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Jailhouse Rock: 1941

Jailhouse Rock: 1941

May 1941. Music-making in the convict camp at Greene County, Georgia. Medium-format nitrate negative by Jack Delano. View full size. The guitarist, one Shorpy reader points out, is bluesman Buddy Moss.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Back for a second look

I just wanted to leave a quick comment after having viewed this photograph a couple of times. Dave, I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the time and effort you put in to enhancing these photographs. I've referred a ton of people to this site to take a look at your labors of love. Thanks again, from a very satisfied fan.

By the way, this photo says SO much! Thank you everyone for your comments that have added to the story.

Car Wash Blues

Dragline: Anything so innocent and built like that just gotta be named Lucille.

And, of course, Strother Martin's immortal line, "What we've got here is failure to communicate."

Night in the Box

Every man takes his top sheet, puts it on the bottom, then takes his bottom sheet, puts it in the wash. Any man needs to smoke must have his feet over the side. Any man smoking in bed gets a night in the box.
- Carl the Floorwalker

Goober Pea

Cool Foot Luke

"I'm shakin' it here, Boss!"

Wonderful job of adjusting the contrast and toning, Dave. Thank you.

Thank you

That's an astonishing photograph, thank you for finding and posting it!

[You're welcome. I'm hoping it will make 2008's Top 20. - Dave]

The guitarist is Buddy Moss

There's another photo from this series on Stefan Grossman's web site: prisondancer.jpg

About the watermark

Am I correct in saying that the watermark won't be found on any fine art prints I decide to buy once I'm in my new house?

PS. You do good work!

[You are correct. No watermark on the prints. And thanks! - Dave]

Re: Scans

Thanks for the info, and that's great conversion work you do- I'm currently looking into how I can make high quality b&w negative scans. A Sinar 54 is just a tad out of my price range unfortunately. =)

[A Nikon 9000 ED would not be a bad place to start. - Dave]

Great work!

I thought you had just downloaded these photos from the L of C website! Now I see that you have worked a lot on every picture, but is it necessary to put Shorpy's signature down in the corner?

[I can see where people might get that impression but there is a lot of slaving over a hot keyboard. I've posted before-and-after pics of some of the photos. The best (biggest) version of the above photo on the LOC site viewable with a Web browser is here. Compare with our full-size version here. I put the site logo on a picture if I think it will be extra-popular and seen elsewhere. Publicity for the site. - Dave]


I'm curious as to how you get such high quality b&w scans. Are you scanning negatives or prints? What kind of equipment are you using?

[Most of the 1930s and 1940s photos I post are extracted from large (20 mb to 190 mb) image files called tiffs, of scans done in the mid-1990s by a Library of Congress subcontractor in Texas. The scans, made using a Sinar 54 overhead camera, are mostly of the original negatives and transparencies. An example of the raw tiff (scaled way down) is on the left below. I adjust the contrast and toning to make the image on the right. - Dave]

Cool Hand Luke

He can dance but can he eat 50 eggs?

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