The Library of Congress > Collections

Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, Calif. Shown checking electrical assemblies  (LOC)

Operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, woman is working on a "Vengeance" dive bomber, Tennessee  (LOC) At the Vermont state fair, Rutland  (LOC) Retiring a locomotive driver wheel in the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railway locomotive shops, Shopton, near Fort Madison, Iowa. The tire is heated by means of gas until it can be slipped over the wheel. Contraction on cooling will hold it firmly in p Shepherd with his horse and dog on Gravelly Range, Madison County, Montana  (LOC) Parris Island, S.C., barrage balloon  (LOC) House, Houston, Texas  (LOC) Southeastern Georgia?  (LOC) Typical southeastern Georgia farm with newly harvested field of oats  (LOC) Southern U.S.  (LOC) Typical southeastern Georgia farm with newly harvested field of oats  (LOC) Georgia oat field? Southern U.S.  (LOC) Harvesting oats, southeastern Georgia?  (LOC) Cabin in southern U.S.  (LOC) Cabin in Southern U.S.  (LOC) Cabin in Southern U.S.  (LOC) House in southern U.S.  (LOC) Spreading fertilizer from 4-mule team wagon, Georgia  (LOC) Commuters, who have just come off the train, waiting for the bus to go home, Lowell, Mass.  (LOC) Factory buildings in Lowell, Mass.  (LOC) Brockton, Mass., Dec. 1940, second-hand plumbing store  (LOC)

These vivid color photos from the Great Depression and World War II capture an era generally seen only in black-and-white. Photographers working for the United States Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later the Office of War Information (OWI) created the images between 1939 and 1944.

We invite your tags and comments! Also, more identification information. (The current titles come from the agency's original documentation, which was sometimes incomplete.)

The FSA/OWI pictures depict life in the United States, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, with a focus on rural areas and farm labor, as well as aspects of World War II mobilization, including factories, railroads, aviation training, and women working.

The original images are color transparencies ranging in size from 35 mm. to 4x5 inches. They complement the better-known black-and-white FSA/OWI photographs, made during the same
period.

The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division preserves
the original photographs and offers the digital copies to ensure their wide availability.

For more information about the collection and to see the approximately 171,000 black-and-white photos, visit:www.loc.gov/pictures/collectio n/fsac/

1,615 photos | 3,608,251 views



Comments on this set

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hello daisy! says:

Wow, this collection is amazing- I could easily and happily spend hours browsing through them. Thank you for making these available!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Robert & Kristin says:

Love these photos. Thanks for making these available!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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dcschaub says:

Amazing! What a resource to have readily available.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Mixmaster says:

being vivid color photos makes these absolutely stunning and unique
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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davidoRex says:

Agreed. A great revelation.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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stephenhyun says:

These photos make me really happy.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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John Shao says:

This is an amazing undertaking - I hope we'll see more collections, and I hope you'll consider keeping them around :)
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Clare A was W says:

I think I just died and went to heaven!! Thank you soooo much!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Ken-ichi says:

The colors in these photos are breathtaking. They make the past look all the more alien for being more real. Dispatches from the Uncanny Valley.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Chris Arace says:

These collections clearly illustrate the beauty and purpose of the internet. Flickr we thank you for opening up the archives and getting involved to further the education and interests of so many people in the world. A true revolution in the way we can view/learn about one another.

Bravo.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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solsticeviolet says:

I have never been able to truly envision this era in color, and now I CAN. I cannot tell you how amazing and insightful this is to me! I hope you continue adding similar collections to Flickr. What a great resource and a joy to see.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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derekreeve says:

I couldn't agree more with the previous comments. These photos are an excellent resource for art and history.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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lastleaf says:

It's such a joy to see these photos, and so important for posterity.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Valendon says:

Thank you. Just 'thank you' for making these available, and thank you for sharing them on Flickr. I've only begun to skim the surface, but many of these pictures stand on their own, not just as priceless historical documents (which they are) but as wonderful photos.

Let's see if we can get some of them on the Explore pages...
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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vercellink says:

Thanks for sharing with us this collection.

