“Kodachrome! They give us those nice bright colors, they give us the greens of summers, makes you think all the world’s a sunny day” sang Paul Simon in 1973. These incredible Kodachrome transparencies shot for the Office of War Information date from a few decades earlier. Taken on the home front in the thick of the Second World War, they’ve been adjusted by the Shorpy webmaster from originals held in the Library of Congress to give us those nice bright colours Paul Simon loved.
Many feature women taking on military and manufacturing roles for the first time – cleaning a giant H-class locomotive, riveting an A-20 bomber, making gasoline trailer tanks and correcting oversights in the camouflaging of a model defence plant. They’re fascinating snapshots made even more intriguing by that eerily crisp colour and contrast.
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