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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

A Connecticut Yankee: 1909

A Connecticut Yankee: 1909

New York, December 20, 1909. "S.L. Clemens." Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, aboard the Bermudian after a trip to Bermuda, four months before his death. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

Sam's Autobiography

Samuel Clemens looks like a man who knows that he will have the last laugh at his peers. Knowing that their great-grandchildren will be the only ones to read his autobiography. It will be finally published this year around November I think, as it was his desire that it not be published until 100 years after his death.

Also, as a side-note, I find incredibly interesting how contemporary his glasses are. Though somewhat mangled, they look like they are right off the rack at at Lenscrafters.

Funny,

He doesn't look anything like Hal Holbrook.

More than meets the eye

It is nice to see a great man standing tall in the last year of his life. Besides being a wonderful author he was a beloved statesman and humorist. My first book to read cover to cover was his "Adventures of Tom Sawyer."

Character

Without even knowing him, this photo says "Crusty Character." It just invites you to want to know more about him.

Yankee?

While I realize that Mark Twain spent much of his life in Hartford, one should remember that he was a Missouri Confederate veteran of some two weeks service.

[That shadow is from the M.T. reference that just sailed over your head! - Dave]

If Only

I wish he could pay us a visit -- I'd be extremely interested to hear his sage observations on the world of the 21st century.

About His Death

I'm sure the reports were greatly exaggerated!

End Note

Great photo of one one my favorite authors.

Tragedy Strikes

Somewhere off camera is Clemens's youngest daughter Jean, age 29, who three days later, on Christmas Eve at her father's Connecticut estate, was found drowned in her bathtub after an epileptic seizure.

 
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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