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.
Due to the underwhelming response to my last submission, I shall now subject you to a classic 1950s Eisenhower era Christmas picture, in glorious color.
This is the house that is featured in outdoor scenes in my earliest pictures, and, of course, the unforgettable shot where Mom is feeding me in my high chair. That shot was taken in the kitchen, through the doorway on the left.
My mother shot this epic gathering of the relatives. This was after she cooked all freakin' day, set the table, created the table settings ... oh, wasn't that what the ladies did back then?
There's my Dad in the bow tie, with some shadow lending more fullness to his hair than there actually was.
The folks around the table are my dad and mom's parents, and other relatives. The lady in the right foreground was my mom's Aunt Verna. She helped make airplanes in World War II, and never said a bad word about anyone (or so I'm told). She lived until 1982!
Our extended family wasn't big on togetherness; later, the paternal and maternal sides didn't coexist too well. This cozy setting only occurred a few times. By the early 1960s we never gathered again like this.
Up until 1963, I was the only kid in a sea of middle aged and older people. But, they were nice and gave me lots of presents!
Merry Christmas to you all in the Shorpy empire. View full size.