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About the Photos

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.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • GEORGE WASHINGTON CROSSING THE PIES

Jack Delano

The Big O: 1943

The Big O: 1943

January 1943. "Indiana Harbor Belt R.R. switchman demonstrating signal with a 'fusee,' used at twilight and dawn when visibility is poor. This signal means 'back up.' Calumet City, Illinois." Kodachrome by Jack Delano. View full size.

 

2:23: 1941

2:23: 1941

Ayer Mill clock tower, Lawrence, Massachusetts. January 1941. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

 

Proviso Yard, Chicago: 1942

Proviso Yard, Chicago: 1942

December 1942. Classification yard at the Chicago & Northwestern Proviso Yard, Chicago. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

 

South Water Street Terminal: 1943

South Water Street Terminal: 1943

April 1943. Illinois Central R.R. freight cars at the South Water Street freight terminal, Chicago. The C & O and Nickel Plate Railroads lease part of this terminal. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

 

Home Depot: 1940

Home Depot: 1940

December 1940. "Secondhand plumbing store, Brockton, Mass." 35mm Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano. View full size. As of 2007, Saba Mechanical Plumbing & Heating is still in business in Brockton, at an address on Linus Avenue.

 

125 Pleasant Street: 1941

125 Pleasant Street: 1941

Street corner, Brockton, Massachusetts. January 1941. Two blurry figures pass by a fire hydrant in this time exposure by Jack Delano. View full size. Using the 125 above the door and the street sign as clues, we were able to find this building in Google Maps: 125 Pleasant Street at North Warren Avenue. It's the building to the right with the white roof, and seems to be more or less unchanged. Some of the apartments above the store are on the market as condos. The building the photographer used as his vantage point has disappeared, replaced by a parking lot.

 

American Gothic: 1940

American Gothic: 1940

Children in the tenement district, Brockton, Massachusetts. December 1940. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano. View full size. These houses, which look to have been built in the 1890s, must have been imposing in their day. Note the elaborate woodwork and intricate system of gutters and downspouts.

 
 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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