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:
Washington, D.C., circa 1918. "Bankers Automatic Receiving Teller Co." These machines (designed to look like little bank buildings) were used, among other places, in the D.C. schools into the 1930s to encourage thrifty habits. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.
July 1942. Melrose Park, Illinois. "Production of aircraft engines. Buick plant. Foreman F.I. Bowman shows Marietta Morgan how to operate this bomb-test machine used to test reconditioned spark plugs. A young Negro girl, Marietta had been a clerk in a meat market. Her lack of industrial experience, however, has been no handicap for her present war job in a large Midwest airplane plant. She's rapidly becoming a skilled and efficient machine operator." Medium format safety negative by Ann Rosener for the Office of War Information. View full size.
It's a sobering thought that this accumulation of consumer audio gear, though approaching high-end levels but not all that esoteric for the period, may look as archaic to present-day eyes as those examples of enormous, steampunk-like telephone and radio contraptions we've see here on Shorpy. Maybe if it was all black enamel rather than brushed aluminum it wouldn't look so old-hat, er, I mean retro. Of all this stuff all I have left is the turntable; a visiting friend recently took out his cell phone and snapped a photo of it in action, then emailed it to his daughter. He said she'd never seen a record playing.
Lest anyone think that some form of perverse, fetishistic self-absorbtion inspired this as well as Beam Me Up, I took these photos as a status update for a fellow audio and video enthusiast friend who had moved out of state sometime previously.
A Kodachrome slide which, in keeping with the theme of nostalgic technological obsolescence, was processed by Fotomat. View full size.