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:
Filling station and garage at Pie Town, New Mexico. Photograph by Russell Lee. September 1940. View full size. "Original owner sold pies, hence the name 'Pie Town.'" Wikipedia says that person was Clyde Norman, who started a dehydrated apple business there in the 1920s. Pie Town hosts a Pie Festival in the fall; photographer Lee took dozens of pictures of the 1940 rodeo and barbecue, which we'll be posting. Here we can see details of the the 1940 fair, and that gas was 21 cents a gallon. (Goodbye everyone, I'm moving to Pie Town - Dave)
Street corner, Brockton, Massachusetts. January 1941. Two blurry figures pass by a fire hydrant in this time exposure by Jack Delano. View full size. Using the 125 above the door and the street sign as clues, we were able to find this building in Google Maps: 125 Pleasant Street at North Warren Avenue. It's the building to the right with the white roof, and seems to be more or less unchanged. Some of the apartments above the store are on the market as condos. The building the photographer used as his vantage point has disappeared, replaced by a parking lot.
Children in the tenement district, Brockton, Massachusetts. December 1940. Photograph by Jack Delano. View full size. These duplexes must have been fairly grand when they were new, probably around the turn of the century. They look like the house where Granny and Tweety Bird lived. Are they still there?