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.
Vintage photos of:
March 1937. Scotts Run, West Virginia. "Employed bachelor coal miner at home in Sessa Hill. This scene is typical of hundreds of bachelors who belong to a group of immigrants whose family was separated by immigration restrictions. This man may, or may not, have a wife in another country." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. Decor by Coca-Cola. Large format acetate negative. View full size.
August 1941. "One end of the Hull-Rust-Mahoning pit, largest open pit iron mine in the world, near Hibbing, Minnesota. The pit is two and a half miles long, three quarters of a mile wide and about four hundred feet deep." Medium format safety negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.
New York circa 1901. "The Great Coal Mine, Coney Island." From the book Coney Island and Astroland: "The Great Coal Mine was a 1,500-foot-long dark ride that enabled visitors to travel on coal cars through several levels of a dimly lit simulated mine. It opened in 1901 on the north side of Surf Avenue at West Tenth Street, was not very popular, and was soon replaced by L.A. Thompson's Oriental Scenic Railway." 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.