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:
Yes, even in Idyllic Larkspur™ we had graffiti, but since this is 1970 and since my home town was something of a counterculture mecca at the time, instead of gang tags, the playground equipment is emblazoned with Peace and Love. Who knows, it may have been applied by Janis Joplin, whose house was less than a quarter mile away here in Baltimore Canyon. From time to time, we'd see also Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters bus tooling about town. But as you can see, the counterculture was not exactly my bag, man, unless my groovy belt could be interpreted as a sign of a repressed desire to turn on, tune in and drop out. But nothing like that happened until a few years later, and then only for special occasions. Anyway, by that time all that kind of stuff was becoming rather mundanely mainstream. Snapped by a friend with my Polaroid camera. View full size.
This was taken at my uncle's house near Venice Beach, California. I was about 3, so this would be 1958. From the left, my uncle (Dad's brother), a biochemist of some renown; Dad's other brother; their mom; my mom (squinting in the sun); my granddad (father of the two guys on the left); and last but not least, my aunt (wife of the biochemist), who was one of the finest people I knew. I do not know what became of her after the early '70s. Finally, the boys. The bigger one eventually became really wealthy, an owner of a professional sports team, and had legal trouble. The smaller one is yours truly, squinting like his mom! This was taken at a time when my little extended family was not only alive but still functional. As usual, the cameraman was Dad! Back then, he had a 35mm camera he bought in Japan on leave from fighting in Korea. Some of these peeps have appeared in my Christmastime pictures, posted earlier. Enjoy. View full size.
1926. "Semmes Motor Co. truck, Walter Brown & Sons." Another from National Photo's series of Washington, D.C., working trucks. This Dodge's battered body notwithstanding, motor trucks were a relative newcomer to a workaday world where dray wagons and horse teams had long dominated. View full size.