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:
On this Labor Day 2013, Shorpy wishes everyone a meaningful and at least momentary break from toil.
"Powerhouse Mechanic and Steam Pump" (1920). One of Lewis Wickes Hine's celebrated "work portraits" made after he completed his decade-long project documenting child labor. View full size.
December 1910. "Hard work and dangerous for such a young boy. James O'Dell, a greaser and coupler on the tipple of the Cross Mountain Mine, Knoxville Iron Co., in the vicinity of Coal Creek, Tennessee. James has been here four months. Helps push these heavily loaded cars. Appears to be about 12 or 13 years old." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine for the National Child Labor Committee. View full size.
March 1909. Hartford, Conn. "Newsgirls waiting for papers. Largest girl, Alice Goldman, has been selling for 4 years. Newsdealer says she uses viler language than the newsboys do. Bessie Goldman and Bessie Brownstein are 9 years old and have been selling about one year. All sell until 7 or 7:30 p.m." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine for the National Child Labor Committee. View full size.
1936. Camden, New Jersey. "RCA Victor Final Inspector -- testing radio frequency alignment and making final test of chassis. This takes place in a room entirely surrounded by copper screening in order to protect testing from any interference. This is the job requiring the highest skill. Even technical training, such as an electrical engineering course, must be supplemented by a course of training at the plant for this particular work." Photo by Lewis Hine. View full size.