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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Rush Job: 1941

Rush Job: 1941

December 1941. Washington, D.C. "Workmen at lunch hour on emergency office space construction job." Photo by John Collier. View full size.

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Licence Plate

Zoomed in the picture is a bit fuzzy, but is that Licence Plate dated 1942?

[1941 District of Columbia license plates were good through March 31, 1942. - tterrace]

The George A. Fuller Company

The construction firm in charge of the site shown here built some of the most famous structures in America, including old Penn Station:


Having trouble here trying to figure out how a shortage of office space would constitute an emergency.

[Date and place are relevant here. - tterrace]

Drop and walk

Geez, come on! One guy is sitting ankle deep in trash, the gutter is filling up...doesn't a construction crew have at least a bucket?

Working Class: The Power of a Button

These fellows clearly take pride in being union members. No scabbing on this job. Everyone has their union button prominently displayed. That may have been a factor in politicians of that era remembering that there wasn't only a middle class, but a working class, too, who had a stake in the American Dream.

Waiting for Mess Call

There seem to be several birds sitting patiently in the tree, waiting their chance at the crumbs. Too bad that the characterless nature of wartime government architecture makes placing this photo more precisely very difficult. The buildings in the background could be anything from the Navy Annex or Henderson Hall to the tempo buildings that persisted on the National Mall until the mid-'60s.

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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