SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
 
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6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
 
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About the Photos

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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

 
 
 
NEW FROM THE VINTAGRAPH VAULTS • PUMP THE BRAKE, 1956

On the Rocks: 193x

On the Rocks: 193x

Three relatives of my grandmother pose tourist style, quite literally, on the rocks. Is the center woman with the cane the grandmother of the girls, or their mother? I have nobody to ask. But I know by context and clothing that the date is the late 1920s or early 1930s. The location is probably Lithuania. The lady with the cane is one of the Beach People. And, of course, nobody is smiling.

Christmas Eve Dinner: 1939

Christmas Eve Dinner: 1939

Baugher family, Elkton, Virginia. Christmas Eve, 1939. Seated facing the photographer: my grandfather, my dad's sister, my dad and my grandmother (seated, wearing the apron). I understand that she was a very skilled cook. The cake must have been a good one - it takes center stage. View full size.

Arlene in 1959

Arlene in 1959

My mother poses with a small paring knife and a slice of apple in her hand (not a cigarette!) in the kitchen of our first home, which was in Levittown, Pennsylvania. The white steel cabinets, all-electric appliances and stainless steel counter tops are as mid-century-modern fifties as can be. So are her very fifties eyeglasses. That she is wearing a cravat at her neck, and jewelry, was not for some special occasion. She dressed that way every day.

Arlene in 1969

Arlene in 1969

My always-the-fashion-plate mother poses with a rose in the kitchen of our third home, which was in Haverford, Pennsylvania. Her red hair now hangs down the way it did when she was a child. Her big, round, oversized glasses were as trendy as glasses came in those days. Not sure which of our family members took the photo. Scan was made from a Polaroid print.

Arlene in 1989

Arlene in 1989

My mother poses in a dress she designed and made, next to an end table that I made for her in high school shop class, with an arrangement of pussy willows on it. As usual, she is documenting her sewing. Until I started selecting photos from my family albums, I never realized just how much of our family photos were not the usual events, holidays, and vacations in most family albums, but a portfolio of clothes she designed and made.

Bathtime For Baby: 1962

Bathtime For Baby: 1962

Our Princeton, New Jersey house was built for us in the spring of 1962. On the weekends we made trips to see the progress of the build (seen here) and finally moved into it on July 30, 1962. As in our Levittown house, my brother was bathed in the kitchen sink. (You have to get down on your hands and knees to wash a baby in a bath tub. It is much nicer to be able to stand up for that task.) Here he sits, in a towel, ready for that bath.

The kitchen was decorated in pseudo-rustic farmhouse style. It was yellow with brown fixtures. You can see the front panel of the brown dish washer at lower left. The kitchen cabinets were knotty pine with brass faux-hammered handles. My mother made window shades from a yellow chicken-and-nest fabric with a brown pom-pom border on the bottom. My mother loved home decorating as much as she loved designing and making clothes.

Space-Age Kitchen: 1963

Space-Age Kitchen: 1963

A second look at the 1962 kitchen of our Princeton, New Jersey house, featuring the chicken-and-nest window shades my mother made for it, a Caloric gas range and hood, pseudo-rustic knotty pine cabinets, a Sunbeam mixer, and my brother, sitting on the Formica counter, licking cake batter off the mixer beaters. My mother was the photographer and she seems to be documenting her home decor as much as photographing my brother. The reason I think that is another shot from minutes earlier does not have the shade pulled down.

 
SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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