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:
A New Jersey lunch counter and soda fountain circa 1950. View full size.
Diamond Bar, California, July 1968. My niece Mary having a good time, apparently. Neighbor has a nice early-60s Ford pickup. I shot this on 35mm Kodachrome. View full size.
Feb. 22, 1908. "Three New York-Brooklyn bridges from Brooklyn." An amazingly detailed panorama of New York recorded by George Grantham Bain. Our 3100 pixel wide version (view full size), detailed as it is, is less than a quarter the size of the hi-res scan of the original 8x10 inch glass negative. From the left: Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge (under construction) and Williamsburg Bridge.
1955 was the height of Davy Crockett mania, and while I never got a coonskin cap, I was as wrapped up in it as most kids of the time, hence the "Dying at the Alamo" concept of this shot. Didn't have any arrows, so I had to improvise with that twig. My eye patch, which I was forced to wear in an unsuccessful attempt to deal with my "lazy eye" condition, sort of adds to the effect. (It was unsuccessful because I kept cheating by peeling it up so I could read my comic books.) I think that was an official Boy Scout canteen, but I don't know where we got it, since neither of us were in the Scouts. Sharp-eyed camera bugs will notice my brother used fill flash with this Kodachrome; he'd borrowed or rented a fancy electronic flash unit.