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:
December 1936: "One of Edgar Allen's children playing with doll. The couch and sewing machine are the two most substantial pieces of furniture in the house. The farm is one hundred sixty acres and rented from private party. Near Milford, Iowa." View full size. Medium format nitrate negative by Russell Lee.
December 1936. "One of Edgar Allen's children sitting on the bed in the house on his farm. There are no sheets, pillowcases, or pillows (other than makeshift) in use. Bedding usually consists of castoff rags and a few old blankets. Near Milford, Iowa. They are helped by the Resettlement Administration." View full size. Medium format negative by Russell Lee for the Resettlement Administration.
December 1936. "Lois Madsen playing the piano in the home of her father, Harry Madsen, owner-operator of three hundred and sixty acre farm near Dickens, Iowa. (Suggest this as contrast showing difference in opportunity offered children in owner-operated farms and that offered in poorer tenant or hired hand homes)." View full size. Medium format nitrate negative by Russell Lee.
January 1909. Macon, Georgia. "This boy has worked in Payne Cotton Mill for 2 yrs. Runs four sides and earns 52 cents a day. Overseer has hand on boy's shoulder. He said this mill made 70% profit last year and expects to make 100% this year. Owned by Bibb Mfg. Co." View full size. Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine.