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:
So many of you guessed correctly on this one that we're not going to wait till tomorrow for the answer -- the lady's job is: Telegram gummer. Original caption for the photo, taken by Esther Bubley: "June 1943. Miss Kathleen McCarthy, a Western Union teleprinter operator, gumming telegraph messages."
The year is 1943 and the place is Washington, D.C. What is this girl doing? (Hint: Hundreds if not thousands of people had the same job over the course of many years.) Check back on Sunday for the answer. View full size.
April 1953. "Comedians Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca posed in humorous situations with air conditioning units. Includes Caesar dressed in his 'professor' costume and Coca dressed as a mechanic, looking at a diagram of a cooling system." From photos by Arthur Rothstein and John Vachon for the Look magazine assignment "Air Conditioning -- How It Works." View full size.
June 1924. Washington, D.C. "Carl W. Mitman, Curator of Engineering, U.S. National Museum [Smithsonian Institution], holding what is believed to be the first radio tube, made in 1898 by D. McFarlan Moore of New York. Radio waves emanating from this tube ignited a bomb a city block away and blew up a miniature of the Battleship Maine." Harris & Ewing glass plate. View full size.
June 1924. Washington, D.C. "Radio nut -- this set with everything necessary for receiving music and speech by radio has been put into a coconut shell. It was built by H. Zamora, a native of Manila, Philippine Islands." Marketing suggests we call this the iNut. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.