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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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Cribs: 1913

Cribs: 1913

October 1913. San Antonio, Texas. "Sixteen-year-old messenger boy making delivery to 'crib' in Red Light." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.



I am a big fan of Lewis Hine and his documentary photographs. I really enjoy the snapshot quality he adds to the composition of his images. And the print quality is always great. He always manages to capture such a great moment on the faces of his subjects. Whether he manipulated and directed them or not, I don't think it matters. They still come across as natural and that is the important part.

How do you know

How do you know what this photo is about? I looks like anywhere 1900 USA.

[How do we know what any of these photos are about? Because the photographers captioned them. - Dave]

Good for her

You might have expected here, especially from Lewis Hine, a man for whom the camera was usually a weapon in a moral crusade, that the woman would be at least a little ashamed of being photographed like this: in flagrante, as it were. But look at her! She couldn't care less. That's such a wonderfully bold, amused, shameless look.

Call Me Madam

Love her mobcap -- soooo sexy.

The package in his pants

Is tucked into the waistband. Most of these messengers who frequented the "Red Light" were making deliveries from pharmacies to the working girls -- probably patent medicines containing cocaine or heroin, along with prophylactics. This boy is shown in another Hine photo entering a "crib."

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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