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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

Do Not Disturb: 1917

Do Not Disturb: 1917

Circa 1917. "Gunston Hall group." Somnambulists from the Washington, D.C., girls' school. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Performance Art in 1917

And you thought it was a modern-day concept!

Looking closely

Gotta love the one shoe peeking out.

Ladies in waiting

They were trying out for the part of Mary in a religous play.

Sleepyheads

This reminds me of a nice Bain photo of the Brox Sisters taken around the same time. Except the Brox sisters look much more chipper.

Butterflies

When will the cocoon hatch?

How could their mothers

let them go off to sleep, perchance to dream, without flat-ironing those creases out first? So gauche.

Never realized

There were nine muses. Another photo that begs for an explanation; sometimes the 1000 words need a nudge!

Obviously

They are listening to political speeches. All they need are some Z's coming out of their heads. Some sheet manufacturer should use this for a commercial.

Empathy

Know the feeling. Getting out of bed is one thing. Waking up is a different matter. As an aside, that is the prettiest bunch of girls I've seen on Shorpy. Thank you.

 
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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