Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I dig history. And I dig photography. So it goes to follow that I dig old photos of people doin' stuff. Therefore, obviously, I *really* dig Shorpy., along with sister-site, have quickly become two of my favorite web sites/RSS feeds. They get the "hometown boys make good" vibe for being based about a mile from where I live (er..."lived" a month ago). But more importantly, Shorpy features old photos of everyday life. If I've read it correctly, the owners/operators of Shorpy are combing the Prints and Photographs Reading Room at the Library of Congress website, and highlighting images they find interesting. Some of my personal favorites are:


Some are so fantastic that I may buy prints of them. Or just make prints myself. I think all the photos are public domain, so there should be no copyright concerns.

Recently, the good folks at Shorpy began allowing members (free registration) to upload interesting historical photos to the site (uploaders retain ownership/copyright...see my previous posts on shitty Terms of Service). When my grandmother died in 2000, I took a computer and scanner to her house and spent hours scanning in a ton of old photos she had (since they were destined to go to her son, my uncle). Of those photos, there are a few general-interest shots that I thought would be cool to share. I posted them up to Shorpy yesterday and they're now available for your viewing pleasure.

The first is a shot of women working in what appears to be a munitions factory. The photo has a penciled-in note pointing out "Mrs. Ruth Van Fleet". She was a woman who lived with my grandmother until 1943.

Check the full sized photo and comments (if any) here

The second photo I uploaded is a shot of a group of women military cadets marching in formation. The photo was sent to my grandmother as a postcard. The date on the postmark is "May 3, 1917 6pm".

The full sized shot, text of the postcard, and comments (if any) can be seen here.

And finally, great-grandpa and his PA coal mining coworkers. Date unknown, but I'd guess early 1900s. Great-grandpa is the miner at the lower left.

Full sized here

Anyway, to avoid this post sounding like a total commercial, I guess I should say that in no way do I benefit from Shorpy. I just wanted to share a new cool find.