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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American Dream: 1942

American Dream: 1942

February 1942. Akron, Ohio. Firestone Rubber. "Conversion. Beverage containers to aviation oxygen cylinders. After shatterproof oxygen cylinders for high altitude flying have passed all tests in the metal division of a large Eastern rubber factory, hot air is blown through the cylinders to remove all trace of moisture. The cylinders are then sealed and stacked for painting." 4x5 nitrate negative by Alfred Palmer for the Office of War Information. View full size.

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Air mortars

I used to work in the special effects craft for the movie industry, and these tanks, when we could find them, made great air cannons. We'd cut a two-inch hole in one end, and weld on a half-coupling. To this would be connected a big ball-valve, with an air ram and solenoid valve rigged onto it, so we could remotely "dump" the tank instantly. Often there would be a big funnel screwed to the ball-valve's outlet, and with lightweight debris loaded into the funnel, you could safely simulate an explosion, like a mortar hit on a battlefield.

Farktory Job

Private Enterprise

An enterprising company (Sanborn) bought a bunch of these after the war and used them to make portable air compressors. I used to own one.


I think I have seen pictures of these alien pod things before.

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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