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:
October 30, 1915. Vicinity of Fort Collins, Colorado. "Jacob Rommel and his family live in this roomy shack, well-furnished, with a good range, organ, etc. They own a good home in Fort Collins, but late in April they moved out here, taking contract for nearly 40 acres of beets, working their 9 and 10 year old girls hard at piling and topping (although they are not rugged) and they will not return until November. The little girl said, "Piling is hardest, it gets your back. I have cut myself some, topping." The older girl said, "Don't you call us Russians, we're Germans" (although most of them were born in Russia). Family been in this country eleven years." View full size. Caption and photo by Lewis Wickes Hine.
Sept. 28, 1910. Whites Bog at Brown Mills, New Jersey. Ten-year-old Rose Biodo, 1216 Annan St., Philadelphia. Working three summers. Minds baby and carries cranberries, two pecks at a time. Fourth week of school and the people here expect to remain two weeks more. View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.
Little Miss Tarkington, the daughter of Mrs. W. Tarkington Jr., sits on the steps of the White House patiently waiting to snap a picture of President Warren G. Harding on June 29, 1922. From the National Photo Company collection. View full size.
April 1912. 10:30 p.m. at Center Market in Washington, D.C. Eleven-year-old celery vendor Gus Strateges, 212 Jackson Hall Alley. He sold until 11 p.m. and was out again Sunday morning selling papers and gum. Has been in this country only a year and a half. View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.
Waco, Texas. November 1913. Isaac Boyett: "I'm de whole show." The twelve-year-old proprietor, manager and messenger of the Club Messenger Service, 402 Austin Street. The photo shows him in the heart of the Red Light district where he was delivering messages as he does several times a day. Said he knows the houses and some of the inmates. Has been doing this for one year, working until 9:30 P.M. Saturdays. Not so late on other nights. Makes from six to ten dollars a week. View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. (Shorpynote: Isaac was born March 20, 1901, and died in May 1966 in Waco.)