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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Jammin': 1919

Jammin': 1919

1919. Washington, D.C. "Beauty contests at Tidal Basin." Stand back, fellows, and give the ladies some room! Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

 

Large format snapshots

Apart from the several movie cameras in evidence, there is one (that I can see) collapsible-bellows camera. It is being carried by the man facing us, with what appears to be 'US' embroidered on the front of his swimwear.

My mother owned a similar type of camera back in the 1930's/1940's, which gave sterling service well into the late 1950's, until the corners on the bellows started to fray and let the light in.

1, 2, 3

I look at this photo and think immediately of three things: hot chicks, tuberculosis and polio. Thankfully, in that order.

Where are the tattoos?

Apparently in that age, ink belonged in the pen, in the inkwell or on paper.

Looks familiar

Saw this scene on "MTV Beach Party" a few weeks ago. The bathing costumes were different, of course.

Autre temps, autre mores

Newsreels

Instead of local TV coverage of a later era, it looks like four Biograph movie cameras there on the left. Film at eleven, at the Orpheum.

Incredible

This picture has every face and darn near the poses of Rennaisance Art!
Ah, the beauty of Humanity. And Photography.

 
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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