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:
October 1910, aboard the steamship Trent off Bermuda. "M. Vaniman and cat." Melvin Vaniman, first engineer aboard the hydrogen airship America, with the tabby cat mascot of their ill-fated attempt at the first air crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.
New York, June 1952. Eartha Kitt, the self-styled "sex kitten" who made "Santa Baby" a staple of the holiday airwaves in a career that spanned half a century, died today at the age of 81. Photo by Gordon Parks, Life archive. View full size.
August 1912. Another picture of little Annie Fedele, 22 Horace Street, Somerville, Massachusetts, doing piecework, which usually entailed putting the finishing touches (buttons, or collar and waistband trim) on a mostly completed article of clothing. The garment manufacturers paid a few cents for each piece that was done. View full size. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.
In 1910, on the first airplane flight across the English Channel to carry a passenger, American aviator John Moisant flew from Paris to London accompanied by both his mechanic and his cat, named either Mademoiselle Fifi or Paree, depending on which newspaper you believe. Later that year Moisant died in a crash near New Orleans. View full size. George Grantham Bain Collection.