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.
December 1910. "Shorpy Higginbotham, a 'greaser' on the tipple at Bessie Mine, Alabama, of the Sloss-Sheffield Steel and Iron Co. Said he was 14 years old, but it is doubtful. Carries two heavy pails of grease, and is often in danger of being run over by the coal cars." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.
Shorpy was born 114 years ago on November 23, 1896. After this photo was taken, he lived 17 more years until he died in a mining accident at the age of 31. This Thanksgiving, let's raise a toast to his too-short but memorable life.