I have discovered The Library Congress Archive last year and I have spent hours on www.loc.gov/index.html because those pictures are really interesting.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Fanny Brown Rice says:

Wow and thank you Library of Congress for sharing these here. I am ravished and feel lucky to have such an amazing resource at my fingertips. Goosebumps! I wouldn't have guessed I'd find the material online. Wonderful.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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.Kai says:

That is such a great idea. It will be a long night for me. The first samples I flipped through were amazing.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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George Pollard says:

What an absolutely wonderful collection! I hope the scheme is a big success and more collections are added soon.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Photon Fiend says:

great idea to make all of this public. Please keep it up and upload more collections
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Miss_Robot says:

Thank you so much for posting these!! There is no better reference for history, fashion, and lifestyle, than collections such as this. I hope there are more to come!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Emily Barney says:

Now I have something to do as I listen to my library school assignments, and it's actually kind of related!

I'll be so glad to be able to sort through Library of Congress photos by film/negative type - if only I could persuade someone to batch add these kinds of tags / metadata to the other collections. But then I wouldn't have to look at all these pretty pictures as I go. :)
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Briggate.com says:

Thank you so much for making these photos available here. Although I have not yet managed to visit the USA I have studied the photos of the FSA project in detail and have almost every book on the subject. It is wonderful to be able to refer my flickr friends and contacts to some of the images that so inspire me.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

MÔÔNÇhyld [deleted] says:

Simply stunning legacy of life in images!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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weg3 says:

It is absolutely incredible to see all of these pictures...what a great idea to put them up on Flickr for all to see!!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

13_mal_q [deleted] says:

Amazing...!

:-)
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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tjwilde says:

This is such an amazing resource for artists, writers, and historians. Thank you!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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rmcarrier1 says:

Library of Congress: Thank you!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Maly B. says:

I am so happy to see this collection here!
Thank you! It is amazing !
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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exit78 says:

These images are great! However, they have been available on the Library of Congress website for several years. www.loc.gov
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Liberté, Égalité, Safari says:

These are fantastic! I'm so happy to see such a powerful and at times even provocative collecation. Kudos LOC!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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victoriafee says:

amazing... what a good idea to put them on flickr. hope to see more!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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missapril1956 says:

Thanks for sharing our heritage with the world.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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gerardavid says:

This is a breakthrough for libraries and technology! I also see it as an opportunity for some really rich intergenerational work -- grandparents and grandkids -- seniors in nursing homes with kids with no grandparents etc etc. Kids of today's generation are born mouse-in-hand and what an opportunity to put their skills to use while building a relationship!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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jj03ker says:

great
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

sodapop1231 [deleted] says:

I agree with some other comments, it really changes your perception to see such clear images of the era. After seeing this collection I think I can see history in a different light.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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djbones says:

Everybody at the LOC, thank you SO much for making these images available to us. You are doing an amazing public service.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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My name's axel says:

Thank you, thank you for bringing back Time.Now, I can loose myself in the past once again.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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jelens says:

Thank you for share this images with all us!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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@BAM_S says:

Very special project!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Stan W. \\ pause photographique says:

yeaahh super, amazing pics, very nice idea!!
great job!!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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toscky says:

WoW!!!

from Italy.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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zona di fotographia says:

Just a great idea...
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Vlad A says:

Incredible piece of history. Thank you for this amazing project.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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Stew Stryker says:

Excellent project. Thanks for sharing these. I'm such an idiot that I didn't even know color photos were taken back in the '30-40s!

Good luck on the project.

Hey I just had another idea. What if people who knew the areas could place the photos on the Flickr map? Unfortunately Flickr doesn't permit that, but wouldn't it be amazing to have most of these located somewhere besides Washington DC?
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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carouselle10 says:

Photos such as these are the closest thing we have to time travel. I know I'll be spending a lot of time with these.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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sylkyred1 says:

Truly amazing, the entire set! Thank you for bringing this to all of us.
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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artpease says:

Wow - what a great set of photos and neat tools to work with. You folks need to make sure that teachers, especially of geography and US History, know about this resource!
Posted 76 months ago. ( permalink )

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pronetos says:

It would be cool to have the black and white FSA photos up here. Possibly the LOC could start with groupings from the western states? All of the photos were captioned with notes written by the photographers themselves, but often those field notes are not attached to the photos online. If the photos were available, scholars could fill in the blanks . . .
Posted 75 months ago. ( permalink )

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pronetos says:

It would be cool to have the black and white FSA photos up here. Possibly the LOC could start with groupings from the western states? All of the photos were captioned with notes written by the photographers themselves, but often those field notes are not attached to the photos online. If the photos were available, scholars and interested parties could fill in the blanks . . .
Posted 75 months ago. ( permalink )

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ultramarineblue says:

This is the coolest thing ever!!! LOVE it!
Posted 75 months ago. ( permalink )

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RIPizzo says:

Amazing collection !!
This is a great idea - to bring similar photos together.

