SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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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Hot Tub: 1938

Hot Tub: 1938

July 1938. "Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Scene in the alley on the east side of town." (A photographer? And the Internet? Please go away!) 35mm negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

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Must be Saturday

The line forms at the top.

Laundry day

You're supposed to take the clothes off before you wash them.

Taking turns

My mom who was born in 1910 once told me that when she was a child, many people did not have hot running water and it had to be pumped and then heated on the stove. She said that on Saturday nights most kids got their weekly bath and they went in order of age, either the youngest first and then up the line or vice versa. Either way, it seems pointless to bathe in someone else's used bath water and being fully dressed while bathing could not have been a thorough cleansing. We are so spoiled.


I'd guess it was a way a way to get cool.

Today some dog owners put out baby pools for their pets, on at least the same principle. Evaporation causes cooling.

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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