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.
September 1942. "Linotype operators in composing room of the New York Times newspaper." These machines cast lines of type (Linotype) from molten lead prior to their assembly by compositors into the printing plates that go on the presses. Photo by Marjory Collins for the Office of War Information. View full size.
Oct. 15, 1936. Washington, D.C. "Protection against that dreaded disease Silicosis is assured underground workers with this new sand-blasting helmet developed by William P. Biggs, Safety Engineer of the Navy Department. Weighing only 43 ounces, the helmet has been tested for nearly a year in various naval stations throughout the country." Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.
Nov. 28, 1927. "Washington man sleeps in a blanketless bed. Milton Fairchild of Washington, D.C., does not need any blankets for keeping him warm these winter nights. He has invented an electrical bed which does not require any covering for the body when asleep. Furthermore, according to Mr. Fairchild, an 'electric blanket' is healthier and one is not so susceptible to colds. The temperature is maintained constant throughout the night by automatic controls." Milton, you are so close. Just a couple more tweaks and you will be sitting pretty, or at least reclining more comfortably. Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.
1928. Washington, D.C. "NO CAPTION" is the label for this Harris & Ewing plate of a lady showing us an obviously superior example of whatever this is. Deep knowledge of the Shorpy catalog tells me this is Texanna Loomis of the Loomis Radio School. The thing is -- what? You tell us, in the comments. View full size.