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:
March 1943. "Barstow, California. Conductor David L. Webb sleeping in his caboose. He works on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad out of San Bernardino." With what looks like another set of those railroad-safety posters. Photo by Jack Delano, Office of War Information. View full size.
March 1936. "Heavy black clouds of dust rising over the Texas Panhandle" — evidence of the forces that were driving thousands of farm families in Texas and Oklahoma to the West Coast in the great Dust Bowl migration chronicled in "The Grapes of Wrath." Medium format negative by Arthur Rothstein. View full size.
March 1943. "Barstow, California. A brakeman on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad resting in his caboose at night." Pinup reading material includes: SLENDERIZE YOUR HIPS and SEX WAS MY RACKET. Medium-format safety negative by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.