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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 • THE NAVY NEEDS YOU IN THE WAVES

To Boiling Spring: 1902

To Boiling Spring: 1902

Florida circa 1902. "Silver Springs on the Oklawaha." Don't forget your flotation bonnets! Photo by William Henry Jackson, Detroit Publishing. View full size.

 

Fish Camp

This is great! With better-maintained boat houses, a big wide dock with picnic tables and-of course-modern fashions, this could easily be any of the present-day "rustic" fish camps up and down the St. Johns River and lots of other places in Florida. All you need to fill the shot are some egrets and herons and a manatee floating by.

Boiling hot

What always strikes me about pictures of this era is how white the whites are. These bonnets practically glow! Even when photographed in the woods, on a train, at the beach, etc., these ladies all looked immaculate. Testimony (I guess) to lots of boiling water and scrubbing. I can't make it from my house to my car in white pants without having to turn around and change. Yipes.

We have met the enemy and he flings poo.

The comment by "Walt Kelly" isn't too far from the truth, with a cast of characters suitable for lampooning. Substitute 'flat' for 'glass' bottom boat (where it was invented), consider that Tarzan made an appearance, and how the story goes that a scenic boat promoter in the 30's let monkeys loose on an island not knowing they could swim, leading to roving bands of them along the river to this day.

Headgear

I love those ancestral sun bonnets that add to the peaceful look of the women in this picture. The only place we get to see one today, is occasionally, on a baby in a pram.

Where's the sweat?

Something always puzzles me about these things. Florida is so hot and humid almost year round yet in the old photos people are always dressed so hot.. I break out in a sweat just looking at this one ... did they not perspire?

[Florida was a winter resort -- not many people went in the summer. As someone who was born in Miami and grew up in Florida, I can assure you that it's not "hot and humid almost year round." - Dave]

100 Years Later

Now there's your nightmare.

That guy on the roof of the boat

Is looking really hard for a glimpse of wrist!

Hatted and coiffed

Well, at least the hats don't look silly. You could hide cannonballs under those things.

Flotation Devices

Looks like the lady on the left has more than just her bonnet to keep her afloat unless that's just the wind.

Looking for the yearling...

One of those ladies might be Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, searching out her muse.

This gives me an idea

For a comic strip set in a funny-named swamp with animals getting into hilarious situations, topical satire, and flat bottom boats bearing different names.

That man in the back

That character in the background sitting on the canopy (?) of that boat (??) looks like he might have jumped straight out of a Toonerville Trolley cartoon.

I'm Wide Awake

And I agree with Slump; this picture has a curious dream-like perspective to it. It's as if the figure in the background is the actual subject of the shot and the ladies in the boat just happened to be there. He seems to be posing for the picture too as if he knew he was the focal point.

Movie?

My take on it is David Wark Griffth filming Lilian Gish in her prime.

It looks like a still from a movie.

If that movie was made by David Lynch.

I'm off to bed

And this photo has the makings of a very odd nightmare.

 
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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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