Well done.
Posted 75 months ago. ( permalink )

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L A I D L E R says:

Truly amazing for so many reasons
Posted 75 months ago. ( permalink )

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Pulp_Affliction says:

Best. Flickr. Set. Ever.
Posted 75 months ago. ( permalink )

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pixelnaiad says:

More Please! Thankyou, wonderful resource and look into the past!
Posted 75 months ago. ( permalink )

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Antonia Quest Photography/Larry Moore--Thanks says:

I just found the LOC Flickr program by accident. Information about this pilot program should be made available top all Flickr members.

I am so happy to have these great photos available. I love viewing them.
Posted 75 months ago. ( permalink )

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Gnarlodious says:

It is a huge amount of work to scan, process and upload all this celluloid. Money well spent. Thank you for making these fine photos available to the general public. This is an excellent example of what the internet is for.
Posted 74 months ago. ( permalink )

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solarcea says:

From one photo archivist to another, WOW! Job well done! I'm also very grateful that you made these images available on the public domain as it is so very important to preserve and utilize our visual history. BRAVO!!
Posted 74 months ago. ( permalink )

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Julianne Lien says:

Best idea I've seen in long time. Wonderful, but large number is daunting. Perhaps if collection were broken down into sets by state, commonwealth and territory it would make browsing easier.

Kudos to all who put this together! Thank you.
Posted 74 months ago. ( permalink )

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trialsanderrors says:

Excellent photos. The only drawback is that the files are too small. The LoC website has archival TIFFs that are roughly 7000x5000 pixels, but they're up to 200 megabytes, so it takes forever to download them. Large-sized high-quality JPEGs or PNGs would be a big improvement!
Posted 74 months ago. ( permalink )

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almostmls says:

It's Rosie the Riveter!
Posted 74 months ago. ( permalink )

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torriseng says:

Stunning pictures! Thank you for bringing these to the public. It's like traveling in a time machine (as if I know how that would be like...). World heritage is a keyword. Keep up this great work.
Posted 74 months ago. ( permalink )

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dianainguitar says:

喜欢!
Posted 73 months ago. ( permalink )

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Josh Oakhurst says:

Thanks for making these available. It's great the LBoC has a Flickr account. Soo cool.
Posted 73 months ago. ( permalink )

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croqueta0 says:

An mamazing work, thanks to share it wiyh us.
Posted 72 months ago. ( permalink )

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julz91 says:

They are amazing. I always forget that color photography was around in this era - I'm so used to seeing it as black and white. Thanks for these wonderful works.
Posted 72 months ago. ( permalink )

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Benjamin Alijagić says:

Great pictures.
Posted 71 months ago. ( permalink )

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KeeKee2 says:

Absolutely amazing to think that was only 60 to 70 years ago. Those pictures make it more real. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.
Posted 71 months ago. ( permalink )

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coursgratuits.net says:

Very good hisory pictures
Posted 70 months ago. ( permalink )

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Otkuda! (Gone sometimes) says:

What a treasure, this is incredible! Personally, I find the industrial pictures breathtaking. Also the 'Rosie the Riveter'-pics are great, really informative! Thank you!
Posted 69 months ago. ( permalink )

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mistranslatedcap says:

A fantastic collection!
Posted 69 months ago. ( permalink )

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Pet_r says:

Wonderful restoration work on informationally rich, valuable and often beautiful content ! Unique indeed.
Posted 69 months ago. ( permalink )

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Spirit of Boz says:

amazing set !
Posted 68 months ago. ( permalink )

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Branddobbe says:

I love this set! When are we going to see more from it?
Posted 68 months ago. ( permalink )

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johanbl says:

Incredible set. Interesting to see how vivid the past becomes when we can see it in colour. The pictures posted have an excellent quality. Some are real master pieces.
Posted 66 months ago. ( permalink )

