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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Eateries & Bars

Road House: 1956

Road House: 1956

1956. "Segregation in South Carolina. Separate and unequal recreation facilities." I've looked at hundreds of photos from this assignment and would have to agree -- the white folks in general seem to be having a lot less fun in their hopelessly boring bars, uptight country clubs and over-chlorinated swimming pools. Eventually they got wise. Color transparency by Margaret Bourke-White. View full size.

Fairview Hotel: 1916

Fairview Hotel: 1916

Washington circa 1916. "Fairview Hotel, 1st Street and Florida Avenue." The proprietor is former slave and "colored philosopher" Keith Sutherland. See the comments below for more on him. Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

 

Baked Lunch: 1918

Baked Lunch: 1918

Washington circa 1918. "Food Administration cafeteria." The lima bean soup looks delicious. National Photo Co. Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Johnstons Branch Newsies: 1910

Johnstons Branch Newsies: 1910

St. Louis, Missouri. May 1910. "Newsies. Johnston's Branch adjoining Saloon at 10th & Cass Street." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Idlers: 1916

Idlers: 1916

June 29, 1916. Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. "Hanging around the saloon -- 5 p.m." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Box Lunches: 1916

Box Lunches: 1916

June 29, 1916. Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. "Two 15-year-old boys working for Westinghouse Electric Company, going home at 5 p.m." View full size.

 

Boho Wedding: 1922

Boho Wedding: 1922

"Better 'Ole Wedding." Informal nuptials circa 1922 at the Better 'Ole, a Greenwich Villagey "bohemian" nightspot in Washington, D.C., that, while short-lived, made its mark. In 1935 the Washington Post called it "the first real night club of the so-called 'night club era.' " The article continues: "It was started by Charles W. Smith, now the noted black-and-white artist, had a membership charge of $1 and was located on the second floor of a three-story building at 1515 U Street. A hot colored dance orchestra held forth in a room decorated with drapes in a sort of cubist style." More here. National Photo Co. glass negative. View full size.

 
 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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