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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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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: 1940

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: 1940

February 1940. Vernon, Oklahoma. "Song director conducting singing of spiritual at soil conservation meeting." Medium format acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.



Spirituals at a soil conservation meeting? Huh. What strikes me is that the landscape outside looks pretty darned barren -- probably need those spirituals.

Scatter Brain

Here's a link to Guy Lombardo's rendition of Scatter Brain. It's one of those songs we've heard many times but can't name that tune.


Written by Khan Keene, Carl Bean, Frankie Masters and Johnny Burke. The sheet music shows Frankie Masters. Covered by by Benny Goodman and Django Reinhardt, Guy Lombardo, Lawrence Welk, and many more.

My favorite lyric:

I know I'll end up apoplectic
But there's nothing I can do
It's just the same as being in a hurricane
And though my life will be too hectic
I'm so much in love with you
Nothing else can matter
You're my darling scatterbrain.

Post "Dust Bowl" years

Main topic of the meeting might have been "How to keep your soil from ending up in Arkansas and Missouri."

If pianos could talk

that old beater could tell many stories I'm sure.

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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