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:
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.
1957. "Robert and Norma Norton of Houston, Texas, with their family, illustrating life before and after having the house air-conditioned. Includes photos of the family at a drive-in restaurant having cool air piped into their car" -- a Cadillac sedan that already has air conditioning. Photo by Jim Hansen for the Look magazine article "How the Nortons Beat the Heat." View full size.
March 31, 1922. "H.G. Corcoran of Washington, D.C., needs an aerial for his radio outfit. His receiving wire is connected to the wire springs of his bed, which take the place of an aerial." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.