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About the Photos

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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • CLASSIC CHRISTMAS ART

Sparkles and Bows: 1947

Sparkles and Bows: 1947

A pretty dress, sparkling and decorated with plenty of bows, perhaps for Easter. This is the daughter of GE's Cleveland Wire Plant photographer William Eppinger taken in their back yard in Euclid, Ohio. Circa 1947.

Cathedral of Learning: 1948

Cathedral of Learning: 1948

The University of Pittsburgh main campus in Pittsburgh, circa 1948. This is from a scan of a stereo slide taken by my grandfather Ralph E. Archer. With no information on the slide it took some searching to determine what this structure was and where it was located. It was the most "alien" or out-of-place looking structure I had ever seen both with its unusual design and much greater height (42 stories, 535 feet tall) than everything surrounding it.

Known as the Cathedral of Learning this Late Gothic revival is the tallest educational building in the western hemisphere and the second tallest gothic style building in the world. Commissioned in 1921 and dedicated in 1937 it is a steel frame structure overlain with Indiana limestone and contains more than 2,000 rooms and windows.

During WWII the cathedral was assigned to house, feed and instruct about 1,000 Army Air Corps as well as dozens of Army engineers. As my father, Ralph H. Archer served in the Army Air Corps during WWII this may be the reason for this particular photo in his father's collection and so may date somewhat earlier than 1948.

Oakland: 1960s

Oakland: 1960s

I bought a vintage camera on eBay (Minolta 16II) and it had exposed film in it. I had it developed and these are some of the photos. They appear to be from a high school field trip or travel. One photo shows what appears to be the Oakland airport, so I'm going with that location, for now.

Dressed to Smoke Part Two

Dressed to Smoke Part Two

A sequel (or prequel) to the Dressed to Smoke photo. This was found in another box from the same photographer.

I found out this and others in the set were taken somewhere in Europe, possibly in Zurich since there is also a slide of the Hotel Storchen (still extant) in the same box.

The Duces: 1947

The Duces: 1947

George Staiduhar and his other 2.5 Deuces prepare to entertain the happy folks at this 1947 gathering. George was an employee of the Cleveland Wire Works of the GE Company in Euclid, Ohio. From a collection of negatives from the now-closed plant. A duce is a leader or dictator.

Sidecar Duo

Sidecar Duo

An old photograph from East Germany (exact date is unknown) of a MZ ES 250/2 motorcycle with Superelastik sidecar. Dad is presumably the one taking the picture of this mother and children.

Old-School Tree: 1962

Old-School Tree: 1962

        Meanwhile, seven years later ...

        This Kodachrome, originally posted here in 2011, can be seen in the December 2018 Canadian edition of Reader's Digest, illustrating the story "Andrea's Gift" in a two-page spread starting on Page 96. They spotted it here on Shorpy and I licensed it to them.

Old-school and old-old-school decorations on our traditional old-school tree. We always called these Scotch firs, but it looks more like the Noble firs I've seen online. We liked them because they had plenty of open space to let the ornaments show unhindered. The oldest one is the frosted pine cone face toward the bottom; it still has some wax blobs from early 20th Century tree candles on it. The hot-air balloon was always one of my favorites. The blue one at the center top is from our "new" c.1960 set. The plastic church was glitter-enhanced by me personally. A couple years later, all the 1940s-era light strings sacrificed their lives to illuminate my castle diorama in the basement. You can see me reflected in the ornament at lower left, along with the bright spot on the ceiling from the bounce flash I used to light this Kodachrome. View full size.

The Brick Buick: 1949

The Brick Buick: 1949

My sister and brother in a 1949 photo, on Second Avenue in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Not many years later, at 16, I demolished this Buick (and please take notes if you'd like to demolish a Buick) skidding on wet streetcar tracks -- too much speed might have been involved -- and nailing a brick porch next door to Sacred Heart Convent on Sixth Avenue. A woman appeared (the Madonna?), shouting "You've wrecked!" and because a few more bricks were thudding onto the hood, I said, "I believe I'm still wrecking." View full size.

 
SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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