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:
…and Young. My grandfather working (left with rake) at a neighbor's farm – I'm guessing the 1920s. He'd work his farm then also hire himself out to work others in the area as here.
The family homesteaded in Dakota Territory in the 1870s in what is now Union County in SE South Dakota a few miles from Akron Iowa. The homestead was on Bruele Creek, which is mentioned in, and the area is the setting, for the novel "Giants in the Earth" by Rølvaag. Most of the families in the area were Nordic and still reflected that when I'd visit as a child.
Can anyone ID the year for the John Deere tractor to help place the time frame? View full size.
Baby boomers, first wave, all born 1946, showing how we were dressed for kindergarten. Notice how we don't look like gang members, convicts or concentration camp inmates. Of course, for class photo day, most of us had probably gotten decked out a bit better than normally, but still. By the following year a new school had opened up in Corte Madera and our class size shrank dramatically. That's me at the bottom right. View full size.
"While extremely well-built, Lincoln styling in the beginning was behind the times, and the company went into receivership in 1922 after less than two years of car production. It was purchased by Henry Ford for $8 million." View full size.
This button was a promotional piece about 1-3/4" in diameter, given out by shoe stores on the purchase of a pair of Keds, one of the sponsors of the daily kids' show "Fireman Frank" broadcast by KRON-TV in San Francisco during the mid-50s. Fireman Frank was George Lemont, a hip SF deejay who stepped into the role after the original Fireman, a roly-poly avuncular gent more in the style of a kids' TV host, dropped dead. Lemont's humor appealed as much to adults as well as kids; you could hear the studio crew guffawing off-camera at things that went over our heads. Between cartoons, Lemont brought out his cast of puppets, including robot Dynamo Dudley, the beret-wearing, bop-talking Scat the Cat and best of all, Karl the Karrot. Karl, as you can see, was a sort of proto-beatnik, literally a carrot with a pair of shades. His dialog consisted entirely of "blubble-lubble-lubble" while he thrashed about, chlorophyl topknot flailing. At home, we were all in convulsions on the floor.
This is a scan of a battered print showing my grandfather in the cockpit of a C-47. My best guess is that this is in the last half of 1944 and in the US per his logbooks, but it could be as late as mid-'45 in Europe. I've recently discovered a stash of his wartime photos and will add more if there's any interest. View full size.
In 1957 I was chosen to be a model for the Oklahoma Semi-Centennial publicity photos. I was 5 and had to wear a fishbowl for a space helmet. View full size.
The car and the photo that started it all: my life-long vicarious love affair with gigantic cars with huge fins. By age 9 I was already a car nut; I cut out pictures from magazine ads and pasted them in a spiral notebook; I amazed family and friends by my ability to identify every car make. Then one day in November 1955 I saw it: this bronze chariot of the gods, a 1955 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, parked in, of all places, a mud lot near Boardwalk #3 in Larkspur, Calif. I made my brother take this Kodachrome, then later came back and photographed it myself in black and white - just the rear end. Immediately I stopped drawing Flash Gordon rocket ships and began designing my own cars - the Pac-Ply and the Zorch. I began pestering my father to take me to GM Motorama when it arrived to San Francisco. Strangely, when it came time to trade in the '48 Hudson in 1956, the car I pestered him to buy was a Rambler station wagon. I guess I realized these cars were not for mere mortals. View full size.