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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 • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

Meat and Potatoes: 1919

Meat and Potatoes: 1919

Washington, D.C., circa 1919. "G.R. Simcox." Who we hope is not anywhere in this photo. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Fingernails required

How many shorpyites(?) can remember having to peel up the tab in the middle of the milk bottle cap. The next iteration was crimped wax covers, if I remember, and I was a milk-man.

Still life with milk bottles

This little gem is a precursor to what Harold Evans selected as "the Image of the Century" for American Heritage magazine back in December 1999. The image was a panorama of a DuPont Company employee, Stephen Czakalinski, his wife, and two sons framed by all the food they supposedly consumed in a year. It is a widely published image shot by DuPont photographer Alex Henderson and first used in Better Living, a company employee magazine patterned after Life, in its November-December 1951 issue. From 1919 to 1951, the American table expanded, but the glass milk bottle remained.

It's what's for dinner

Now I know what my daily minimum requirement of lard looks like.

Canned

The Kurtz brand is still around, in Sav-A-Lot stores. I always have Kurtz Hamburger Dill Slices on hand.

http://save-a-lot.com/products/brands/kurtz

Unappetising

Marshall McLuhan once noted that color photography has done more for food than eating has.

Dig In

Breakfast of Champions.

Early Food Pyramid

Before the discovery of leafy green vegetables.

Wild guess

This looks like a representation of the food consumed by one person (who apparently isn't much of a vegetable fan) over the course of a week.

I've got all but one

I can identify everything in this shot except that plate of what appears to be dehydrated kale chips in the upper right. The honeycomb is a nice touch.

[It's cereal. - Dave]

Agricultural Context

According to his 1968 obit, Glenn R. Simcox "was employed as a youth counselor for the extension service of the Agriculture Department" from 1912 to 1919.

A native of Iowa, he later served as secretary to Iowa congressmen, chief clerk for the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and president of the National Association of Retired Civil Employees.

Monochrome Menu

No matter how pretty and neat the setting might be, food in black in white doesn't look appetizing at all.

 
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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