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:
Preston DeCosta, 15 years old. Messenger #3 for Bellevue Messenger Service in San Antonio, Texas. October 1913. I ran across him while he was carrying notes back and forth between a prostitute in jail and a pimp in the Red Light. He had read all the notes and knew all about them. He was a fine grained adolescent boy. Has been delivering messages and drugs in the Red Light for 6 months and knows the ropes thoroughly. "A lot of these girls are my regular customers. I carry 'em messages and get 'em drinks, drugs, etc. Also go to the bank with money for 'em. If a fellow treats 'em right, they'll call him by number and give him all their work. I got a box full of photos I took of these girls - some of 'em I took in their room." Works until 11 P.M. View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.
Donald "Happy" Mallick, 9 years of age, has been selling newspapers 5 years. His father, a rivet driver, earns $20 weekly. Boy very imaginative, and when last seen had a rusty 5 inch knife which he said he found and was playing with the same in gutter. View full size. Photo by Lewis W. Hine, May 1910.