SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
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Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

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Colorized photos submitted by members.

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.

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Grain to Go: 1936

Grain to Go: 1936

August 1936. "Grain elevators at Dumas, Texas." Medium format negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

All the Way from Philadelphiay

On the Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe

Prairie Skyscrapers

That's what we called them when I was growing up -- many, many years ago.

Texas sun

With the bright Texas sun, Arthur could do f/16 no problem and still have a reasonable shutter speed to handhold. The classic "sunny 16" rule says that in bright sunlight, use f/16 and an inverse of the film speed (50 asa would be 1/50) The only trouble is, back then there were Kodak speeds, Weston film speeds, and GE speeds, none of which corresponded directly to today's film speeds.

Texas WPA Guide Says ...

"The route is through wind-swept region of seemingly endless prairies to Dumas (Alt. 3,868, Pop. 700), a town born on cattle, developed on agriculture, and thriving on recent oil developments. Two large carbon black plants utilize sour gas and pour from their retorts a constant cloud of heavy black smoke, low hanging, soot laden and ugly; a dominating feature of the landscape in the vicinity."

Before spray paint

Look at the pristine sides of those boxcars!


Wow! The entire field of view is in focus.

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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