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:
For your Halloween enjoyment we present "The Commercial Vampire," a Leon Barritt cartoon from the July 20, 1898, issue of Vim, a short-lived satirical weekly published in New York. Painting department stores as bloodthirsty predators of small independent businesses, the same argument made today in some quarters against giant retailers like Wal-Mart and Amazon. View full size.
Printed in 1939 by His Majesty's Stationery Office on orders of England's Ministry of Information, "Keep Calm and Carry On" was, despite being run off in vast quantities along with two related posters, never seen during World War II; the event that would have triggered its release -- a German invasion of the British Isles -- never happened. And so the posters, bearing the crest of King George VI, were shredded in 1945, with a small number saved in the archives of the Imperial War Museum. It was not to emerge again until 2000, when a tattered copy was discovered lining a box in a secondhand bookstore in Northumberland.
Since then its alt-appeal has grown to the point where the design has become a full-fledged Internet meme, variations of the "Keep Calm" sentiment appearing on blogs, mugs, T-shirts and posters. Now including this one presented by Vintagraph and printed by Juniper Gallery on a variety of archival stocks in the original red as well as other hues. You will probably not find a nicer version of KCaCO offered in as wide a choice of sizes and colors, with the original typography -- font, proportions and spacing faithfully reproduced. Hang one in your office, den or dorm and you'll find yourself Carrying On with surprising serenity.
Six of seven WPA posters by Louis B. Siegriest (1899-1989) promoting American Indian art at the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939. Available as Vintagraph fine-art prints, made from ultra high-resolution scans of the original serigraphs -- very detailed and quite beautiful. View full size | Shop the art.
The 1930s posters done for the Works Progress Administration have proven to be especially popular in the Shorpy gift shop, so Juniper Gallery has started Vintagraph, a Web site dedicated to high-quality reproductions of this unique artwork on museum-grade French art paper. Favorites include the curiously popular Keep Your Teeth Clean as well as the heroically proportioned Don't Jay Walk. We're adding new posters every day at www.vintagraph.com.
"The Works Progress Administration in Ohio presents the Federal Theatre for youth in 'A Christmas Carol.'" This poster for the Federal Theatre Project presentation of "A Christmas Carol" was created between 1936 and 1941.
View full size | Vintage Christmas Photos