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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 • THE NAVY NEEDS YOU IN THE WAVES

Cars+Trucks

Piggly Wiggly: 1924

Piggly Wiggly: 1924

1924. Piggly Wiggly trucks in Washington, D.C., at the Christo Cola Bottling Co. View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative.

 

Lincoln Seven-Passenger Limousine: 1922

Lincoln Seven-Passenger Limousine: 1922

"While extremely well-built, Lincoln styling in the beginning was behind the times, and the company went into receivership in 1922 after less than two years of car production. It was purchased by Henry Ford for $8 million." View full size.

Potatoes, Corn, Apples: 1917

Potatoes, Corn, Apples: 1917

Our second look at this Washington, D.C., produce market in 1917. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. Library of Congress. View full size.

 

Ice Cream Every Day: 1920

Ice Cream Every Day: 1920

Washington, D.C., 1920. "J.C.L. Ritter. Carry Ice Cream truck." A brand-new Walker Electric. View full size. National Photo Co. Collection glass negative.

 

Worm Drive: 1919

Worm Drive: 1919

"K & W Tire Co., Rainier truck." 1919. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size. "Under the name of the K-W. Tire Company, William A. Ward and W. Killeen have opened a distributing agency in Washington for Pennsylvania vacuum cup tires and ton-tested tubes at 924 14th Street N.W."

 

Pike's Peak Champion: 1920

Pike's Peak Champion: 1920

1920 or 1921. "Lexington. Pike's Peak car." One of two Lexington racecars that placed first and second in the 1920 Pike's Peak hill climb seen at 1020 Connecticut Avenue N.W., the Washington branch of Hummer Motor Sales Company. E. Adie Hummer, Manager. View full size. National Photo Company glass negative.

 

Chariot of the Gods: 1955

Chariot of the Gods: 1955

The car and the photo that started it all: my life-long vicarious love affair with gigantic cars with huge fins. By age 9 I was already a car nut; I cut out pictures from magazine ads and pasted them in a spiral notebook; I amazed family and friends by my ability to identify every car make. Then one day in November 1955 I saw it: this bronze chariot of the gods, a 1955 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, parked in, of all places, a mud lot near Boardwalk #3 in Larkspur, Calif. I made my brother take this Kodachrome, then later came back and photographed it myself in black and white - just the rear end. Immediately I stopped drawing Flash Gordon rocket ships and began designing my own cars - the Pac-Ply and the Zorch. I began pestering my father to take me to GM Motorama when it arrived to San Francisco. Strangely, when it came time to trade in the '48 Hudson in 1956, the car I pestered him to buy was a Rambler station wagon. I guess I realized these cars were not for mere mortals. View full size.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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