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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 • FRENCH BICYCLE GODDESS, c. 1898

From the Outside Looking In: 1944

From the Outside Looking In: 1944

October 1944. Wilkes County, Georgia. "Woods Plantation Country House, Washington vicinity." Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.

 

The "X"

Is a Red Cross sticker. "Give blood to win the war." Or something like that. Meant to be stuck on pointy side up.

FBJ

Frances Johnston's work continues to astound. What an eye!

It might just be the humidity

My front porch has a similar railing and parts of it bow like that, but, thankfully, nowhere near to that extent. It comes and goes, and is what happens when you build with common pine lumber, and happen to tight-fit a very dry piece. Later on, as it absorbs and/or loses moisture, it will expand and bow. These things happen down here, we're flexible about it.

X

marks the spot? How mysterious.

From the presence of the dog and the lonesome shoe I'm guessing that this home was still occupied at the time of the photo.

X marks the ??

Anyone know the significance of the "X" in the square in the window?

Another beautiful, evocative photo.

Bet that dog would sit up to bark, but not actually approach. Way too hot.

John!!!, John!!!

Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlette. (1964-Betty Davis & Olivia De Havoland)

[A misspelling trifecta! Bravo. - Dave]

An enLIGHTened photographer

Has anyone ever been better than Johnston at photographing plain wood and bringing it to life, so to speak?

Breezeway or Dogtrot

On a much humbler southern cabin it would be called a "dogtrot". When the family first settled on the land, they would build a one room cabin. As the farm prospered a seconded room would be built with a roofed over area between. During the summer months the family would cook and eat in this cooler space.

Unique decor

If I'm not mistaken, the planters flanking the walk are vitreous clay sewer pipes stuck into the ground.

Now that's improvisation!

Dogtrot writ large

Would this be an elephant-trot mansion? Ox-trot?

Under Pressure

It seems like the wooden structure is moving and under pressure. The second and third parts of the railing are buckling.

They Don't Make 'Em Like This Anymore

What a great house! Although it looks in worse shape than the earlier breezeway photo. Would love to have seen inside photos of the house. Would there have been a set of interior steps as well? And why was only one end of the breezeway open? Wouldn't the framed side block the breeze?

Great detail in the photo too. Love the forlorn shoe, the missing grill work on the second story porch railing, the broken window panes, even the lazy dog!

The Dog and the Shoe

For some reason they caught my eye and stole the scene from the house.

Semi-Breezy

What an unusual arrangement upstairs -- at first it looked like a regular front-to-back breezeway, but the backside has a wall with a window.

Keeping cool

The breezeways, the deep porches, the trees. One could imagine actually living here.

 
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