Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.
Vintage photos of:
December 24, 1954. The only explanation I can come up with for my disturbing expression is that this was the same year my brother took me to see Rear Window. But, since it's the only one of me hanging my Christmas stocking (or of anybody in our family hanging one), I'm stuck with it. And my brother jiggled the camera. Funny thing is, there's already stuff in the stocking (probably with a tangerine down in the toe, like always). I'm 8 and well past the Santa Claus pretense, so I'm probably just helping with the decor. Anyway, what I'm mainly interested in is all the really good stuff that'll be there the next morning. My favorite thing here is all the junk (undoubtedly mine) exploding out of the shelf behind the TV.
Many thanks to everybody who's said nice things about my photos, and gigantic thanks to Dave not only for Shorpy itself, but for his ever-expert editorial emendations. I've had a ball here. View full size.
This is how you pull over for a family meal during a road trip. It's the early 60's and the family is off to visit Canada. Kodachrome slide. That camp stove used white gas. View full size.
Not absolutely sure of the date on this one, but it's probably Christmas 1959. I was born in August 1956 which would make me three and a bit when the picture was taken, which seems about right. The picture was taken by my Grandfather with a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye (with flash and leather case), which I still have. The airplane, which was my proudest present that year is a tin-plate DC-7 in United Airlines colours. It has a clear plastic bit over the passenger compartment and a friction motor that spins the props when you push the plane along the floor. The wing assembly detaches, probably because that was the only way they could make the plane. If you had skinny fingers (which I do) when you took the wings off you could stick the tip of your finger through the open door at the back of the passenger compartment. I still have the plane, though it's not in pristine condition. A couple of years after this photo was take I noticed on TV that when the propellers of real airplanes spun you didn't see the tips and on my plane you did - out came the scissors and off came the tips. I still have the plane and the camera, and all too few of the glass ornaments on that tree. The socks (thankfully) are gone forever, although they and the TV are immortalized in my blog profile photo.
December 1961. Maybe people who lived in the Hollywood Hills or in the pages of Sunset Magazine dwelt in high-concept Case Study homes, but regular young marrieds of this period were more likely to have furnished their abodes from the Early American section of the Montgomery Ward catalog. Here is a classic example of its kind, down to the ubiquitous braided rugs.
My nephew Jimmy, on the right, is visiting his cousin Bobby, and apparently I came along to record the event on this 127 Ektachrome. Jimmy is pulling the talk string on his Casper the Friendly Ghost, one of about a billion times he did it that year. "I'm co-o-o-o-ld." After 47 years that sound still echoes in my brain. Bobby's got himself a Mr. Machine, who didn't talk, but the TV commercial jingle still resonates. "Here he comes, here he comes, greatest toy you've ever seen, and his name is Mr. Machine!" I know that because at the age of 15 I was still watching cartoons on TV every day. In addition to the incredibly cool army truck, somebody has gotten a "Super Sonic Jetliner," whose wings were cleverly designed to deliberately detach. Someone else, presumably, has gotten the gift box of Kools up there on the end table. View full size.