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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 • GEORGE WASHINGTON CROSSING THE PIES

Washboard Abs: 1936

Washboard Abs: 1936

March 1936. "Women washing clothes. Crabtree Recreational Project near Raleigh, North Carolina." 35mm nitrate negative by Carl Mydans for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

Posed?

My wife, a slat bonnet historian, was wondering if the women were posed at the tubs. The dresses are plain, but a little too nice for wash day, and the women would probably be wearing aprons. The woman on the left has her rings on and has an inexpensive looking cameo pin. Their hands look wet, but yet we do not see a lot of wash day paraphernalia about. They are likely wash tub veterans, but are they only pretending for the camera?

[No. - Dave]

"Your soaking in it"

Madge would have had a great TV commercial for Palmolive with these women.

[First they had to invent the apostrophe. - Dave]

The Photographer!

Wow, having you picture taken by a guy that will become one the greatest photographers of his generation. Even the great ones have to start somewhere.

Small World

This pic was taken just a few mins down the road from me in what is now Umstead State Park. Thanks Dave for a great local pic from the past!

Recreational project, big time

Imagine the fun they had after they added some soap.

There's what a rub-board'll do to ya

The faces say maybe 25 at the outside; the hands say 45.

 
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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