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.
Vintage photos of:
1942. Chrysler Corporation plant at Highland Park, Detroit. "Conversion. Here, in a former automobile plant, 40 mm. anti-aircraft gun barrels are machined and made ready for front-line duty. Since they must shoot fast-moving objects at great distances, they must be finished to the very finest of tolerances." Medium format negative by Alfred Palmer for the Office of War Information. View full size.
February 1937. Gee's Bend, Alabama. Descendants of former slaves of the Pettway Plantation. They are still living under primitive conditions there. Meat in sacks hangs from tree limbs to be cured. Medium format nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.
1865. Charleston, South Carolina. Archibald McLeish's Vulcan Iron Works on Cumberland Street. Left half of glass-plate stereograph, from photographs of the Federal Navy and seaborne expeditions against the Atlantic Coast of the Confederacy, 1863-1865. View full size. Note the unusually elaborate sign, as well as what seem to be the giant wheels of an artillery carriage.