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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Restaurants

Throck and the Kats: 1921

Throck and the Kats: 1921

July 15, 1921. Cleon Throckmorton at the easel on the terrace of the Krazy Kat, an establishment described by the Washington Post two years earlier as "something like a Greenwich Village coffeehouse." Scroll down to the comments for more on "Throck," an engineering graduate who made his name designing sets for Eugene O'Neill's plays, and was the first art director for CBS in the early days of television. View full size. National Photo Company Collection.

 

Avant-Garden: 1921

Avant-Garden: 1921

July 15, 1921. Our third photo of the treetop table at the Krazy Kat club in Washington. View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. (Coming Monday: Details on the Krazy Kat and one of the notables who ran it.)

 

Branch Office: 1921

Branch Office: 1921

July 15, 1921. More strange goings-on at the Krazy Kat. Our waiter has a ball and chain dangling from his sleeve. National Photo Company. View full size.

 

Krazy Kat Klub: 1921

Krazy Kat Klub: 1921

Washington. D.C. One of six National Photo glass negatives from 1921 labeled "Krazy Kat," showing a group of college-age kids painting and smoking in the yard of what seems to be a club or restaurant. Which has a treehouse. View full size.

 

Lunch With Lynn and Hugh: 1943

Lunch With Lynn and Hugh: 1943

December 1943. Washington, D.C. "Hugh and Lynn Massman eating lunch at a cafeteria after a day of sightseeing. Their eight-week-old son is being taken care of at the United Nations service center nursery." View full size. Medium-format safety negative by Esther Bubley for the Office of War Information.

 

Dolled Up: 1939

Dolled Up: 1939

1939. Ladies who lunch in Washington, D.C., with the toy department as a backdrop. View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by David Myers.

 

An Evil Smell: 1938

An Evil Smell: 1938

Summer 1938. Hamburger stand at the Buckeye Lake amusement park near Columbus. View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by Ben Shahn, who goes on to describe the place: "Buckeye Lake is the weekend and summer months resort for all of central Ohio. Its patrons are clerks, Columbus politicians, laborers, businessmen, droves of high school and college students. The rich occupy one side of the lake, the rest rent cottages on the other side. It has an evil reputation and an evil smell. It has furnished Columbus and the neighboring small towns and cities with dancing, cottaging, swimming, etc. for several generations. This is the most unsavory place the photographer ran across in Ohio." But how are the hot dogs?

 
 
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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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