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:
I don't remember me and my folks accidentally stumbling through a reducing ray in July 1960, so this must be our visit to Huntington Gardens in San Marino, California.
My brother's 35mm Ektachrome slide. View full size.
Here in 1954, this
1949 1948 Hudson was to remain our family car for two more years. (Since posting this, I've remembered the true model year.) Inside on the front seat you can barely make out my mother on the left, then me in the middle and Father behind the wheel. We're parked just down from the corner of 5th and B in San Rafael, California, probably about to head up Highway 101 to our summer place at the Russian River. In the background, the service bay of a Union 76 station shows this to be the days when gas stations were called service stations for a reason. My brother shot this on 2-1/4 square Ektachrome. Here I am "driving" it. And here's another shot of it. View full size.
Larkspur, California, the small town I grew up in, about 15 miles north of San Francisco. Here in 1955 the population was around 3500. Within its three-block downtown there were: two grocery stores, both with full service butchers (here the Rainbow Market, or "Ernie's," and next door The Food Center, or "Fred's"); a drug store, where I also bought my comics and had my film developed; a hardware store with everything from bins of nails to small appliances; a variety store, where I bought my Matchbox cars; a dry goods store; two barber shops; a movie theater; my doctor and dentist; a TV repair shop; a soda fountain; a caterer; a florist (on the left in the photo), as well as the gas station, garage, post office, bank, fire house and city hall, the latter with the library. Oh yeah, and three bars. I never went to those, but you could often find me at the library investigating dinosaurs or old coins or freeways or whatever else I happened to be obsessed with at the moment, all with the indulgence and encouragement of Miz Wilson, the long-time librarian. 35mm Ansco Color slide by my brother.
View full size.
Agua Caliente Springs, California, September 1914. One of the many hot springs resorts in Sonoma County's Valley of the Moon. An extremely popular destination for San Franciscans of the time, who could take advantage of frequent and convenient ferry and train connections. Here my mother's older sister Mary, fourth from the right, poses with a group of her friends and their parasols prior to availing themselves of the restorative properties of the hot water baths. Third from the left is Anna Scanlon, who was Mary's maid of honor at her wedding in 1919. Anna can be also be seen on a visit to Mary here, and Mary appears in a family portrait here.
Here I am testing a ware in a hardware store. Brunswick, Georgia, 1966. Zoom in.