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:
June 1942. "Why greases must be saved. Introducing two good soldiers of the home front: the housewife who saves her waste household fats and greases, and the butcher to whom she gives this salvaged fat after she has collected at least one pound, strained it through a metal sieve and poured it into a large, wide-mouthed can. Butchers displaying the poster shown here will pay househoulders for the fat, and sell it to rendering plants thereby turning this valuable material into industrial channels where it will be processed into ammunition for America's fighting men." Medium format negative by Ann Rosener for the OWI. View full size.
6 p.m., May 18, 1909. Somersworth, New Hampshire. "Group of boys working in Great Falls Manufacturing Co. Smallest boy is Alfred Ouellet, 212 Main Street. Fat boy is Willie Laudry, 35 South St. Boy on right hand end is Napoleon St. Lawrence, 23 Union Street." View full size. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.
"Fort Burnham, Virginia, the former Confederate Fort Harrison. Federal soldiers in front of bomb-proof headquarters." Photographs from the main Eastern theater of war, the Army of the James, June 1864-April 1865. Wet plate glass negative, half of stereo pair, photographer unknown. View full size.
Atlanta, March 1915. Mrs. Dora Stainers, 562½ Decatur St. 39 years old. Began spinning in an Atlanta mill at 7 years, and is in this mill for 32 years. Only 4 days of schooling in her life. Began at 20 cents a day. The most she ever made was $1.75 a day & now she is earning $1 a day when she works. Her little girl Lillie is the same age she was when she started work, but the mother says, "I ain't goin to put her to work if I can help it. I'm goin' to give her as much education as I can so she can do better than I did." Mrs. Stainers is a woman of exceptional ability considering her training. View full size. Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.