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airwhale says:

These are pictures with a purpose, I'm sure. They are stunningly beautiful, many times staged for composition and lighting, but their real purpose is to show any enemy (Hitler, Mussolini, the Emperor of Japan) that they will get their asses kicked. It's an end-to-end documentation of the glorious US war machine - fit and able youngsters work side by side with skilled engineers and craftsmen, from the mines, to the transportation by rail to the foundries, creation and assembly of awesome machines - lots of them. It's also showing that the girls/wives are doing their part on the home front - a nation united. The images of wonderful farmland speaks loudly - we're not running out of food for our troops any time soon! ...and man, it IS an impressive show of force indeed. (Not to mention the spectacular photography. Please remember that we all have better equipment than these guys had :-)
Posted 66 months ago. ( permalink )

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robertjkeil says:

Thank you for making this material available. These images are so important to our shared history.
Posted 65 months ago. ( permalink )

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yvso08 says:

I think those photos are a fantastic reminder of all those things that has passed!
Posted 65 months ago. ( permalink )

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LizBallerPhotos says:

Thank you for posting these beautiful preserved photos.
Posted 64 months ago. ( permalink )

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Plastic Madness says:

This collection is priceless!! Congratulations to Flickr/Yahoo! and Library of Congress for sharing these. For those interested, some of these pictures (and lots of others) can be found also at the site www.ww2incolor.com, which is rich and resourceful as much.
Posted 63 months ago. ( permalink )

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Dan K ™ says:

Just stunning.
Posted 62 months ago. ( permalink )

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keshlam says:

Is there any way to turn off the comment boxes? They're completely obscuring the images, to the point where I've given up on trying to view the set.
Posted 61 months ago. ( permalink )

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history_aficionado says:

It's just a pity that the pictures are covered with mindless and inane comments. Otherwise they're a fantastic collection.
Posted 61 months ago. ( permalink )

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laurelr1018 says:

What a wonderful collection! Thank you for sharing these!!!
Posted 61 months ago. ( permalink )

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star_cosmos_bleu says:

A fantastic collection...totally a historic journey...i could get my eyes off the screen so i was so absorb by all the captures......superb ..what more could one say....
Posted 61 months ago. ( permalink )

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Joseph Khakshouri says:

What a treasure! Thank you for making this so easily accessible!
Posted 60 months ago. ( permalink )

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Claudio © says:

Magnificas fotografías históricas.
Posted 59 months ago. ( permalink )

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FERRAN1967 says:

Una experiencia visual impresionante. Colores y texturas indelebles. Felicidades!!!!!
Posted 59 months ago. ( permalink )

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Subliminale says:

Superba raccolta storica congratulazioni!!!
Posted 58 months ago. ( permalink )

::mobiusfaith:: before & after [deleted] says:

This whole set is really, I mean REALLY amazing!!!!
Posted 57 months ago. ( permalink )

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grace@brusa says:

Bellissima, grazie per averla condivisa su internet. Alcune foto le conoscevo già, ma così raccolte non le avevo mai viste.
Grandioso progetto.
Posted 57 months ago. ( permalink )

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eeprom_one says:

cool!
Posted 56 months ago. ( permalink )

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KaraJoe..Peace and Joy says:

One of the best set's I seen
Posted 56 months ago. ( permalink )

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Tony_G7 says:

Wow..Wow!!!! Truly Amazing captures of life in stunning color. Wonderful photographic gems.
Posted 54 months ago. ( permalink )

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claren44 says:

An amazing peek at an era I thought I knew. The color adds so much. Thx to all the hard-working Gov't employees who preserved & digitized these!
Posted 51 months ago. ( permalink )

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Jon Sagara says:

These are pure gold. Thanks for sharing!
Posted 50 months ago. ( permalink )

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mr. Wood says:

great-great set! thank you!
Posted 49 months ago. ( permalink )

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Un Milonguero Mejicano says:

A splendid collection that help to recall those times| Thank you!!!
Posted 49 months ago. ( permalink )

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zerega says:

Part of the collection in German:

einestages.spiegel.de/external/ShowTopicAlbumBackground/a...
Posted 45 months ago. ( permalink )

