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.
The milk wagon of William Widule, the owner of the Sherman Park Dairy of Chicago around the turn of the century. The wagon appears freshly painted, William is neatly dressed, and it is obvious that his partner is very well cared for. I like the way the horse's ears are pricked forward and he (or she) is gazing directly at the camera.
My great-grandfather's mining crew circa 1915 in Mineral County, West Virginia. His name was Thompson Metcalf, and he is in the front row, crouched just to the right of the coal car tracks. The young boy in front of him was my great-uncle "Metty." Thompson died in the flu epidemic of 1918. My grandfather gave me the carbide lamp that Thompson wore. It appears they all had their lamps lit for the photo. They even included the most valuable members of the crew (at least to the mine owners). Some mine owners were of the opinion that "If you lose a man, there is always another one ready to take his place, but if you lose a pony or mule, you must BUY another one". This crew worked the mines in the Beryl, West Virginia area.