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About the Photos

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

Telegraph Corps: 1864

Telegraph Corps: 1864

1864. Petersburg, Virginia. "Maj. Thomas T. Eckert (seated, left) and others of U.S. Military Telegraph Corps." Wet plate glass negative. View full size.

 

Not on fire

When I first looked at this picture, my brain processed the light shining through the trees, and the blurred branches as plumes of smoke.

Frame that shot

Dad always taught me to try to frame nature shots with trees acting as natural frames but this is kinda ridiculous!

[The pine boughs are part of a brush arbor -- a shelter made of tree limbs. - Dave]

Straws in the wind

Military telegraphers were usually civilians, so no uniforms. The Major is fitting in nicely with his crew. Straw hats were frequently worn by soldiers and sailors during hot months and sold by sutlers. When Custer marched to his doom 12 years later many were wearing shoddily made straw hats that fell apart.

Proto-Boaters

Easy to see the straw hats on the three gents to the left morphing into the Boater that became popular 20 or so years later.

Band of Brothers.

This reminds me of the South Park episode where they take photos for an album cover and everyone looks purposefully in a different direction. Except the lead singer. So the two in the middle must be the lead singers, with the one guy to the right trying to creep up on their territory. The guy walking away is the eccentric drummer.

No uniforms

In the I.T. department. Apparently lax dress codes are an old tradition for techies.

1... 2... 3...

What in tarnation, the camera is over here!

 
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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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