SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
 
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Member Photos


Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

 
Colorized Photos


Colorized photos submitted by members.

 
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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SEVILLE SPRING FESTIVAL, 1929

How Many Strollers Does One Child Need: 1957

How Many Strollers Does One Child Need: 1957

One of the things you find out in editing your family pictures for sharing on Shorpy are the strange things you never thought of when you were growing up. My family seems to have had “a thing” about carriages and strollers, both real and for play. In this picture, which shows me in the foreground using my potty chair as a regular chair and playing with a pound-a-peg bench, there are two play strollers behind me. A tin lithographed one is standing upright, and a steel frame and fabric one is turned over on the floor. Other pictures show me climbing into a carriage, and wheeling it on the sidewalk, and wheeling a dog in the stroller that is on the floor in this picture.

I remember a fourth woody wagon carriage from the 1940's that I have not found a picture of. And then there are the numerous pictures of me or my brother in carriages or strollers, and even one of my family using one with my brother at the kitchen table in place of a high chair. Why did I have so many strollers and carriages and why are there so many pictures including them? I have no clue.

My Mother During the War

My Mother During the War

I have often referred to my mother working and living in Washington, D.C. during the war in my comments on the many great photos Shorpy posts from that era. She was from Ohio but moved to D.C. to work for the CAA (Civil Aeronautics Authority) which was the forerunner of today's FAA. I found this picture of her in her office from 1943 and thought it would fit right in here. She would have turned 100 this year, so she is 25 in this picture. View full size.

110 Dogwood Drive: 1959

110 Dogwood Drive: 1959

My mother did not allow “wasting film” on pictures of cars. Film was meant to be wasted on pictures of clothes. So, when she bought me my first raincoat for the spring of 1959, she had me dress up in my boots and that yellow slicker, and pose on the porch that my father had added to the front of our first home in Levittown, Pennsylvania.

As a picture of a smirking kid in a too-big raincoat, so the sleeves have to be folded up, it is kind of lame. But it is one of only two pictures of our 1952 Studebaker Commander, which is the car sticking out of the carport behind me. That car meant the world to me because in deepest, darkest suburbia, nothing ever happened unless you got in the car. It took you to the drive-in movie, and Dairy Delite ice cream. Home was boring. Cars were exciting.

Somebody's Chevy: 1956

Somebody's Chevy: 1956

Another view of the great baby boom suburb of Levittown, Pennsylvania, in this case only three years after it was built. In it you can see one of the original mid-century modern homes, with its floor to ceiling windows and open carport. Best of all their mid-century Chevrolet is parked in it. I am the toddler with the stroller, playing on the sidewalk. My mother took the picture. I scanned it from a 2 inch by 2 inch negative.

Chicago Bound: 1960

Chicago Bound: 1960

January 16, 1960. It was about 1 o'clock on a cool, crisp, sunny Saturday afternoon at the Lake Bluff stop of the Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee interurban railroad. The North Shore was one of America's very last operating interurbans when I photographed a group of cadets from the nearby Great Lakes Naval Training Center climbing aboard a southbound train for a weekend of fun and relaxation in downtown Chicago. The attentive motorman is keeping an eye on the conductor for the two-bell start signal while at the same time observing what I was doing with my camera. The once busy line was abandoned three years later, almost to the day. 35mm Kodachrome by William D. Volkmer. View full size.

Streetcar by Night: 1976

Streetcar by Night: 1976

On a visit to New Orleans in May 1976, I stayed at the Hummingbird Hotel, which was like a scene from "A Streetcar Named Desire." The window at the front of the room looked out onto St. Charles Street, and every so often a streetcar would roll by. On a warm, humid night, the open windows of the streetcar afforded a cooling breeze and a great view of the City. And they still do on the St. Charles line. View full size.

Let's Pretend: 1954

Let's Pretend: 1954

My mother never mowed a lawn in her life. But she did pose here, for my father to take her picture, in the back yard of our first Levittown Pennsylvania home. This is my mother pretending to mow the lawn.

What’s interesting about this picture is the actual mower. The year of this picture is 1954. Notice the cord trailing behind my mother, wrapped around the side of the handle, and plugged into the motor. This rotary mower was electric. And it was quiet. No two stroke motor buzz or starter cord to pull. Though my father bought it used from an ad on a bulletin board at work in 1953, because he owned no mower before he owned that house, it only dates from around 1950 or 1951. I found the identical mower for sale in a Canadian Sears catalog of that era. Paint color was a dark rust shade of red.

Paris by Night: 1974

Paris by Night: 1974

This photo was taken in 1974 in the famous nightclub l'Alcazar, in Paris. Right in the front my father, back left my mother. 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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