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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 • FLY TO THE CARIBBEAN BY CLIPPER, c. 1950s

Dot and Syl: 1942

Dot and Syl: 1942

July 1942. "Production of aircraft engines at Melrose Park Buick plant near Chicago. Hundreds of gears pass through the expert hands of Dorothy Miller and Sylvia Dreiser during their eight-hour working day in a large Midwest aircraft plant. Inspection of these vital cogs in America's war machine is a delicate task and one which requires infinite patience and precision." Medium format negative by Ann Rosener for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Mr. Footprint

Here's my grandfather Jean Klossner in 1932 at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. From 1927 until 1962 he placed dozens of movie stars' hand and foot prints in the forecourt on Hollywood Boulevard. His "special" formula cement was never duplicated.

ID badge

I can't make out what is on her button. Can anyone?

[BUICK MOTOR DIVISION. - Dave]

Gears

Those look like gears in the accessory section of a Pratt&Whitney R-1830. These same engines are installed on our B-24 and have the Buick logo stamped on the nose case.

V for Victory

I like the small "V" pin being worn by the lady on the right.

Lights! Camera!

Man, those women are lit up and I don't mean drunk.

No hand cream required

It looks like Dorothy and Sylvia needn't use moisturizer as their hands look well catered for with the machine oil.

Nice detail in this photo such as the lads lurking in the background and also a nice touch from these ladies with their supportive lapel pins.

Indeed this would have been a great pic to see in colour.

Boredom

The one with the glasses seems involved with her task but the one on the left looks like she's daydreaming about something else.

25 years later I worked with gears in that same plant.

I was a summer worker in the then International Harvester plant. The plant had the old style creosote soaked wood block floor which got pretty messed up a few times in the 60's due to floods. The blocks were laid on a concrete floor. Great to work on since they were softer than crete. Swelling due to water would blow the floor apart in some areas. Instead of lockers you brought in a lock and used to to secure the chain/pully controlling a metal basket hoisted up to the ceiling in the non-locker room.

Eagle-eyed Dot

probably wouldn't miss a thing. But Sylvia looks as if her mind is a million miles away.

Gleaming hands

Not something I would like to do--so repetitious. I am very intrigued by the fluid on their hands. Oil? Water? Any ideas out there in Shorpy Nation about the substance?

Pins

One looks like Army Air Corps "wings" and the other appears to be crossed swords. I wonder if these are insignia that relate to a spouse or child in the war.

 
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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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