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:
Marvel Rea (left), Ford Sterling and Alice Maison in a publicity photo for Mack Sennett Comedies, c. 1919. View full size.
This picture shows the "Four Novelty Grahams" acrobatic performers at the Victoria Theatre, Philadelphia. The father is 23 years of age. Willie Graham is 5 years of age, and Herbert Graham is 3 years of age. At 9 P.M. on June 10th, 1910, these children were performing on the stage. Four times daily they do a turn which lasts from 12 to 14 minutes. Herbert Graham, the youngest, was said by the father to have commenced performing on the stage as an acrobat when he was 10 months of age. Willie, now 5, is said to be the youngest acrobat in the world. The mother of these boys was formerly a school teacher, and is now performing with this trio on the stage. The children are bright and strong, but have a playfulness about them which shows them to have forgotten the best years of childhood. Photo by Lewis W. Hine, 1910. View full size.
New York Yankees outfielder Babe Ruth, in a Giants uniform, with Giants manager John McGraw at an exhibition game with the Baltimore Orioles on October 3, 1923, at the Polo Grounds. Ruth played in the Giants outfield for the game, which was a benefit. View full size. George Grantham Bain Collection.
July/Aug. 9, 1910: The French actress Polaire, her little blind dog and the young man she provocatively called her "slave." Newspapers of the day were a bit more circumspect. The Washington Post of April 11, 1915: "Mlle. Polaire has been chief- ly remarkable for her tiny waist, her jewels, her black footman and her dashing originality in any role of life." Full size. G.G. Bain Collection. More here.
"Mission where Elsie Sigel met her slayer." Photograph circa 1915. The body of the 19-year-old missionary, granddaughter of Civil War hero Franz Sigel, was found in 1909 bound in a trunk in her lover Leon Ling's fourth-floor apartment at 782 Eighth Avenue in New York, next to the Chinese restaurant where he was a waiter. Ling disappeared, and the crime remains officially unsolved. View full size. Read more about this notorious murder here (continued here). 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.