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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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The Whiter House: 1915

The Whiter House: 1915

March 1915. "White House, scaffolding on North Portico and east side." As part of a "Clean-Up, Paint-Up" campaign sponsored by the Master House Painters and Decorators Association, the White House and Mount Vernon each got a fresh coat of paint. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Storm windows

The mundane activity in this photo reminds me of a White House briefing that I covered in the mid-1980s, ahead of a global economic summit in Japan. Lots of foreign reporters were in the press room that day. Press Secretary Larry Speakes, as a practical joke, trotted out the late comic actor Jim Varney and introduced him to the unsuspecting throng as an economics expert who had just met with President Reagan and would take questions. Asked what he and the President had done in the meeting, Varney said (and I paraphrase) "We spent the morning puttin' up storm windows on the White House." There was great consternation until it dawned on everyone that they'd been had.

Earlier photos

of the White House always strike me as serene, given the incredible history of the place in war and peace. These days, you rarely see anyone standing about casually in conversation. They'd probably cause Secret Service consternation!

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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