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.

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Left Hanging: 1939

Left Hanging: 1939

January 1939. "Clean clothes. Carrier Mills, Saline County, Illinois." Photo by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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Eclectic collection of rusty ol NYC hopper cars

A CCC&STL "Big Four" lettered hopper car along with NYC 134671, an offset side hopper with early style shallow "clamshell" center doors. An eclectic collection of workaday New York Central Railroad coal haulers.

Neat stuff from the days of yore when even rusty old train cars had character.

Hung out to dry

In spite of obvious hard times, someone is working hard to provide clean clothes for the family. Hope things got better for them.


Ignoble labor produces a purification of the neighborhood.

Dual purpose

Also handy for folks who are shy about using the facilities.

"I'll just hang some wash out on the line."

"At ten o'clock at night??"

Dual Purpose outhouse and clothesline holder

I like the path worn in the dust to necessary room. Used frequently, I see. Cold quick trip in the Illinois winter I imagine. Brrr!

Clean coal

Naturally, the proximity of all that anthracite had no effect on the ultimate appearance of that wet laundry.

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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