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:
December 1942. "Armed guard at a copper smelter of the Phelps-Dodge Mining Company at Morenci, Arizona. This plant is supplying great quantities of the copper so vital in our war effort." Oh, and: Merry Christmas! Photo by Fritz Henle for the Office of War Information. View full size.
From the "Linda" Kodachromes, circa 1950s, somewhere in New England. A place at the table, just for you. Gravy, anyone? View full size.
One hundred years ago -- yet it seems like just yesterday that we first posted this.
New York, December 1913. "Christmas tree, Madison Square." 8x10 glass negative, G.G. Bain Collection. View full size. Happy holidays from Shorpy!
From the "Linda" Kodachromes circa 1952 comes this Dutch door festively attired with spruce wreath and merry-maker. Won't you come in? View full size.
December 1942. "New York. R.H. Macy & Company department store the week before Christmas. Children line up to talk with Santa Claus. There are two Santas, concealed from one another by a labyrinth to prevent disillusionment of the children. Each child is presented with candy and tells Santa his or her desires." Photo by Marjory Collins for the Office of War Information. View full size.
December 1953. Continuing the Look magazine series "night photographs of houses decorated for Christmas." You know what they say about people who live in glass houses -- they don't throw Christmas parties. At least not until they can afford curtains. From photos by Jim Hansen and Bob Lerner. View full size.