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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Union Street: 1942

Union Street: 1942

Boys with football at N and Union Streets S.W., Washington D.C. Autumn 1942. The scene at Shulman's Market, back when T-shirts were regarded as underwear and people wore actual clothes. View full size. Photograph by Louise Rosskam.

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Not quite

I'm assuming you mean the boy to the left in the brown pants. Those aren't sweatpants, they're corduroy slacks.

[Sweatpants? Huh? The caption is saying people dressed nicer then than they do now. - Dave]

jus sayin is the "i fine (find) it hard to belive (believe)" tipster the same who had to educate us on the fact EBAY didnt' exist in 1921?

jus sayin

- Destardi

[Anonymous Tipster is the generic username assigned by the system to anybody who's not logged in. - Dave]

Sign posts

Metal has been around for some time now.

I fine it hard to belive

That's not all we find hard to believe. Look -- here it is again! The lamppost and car -- also made of metal.

I fine it hard to belive

I fine it hard to belive that a stop sign would have a metal pole in 1943.


Hard as it may be to believe, the streets of Washington (especially in Anacostia) were never segregated. As we see in the other pictures here by Louise Rosskam, the black and white kids hung out together.


The girl off on the sidewalk is particularly interesting, she probably got in trouble for being there watching the boys (black boys no less, oh the scandal of it as she appears to be white and this was a very segregated time)when/if her mother found out.


I see knickers had not completely disappeared. Now they are back, but called warmup pants.


No doubt their parents were constantly complaining about how they always dressed like hoodlums. Like, whatever happened to powdered wigs already?

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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