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:
1955 was the height of Davy Crockett mania, and while I never got a coonskin cap, I was as wrapped up in it as most kids of the time, hence the "Dying at the Alamo" concept of this shot. Didn't have any arrows, so I had to improvise with that twig. My eye patch, which I was forced to wear in an unsuccessful attempt to deal with my "lazy eye" condition, sort of adds to the effect. (It was unsuccessful because I kept cheating by peeling it up so I could read my comic books.) I think that was an official Boy Scout canteen, but I don't know where we got it, since neither of us were in the Scouts. Sharp-eyed camera bugs will notice my brother used fill flash with this Kodachrome; he'd borrowed or rented a fancy electronic flash unit.
Crowd on Bradford Beach, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Picture taken by my father, Everett Harding, on Fourth of July weekend 1954. Scanned from a Kodachrome transparency. View full size.
Proof positive that my brother and I both fell victim to a similar strange mania at the age of 18. Here, in 1955, a senior in high school and fooling around with his newly-acquired Lordox 35mm camera, he snapped this Kodachrome self-portrait at his desk in our bedroom. Nine years later when I was 18, I shot my records, including the same Shostakovich album, spread out in our living room, as seen here. By that time, "I Like Jazz," a Columbia Records sampler, was no longer around. Posted with my brother's kind acquiescence. View full size.
This is me on a swing at a motel in either Maryland or Delaware sometime in the mid-1970s. It was likely taken by my father, whose shadow appears in the photo, too. I really like this photo -- the sun, the motel architecture (is that an oxymoron?), the photographer's shadow, and especially the red and white pool umbrella. Doesn't it all just scream 1970s? View full size.