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.
Vintage photos of:
October 1942. State School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. "Speed in metallurgical analysis, to match the rapidity with which the nation arms itself, is possible through use of the spectrograph, a marvelous new machine used for study of materials through measurements of the arc of light they emit when heated. The aluminum and magnesium industries, steel companies and foundries use it for quick study of metals. Mines use it for exploration. The spectrograph will yield an analysis of seven elements in 15 minutes, which would require up to four hours by old chemical methods. Students in defense training courses at a famous mining-engineering school listen as an instructor shows them how the machine operates." Photo by Andreas Feininger, Office of War Information. View full size.
November 1942. "Utah Copper -- Bingham Mine. Part of the open-pit workings of the Utah Copper Company at Bingham Canyon, Utah. The steam locomotive is bringing in empty ore cars from the Utah Copper mills at Magna and Arthur." Photo by Andreas Feininger for the Office of War Information. View full size.
November 1942. "Flotation machines at one of the copper concentrators of the Utah Copper Company. Its plants at Magna and Arthur in Utah are treating vast quantities of the copper so vital for war purposes." Photo by Andreas Feininger for the Office of War Information. View full size.
December 1942. "Production. Mercury. Loading mercury ore into a mine car by hand at the New Idria, California, plant of the New Idria Quicksilver Mining Company. Triple-distilled mercury is produced from cinnabar, an ore containing sulfur and mercury mined at a number of workings near the plant." Photo by Andreas Feininger for the Office of War Information. View full size.
On Shorpy.com's seventh birthday, a look back at our namesake, the teenage mine greaser Shorpy Higginbotham, shown here in 1910 at age 14. His life was cut short by a mine accident in 1928, when he was crushed by a rock.
December 1910. Jefferson County, Alabama. "Shorpy Higginbotham, a 'greaser' on the tipple at Bessie Mine, of the Sloss-Sheffield Steel and Iron Co. Said he was 14 years old, but it is doubtful. Carries two heavy pails of grease, and is often in danger of being run over by the coal cars." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine for the National Child Labor Committee. View full size.
December 1942. "Armed guard at a copper smelter of the Phelps-Dodge Mining Company at Morenci, Arizona. This plant is supplying great quantities of the copper so vital in our war effort." Oh, and: Merry Christmas! Photo by Fritz Henle for the Office of War Information. View full size.