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:
February 1942. Akron, Ohio. Another esoteric industrial process involving scary-looking thingamabobs essential to the war effort. Executive summary: Performing a painstakingly choreographed ballet of complicated tasks at precisely timed intervals, Joe Warworker here is doing his part to Speed Victory! View full size. 4x5 nitrate negative by Alfred Palmer for the Office of War Information.
February 1942. Firestone Rubber plant in Akron, Ohio. "Conversion. Beverage containers to aviation oxygen cylinders. Before completion of the fourth and final welding operation in the manufacture of shatterproof oxygen cylinders for high altitude flying, all straps are subjected to physical tests to determine the strength of the weld. Occasional radiographic inspections are made to insure the quality of workmanship after the two halves of the cylinder are brought together in this atomic welding machine and made one unit. Here, the operator has just completed the union and is about to remove the whole cylinder." 4x5 nitrate negative by Alfred Palmer for the Office of War Information. View full size.
Pittsburgh, August 1942. "The comforts of home looked pretty good to Navy Radioman John Marshall Evans and Sergeant French L. Vineyard, who spent Sunday with the family of their poster colleague George Woolslayer." Medium format negative negative by Alfred Palmer for the OWI. View full size.
August 1942. "George Woolslayer celebrated the visit of the soldier and sailor with a party at his home. Friends, relatives and fellow workers made up the list of guests. No ordinary party, this one will be remembered by the Woolslayers for years to come. Festivities started at 8 p.m. and lasted well into the next morning. Proudly seated on Sergeant French L. Vineyard's knee is Woolslayer's 8-year-old daughter, Georgia Ann, who stayed up long past her bedtime to take part in the fun. Allegheny-Ludlum Steel, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania." View full size. Medium format negative by Alfred Palmer for the Office of War Information.
August 1942. "A poster comes to life. Another democratic institution, beer and pretzels. Chief radioman Evans, at extreme left, reaches for a slice of the ham which Mrs. Woolslayer is serving. Sergeant Vineyard is wearing the paper hat. Allegheny Steel, Pittsburgh." One in a series of dozens of photos taken of the three men in a WW2 poster after they decided to get together. View full size. Medium format negative by Alfred Palmer for the Office of War Information.