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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 • AUSTRALIA: GREAT BARRIER CORAL REEF

Fast Food: 1938

Fast Food: 1938

A quick bite somewhere in Nebraska, October 1938. 35mm nitrate negative by John Vachon for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

 

The days before Starbucks and McD's

When there was the famous neighborhood coffee shop.

Oh how I miss them.

My first thought

"Naked Lunch."

Something to warm the tummy

Hope whatever it was he ate, it was warm when it came from the kitchen. Notice that he's wearing a sweater under that jacket. Nothing chills you like a cold burger.

John Vachon's Leica

A novelty in this country at the time, back when 35mm Leicas were called "miniature cameras."

Illustrative

Perhaps after "N.C. Wyeth," but with the edginess of the empty bottle; more recognisably "Hopper"? Although with that open mouthed animation it's just got to be "Rockwell."

Nice candid.

Great depth of field.

Yes, I see the empty soda bottle

I recently got hassled by a young female colleague for ordering a hamburger and a coffee. She said it was her Granddad's customary meal. I'll bet he picked the habit up in a place like this.

 
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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