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About the Photos

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.

 
 
NEW FROM THE VINTAGRAPH VAULTS • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

The Pool Board: 1943

The Pool Board: 1943

January 1943. "Freight operations on the Indiana Harbor Belt railroad between Chicago and Hammond, Indiana. The engine crew, engineer and fireman report at the roundhouse office to be assigned their engine and given orders for the day. The cylinder at the left is the pool board; it lists the names of the men and the order and shift in which they will work." Photo by Jack Delano. View full size.

 

The Wall: 1865

The Wall: 1865

"St. John's Church and graveyard from street. Main eastern theater of war, fallen Richmond, April-June 1865." Wet plate glass negative. View full size.

 

A Fast Horse: 1914

A Fast Horse: 1914

Washington, D.C., 1914. "Wrisley Brown, attorney, riding." You'll note the Washington Monument showing a decided tilt to the left, although the reason is more optical than political. Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

 

Doggie Dinner: 1963

Doggie Dinner: 1963

Bacon-flavored dog food! You sure can't say we didn't pamper our Missie. Here Mother appears to be supplementing it with some strips of leftover steak. Missie had been a foundling, rescued as a months-old pup by a friend's family as she scrounged for food on a beach along the Russian River. She never lost that knack, each day making her regular rounds of the neighbors who always had some treat waiting for her. She developed quite a gut. Nevertheless, she was a born tracker, and delighted in romping through the woods after deer for hours when we'd go on hikes, then following our scent to wherever we'd gotten to in the meantime. We were astonished one day early on when for the first time she actually pointed at some lurking critter. That hunting instinct didn't always end well; she tangled with a skunk once, and one day came home with a small gash in her side, we assumed from an encounter with a raccoon. Her orphan days didn't sour her on the Russian River, because she loved frolicking on the sand and in the water at the beach near our Guernewood Park summer place. She was with us for just another year after I took this 35mm Tri-X negative in the Salmon Kitchen of our Larkspur, California home. View full size.

Guess What: 1943

Guess What: 1943

      So many of you guessed correctly on this one that we're not going to wait till tomorrow for the answer -- the lady's job is: Telegram gummer. Original caption for the photo, taken by Esther Bubley: "June 1943. Miss Kathleen McCarthy, a Western Union teleprinter operator, gumming telegraph messages."

The year is 1943 and the place is Washington, D.C. What is this girl doing? (Hint: Hundreds if not thousands of people had the same job over the course of many years.) Check back on Sunday for the answer. View full size.

 

Motor Check: 1924

Motor Check: 1924

Washington, D.C., 1924. "Havoline Oil Co." Participants in the "Wasson Motor Check" at the Texaco Station on the corner of Florida Avenue and 14th Street. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Here It Is: 1924

Here It Is: 1924

Washington, D.C., 1924. "Indian Refining Co. -- Havoline Oil." The "Wasson Motor Check" at 14th Street and Florida Avenue NW, glimpsed earlier in this post. Details of "this wonderful machine" in the comments below. View full size.

 
 
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THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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