Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.
Vintage photos of:
June 1937. "Baltimore, Maryland. For every Social Security account number issued an 'employee master card' is made in the Social Security board records office. Testifying data, given on the application blank form SS-5, is transferred to this master card in the form of upended quadrangular holes, punched by key punch machines, which have a keyboard like a typewriter. Each key struck by an operator causes a hole to be punched in the card. The position of a hole determines the letter or number other machines will reproduce from the master card. From this master card is made an actuarial card, to be used later for statistical purposes. The master card also is used in other machines which sort them numerically, according to account numbers, alphabetically according to the name code, translate the holes into numbers and letters, and print the data on individual ledger sheets, indexes, registry of accounts and other uses. The photograph above shows records office workers punching master cards on key punch machines." Whew. Longest caption ever? Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.
Nov. 1, 1923. "Dedication, George Washington Masonic Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia." In a year that was probably the zenith of Freemasonry in the United States, and saw a giant national Masonic gathering in the capital, President Coolidge on this day used a silver trowel to spread mortar for the laying of the cornerstone of what is today one of metro Washington's best known traffic landmarks. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.
August 1942. Corpus Christi, Texas. "Mrs. Virginia Davis, a riveter in the assembly and repair department of the Naval Air Base, supervises Chas. Potter, a NYA trainee from Michigan. After eight weeks of training he will go into civil service. Should he be inducted or enlist in the armed service, he will be valuable to mechanized units of the Army or Navy." Pay attention, sonny -- you might end up flying this thing. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Howard Hollem, Office of War Information. View full size.