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:
August 1912. "The wagon that delivers Home Work to Somerville, Massachusetts. The owner of the wagon (who is not the driver) is O. H. Brown, 27 Main Street, Reading. These wagons (about 4 in all) are worked on commission, not owned by factory." ("Home work" here meant pre-cut cloth patterns ready to be sewn into various articles of clothing.) View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. Note the curious tassels hanging off the horse. (Answer: It's a fly fringe.)
Street in San Juan, Puerto Rico, December 1941. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano, who moved to Puerto Rico permanently in 1946. The cross street is Calle de Rafael Cordero and the street we're looking down is Calle de Dr. Jose C. Barb-- with the last few letters obscured.
August 1942. "Mrs. Eloise J. Ellis has been appointed by civil service to be senior supervisor in the Assembly and Repairs Department at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas. She buoys up feminine morale in her department by arranging suitable living conditions for out-of-state employees and by helping them with their personal problems." View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Howard Hollem for the Office of War Information.