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:
Characteristic mid-century picnic behavior, posing for the human totem pole photo. In this case, 1953, me at the top, my brother at the bottom, various friends in between. View full size.
When the film comes back, my sister's hopes for a lovely framed 8x10 enlargement are dashed when she sees that at the last moment the horse turned its head, transforming what should have been a placid rural scene into a grotesque circus of horrors. July 1956, California's Napa Valley captured on Ektachrome. View full size.
1958. Homemade go-cart, complete with baby seat. Me, my brother, and my mom riding in a go-cart my dad made for the family. View full size.
Found among family pictures, my father's good friends with their "new" vehicle circa 1924. Love the facial expressions. View full size.
Here's my grandfather at the Sphinx in May 1945, plus or minus a month or so. I've recently run across a stash of his photos and am slowly working my way through scanning them. Sadly, he wasn't much for labeling his photos unless these have fallen out of an album I haven't uncovered yet, so beyond some of the more obvious landmarks, it's difficult to impossible place the photo in time and space.
This one's easy though. As a C-47 pilot (http://www.shorpy.com/node/4003) based in Naples at this point, he made several trips to various North African destinations, apparently with enough time to take in the sights now and again. His photographer is never identified, but seems to put a little more thought into the composition than your average snapshot-taker.
I showed this photo to my wife. "Where _is_ he?" she exclaimed. I want to believe that she was really wanting to know more about _why_ he was there than his actual location. I told her it was the Luxor in Vegas.
…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.