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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 • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

Factories

Manned by Women: 1942

Manned by Women: 1942

August 1942. Republic Drill and Tool Co., Chicago. "Pioneers of the production line, these two young workers are among the first women ever to operate a center­less grinder, a machine requiring both the knowledge of precision measuring inst­ruments, and considerable experience and skill in setting up. In this Midwest drill and tool plant, manned almost exclusively by women, centerless grinders have been efficiently operated by women for more than a year, and company prod­uction figures have continued to soar." Medium-format nitrate negative by Ann Rosener for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Mass Production: 1903

Mass Production: 1903

November 1903. "Assembling room, Leland & Faulconer Manufacturing Co., Detroit. Men working in foundry and machine shop that produced automobile engines and merged with Cadillac Motor Co. in 1905." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Handle With Care: 1942

Handle With Care: 1942

        UPDATE: This is, as far as the Shorpy Research Department can tell, from a series of photos taken by Andreas Feininger in June 1942 at the East Hartford, Conn., engine manufacturing plant of Pratt & Whitney Aircraft.

Circa 1942. We've lost the caption for this photo of a lady operating yet another War-Winning Widget in Factorytown, USA. What is she making? View full size.

 

Some Assembly Required: 1942

Some Assembly Required: 1942

August 1942. "Vultee Aircraft Co., Nashville. Using an electric drill on a fuselage in a sub-assembly section." Another boy putting an airplane together during WW2. Photo by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Danny the Driller: 1942

Danny the Driller: 1942

August 1942. "Nashville, Tennessee. Vultee Aircraft Company. Drilling holes for rivets in a fuselage on a sub-assembly line." In other words, doing prep work for Rosie. Photo by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

No Gane: 1939

No Gane: 1939

September 1939. "Abandoned factory, Minneapolis, Minnesota." 35mm nitrate negative by John Vachon for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

 

Let's Build a Bomber: 1942

Let's Build a Bomber: 1942

December 1942. "Production of B-17 heavy bomber. A skilled team of men and women workers at the Boeing plant in Seattle complete assembly and fitting operations on the interior of a fuselage section for a new B-17F (Flying Fortress) bomber. About half of the workers at the Boeing plant are women." Photo by Andreas Feininger for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 
 
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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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