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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 • BUY WAR SAVINGS STAMPS, c. 1918

The Binders: 1910

The Binders: 1910

Washington, D.C., circa 1910. "Government Printing Office -- binding." Another look at the workings of the GPO. Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

 

Govt Printing Office

GPO had the distinction of being the largest printer under a single roof in the world up to the recent past. It is a large building still used today on North Capitol Street. The pillars are numbered for logistic reasons, directions in moving mass amounts of paper in a very large building. Having been in the printing business close to 40 years in the DC area I find the use of chains to bundle stacks of signatures for binding. This was way way before my time.

Aha!

Right there on the floor, the government version of the chain letter.

Columns

I like how all of the columns are numbered. I imagine with all of the stacking going on the columns played an integral part in the organization of finished or ongoing projects/jobs.

Wood blocks

That's a Kreolite-style wood block floor. There was one in the mailroom where I used to work. Had that faint creosote odor of railroad ties. The advantages were said to be sound control and resiliency. Plus it wore like iron.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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