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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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Hung Out to Dry: 1937

Hung Out to Dry: 1937

New Orleans circa 1937. "Courtyard, 620-621 Gov. Nicholls Street." Potted plants and underpants. 8x10 negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.

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It's the wrong state, but the overture would surely be Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess." The courtyard immediately reminded me of the set of the New York City Opera's production that I saw about 35 years ago.

I hear the overture

But I don't recognize it. Surely, an opera is about to break out.

In the days before building codes

a lucky horseshoe would get you by.

Blown out

The holes in those undershorts attest to the absolute power of New Orleans cuisine.

An interesting abode

but I don't think I'd want to live there, especially with the bad luck horseshoe.


Those undergarments seem to be quite well ventilated.

Holy, holy, holy

The underwear, I mean.

Vesuvius Street

Slightly reminiscent of Pompeii, except parts of Pompeii are better preserved.


The term 'threadbare' is often used in literature. Now I have a stark visual display.

No more clotheslines

This appears to be the building in question - evidently the neighbourhood has gone upscale.

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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