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:
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.