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:
September 1956. My father, me and the new Rambler on its first long ride, at Squaw Rock on U.S. 101 south of Ukiah, California, captured by my brother on Ektachrome. Could almost be a new card ad, except I'm not running around laughing hysterically. View full size.
Summer 1955, San Luis Obispo, California. The days when old-looking buildings downtown really were old and Studebakers could roam the streets freely. My brother's Anscochome slide. View full size.
July 4, 1966. Twin Cities Fourth of July Parade on Magnolia Avenue in Larkspur, California. And if two brand-new, dealer stock Mustangs weren't enough, an early Studebaker Lark in the used car lot. The other Twin City was neighboring Corte Madera. My Ektachrome slide. View full size.
July 1964. My mother is a blur of activity in this available light Kodachrome; judging from the grates piled up on the right front burner, she's cleaning the O'Keefe & Merritt's chrome top. View full size.
Firemen and volunteers cling to the back of the Larkspur Fire Department's 1946 American-LaFrance engine as it roars down Magnolia Ave. on the way to a call one late afternoon in 1963. These days we're used to seeing firemen suited up like they were about to take a moon walk; check out the casual attire here. Only one guy even has his fireman's hat on; two of the volunteers are sporting baseball caps. Everybody else is in shirtsleeves, even the full-time guy at the wheel (although it's his official blue uniform shirt). That's our house at the very top of the frame.
The fire department had been a governmental entity only 6 years. Up until 1957, it was privately operated by the volunteers, completely funded by dances held at The Rose Bowl, an outdoor dance floor under the redwoods that featured name bands and drew crowds from all over the Bay Area each Saturday during the summer months. My Kodachrome slide.