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julielarkey says:

words cant describe, wow, felt like i was just at a old family reunion and got to meet my ancestors, ty, we take for granted everything we have today, they had soo much less and made the best of it, they had soo much more strife and took in stride, not like us, ty, ty ty.. start my day off with a new smile and sense of pride, gratitude and peace.
Posted 44 months ago. ( permalink )

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Jon's Digital Darkroom says:

Jon D 53, Great part of history that should be preserved and enjoyed by everyone. Nice to knowthere was a little color in such dark times!
Posted 43 months ago. ( permalink )

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Davide Caravella says:

Thank you for your great work! I knew that era by only black and white photos. Somehow seem closer to our everyday life.
Posted 42 months ago. ( permalink )

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Eclairs - Davide Bignotti says:

thank you
Posted 39 months ago. ( permalink )

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BaSH PR0MPT says:

There are some absolutely amazing photos in this set, and a lot of talented commentors too. Been prowling around this comment list to evaluate my peers. If anyone reading this wants to friend me, or add me on Twitter (@bashpr0mpt) feel free to hit me up, always looking to meet new folks. :)
Posted 35 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flussreiter says:

Love this set.
Posted 30 months ago. ( permalink )

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ArtFromPixels says:

Does anyone know of any tutorials for this? I've done it before in Photoshop by being told what colors the owner "thought" they were but these look like there's a systematic way of figuring out which colors go where.

~
Posted 30 months ago. ( permalink )

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johanbl says:

@12strings According to the text of this set the pictures are originally in color, which is possible, color film was rare but existed already.
Posted 30 months ago. ( permalink )

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johnnymnemonic26 says:

Stunning pictures I should say. Anyone knows what type of camera had been used on this? 30-40s era have rare colored pics, but judging from the pic above with dark background, how did the color stand out? Anyone know how to duplicate this "color" results using Photoshop or Gimp?

~techie
Posted 25 months ago. ( permalink )

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johnsbrana says:

Love this set. The pictures are amazing!
Posted 24 months ago. ( permalink )

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The Daring Librarian says:

LOVE these, thank you for opening your vaults for our benefit - and for my students, too! LOVE THESE!
~Gwyneth Jones
The Daring Librarian
Posted 22 months ago. ( permalink )

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M.J. Finn says:

Thanks so much for posting all of these great treasures.
Posted 21 months ago. ( permalink )

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moelauher says:

The Library of Congress is the greatest assembly of human knowledge there is.
Posted 21 months ago. ( permalink )

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Salman1993 says:

Awesome pics .. Amazingly Sharp ! www.howtoeditvideos.org
Posted 21 months ago. ( permalink )

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futuremoviestar says:

what is so amazing about these photos is how clean the planet looks even amongst the urban squalor or vacated, lonely outpost, the sky and surroundings lack today's taint and overuse of people having been there and done that. there is a pristine loveliness in all of these classic photos taken at time when the rush and wasting of it was of no concern to anyone. the thought never occurred. the day took as long as it took which in these cases was forever. to go back in time for just a moment of two.
wonderful stuff and thanks to those whom made this happen.
Posted 19 months ago. ( permalink )

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Pagan Moth says:

wonderful
Posted 19 months ago. ( permalink )

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Sorcha333 says:

These are so excellent! What a window on the past. Even though there are so many shots, I took my time to look at each and every frame and found it very enjoyable to see street life in New England in the 1940s (I wasn't born yet myself).
Posted 18 months ago. ( permalink )

fukyondo [deleted] says:

THank you Thank you ! for these.
Posted 17 months ago. ( permalink )

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dcstep says:

Incredible set. Thanks for making these readily available. They're particularly stunning in the Slideshow, Full-Screen mode.
Posted 16 months ago. ( permalink )

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Genevra Valvo says:

An amazing collection!
Posted 16 months ago. ( permalink )

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Beki Gallery says:

:)
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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st_nichol@ymail.com says:

Wait a minute— Where are all the shots of round blobs of humans with chunks of fat rolling out of their tight shorts while waddling around at the fair? And what's up with everyone dressing so nice and individually? Why isn't everyone in a tee shirt with the style statement being what company you've been suckered into being a billboard for?
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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savanapridi says:

Amazing. Can't wait to see a 1920's set.
Posted 8 months ago. ( permalink )

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