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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 • THE NAVY NEEDS YOU IN THE WAVES

Family Car: 1954

Family Car: 1954

Here in 1954, this 1949 1948 Hudson was to remain our family car for two more years. (Since posting this, I've remembered the true model year.) Inside on the front seat you can barely make out my mother on the left, then me in the middle and Father behind the wheel. We're parked just down from the corner of 5th and B in San Rafael, California, probably about to head up Highway 101 to our summer place at the Russian River. In the background, the service bay of a Union 76 station shows this to be the days when gas stations were called service stations for a reason. My brother shot this on 2-1/4 square Ektachrome. Here I am "driving" it. And here's another shot of it. View full size.

Bridge Out: 1864

Bridge Out: 1864

May 25, 1864. "North Anna River, Virginia. Destroyed bridge of the Richmond & Fredericksburg Railroad." Wet plate glass negative, left half of stereo pair, by Timothy H. O'Sullivan. Library of Congress. View full size.

 

Dance Marathon: 1923

Dance Marathon: 1923

Washington, D.C. "Marathon dancers. April 20, 1923." View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative, Library of Congress.

 

Mating Operation: 1942

Mating Operation: 1942

February 1942. Firestone Rubber plant in Akron, Ohio. "Conversion. Beverage containers to aviation oxygen cylinders. Before completion of the fourth and final welding operation in the manufacture of shatterproof oxygen cylinders for high altitude flying, all straps are subjected to physical tests to determine the strength of the weld. Occasional radiographic inspections are made to insure the quality of workmanship after the two halves of the cylinder are brought together in this atomic welding machine and made one unit. Here, the operator has just completed the union and is about to remove the whole cylinder." 4x5 nitrate negative by Alfred Palmer for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Ran With Scissors: 1925

Ran With Scissors: 1925

October 29, 1925. Washington, D.C. "Melvin Jones, 5, who pierced heart with scissors." View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative.

 

The River: 1864

The River: 1864

May 1864. North Anna River, Virginia. "Soldiers bathing. Ruins of Richmond & Fredericksburg railroad bridge in the distance." Wet plate glass negative, left half of stereo pair, by Timothy H. O'Sullivan. Library of Congress. View full size.

 

Nelliephant: 1925

Nelliephant: 1925

April 22, 1925. Washington, D.C. "Nellie, pet of Johnny J. Jones Circus." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 
 
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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