.

Lucky people

They were fortunate. They had air conditioning!

Prediction for the past

I think I can safely say that from this point everything was moving up.

Home Made

Was your dad a woodworker? It looks like the coffee table and chair are home made. Maybe stained pine?

Great Room

When I see pictures of cool rooms I am reminded that I should document the places I live. Better bust out the vacuum so I can take some pictures tonight.

Trés Chic

I love that coffee table. Can I be the first to play the "re-create this room with Ikea" game? Except for the cool lamp on the right and the coffee table, I think I've darn near got it.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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