I.T.D. (Information Technology Divisions) The Beginning
The byline for this blog is 'Question Everything'. So often in modern society we simple accept things as fact. It wouldn't be on a news stand or a television if someone wasn't looking out for our best interest, so everything they tell us must be true. Sadly, I have learned the exact opposite. Pretty much everything the media tells us is a lie.
We are trained to live in the here-and-now. How we got here and where the arch of our history might be taking us isn't stressed much these days. If you start to plan ahead and think about tomorrow you become harder to control.
If you live on the Gulf Coast and actually plan for that hurricane that will likely hit you in the next 5 years, you might stock up on water, sand bags and plywood window coverings. That means you will be spending less money on Hummers, Twinkies and Flat Screen televisions. Live NOW, spend NOW, be FREE! Marketing is a cruel joke in some ways.
Which is why I find myself drawn more and more to a website that really does give me perspective. The website is called Shorpy. The names comes from the young 12 year old boy in the first photograph they ever published.
This is a Photo Blog of nothing but old photographs in High Resolution. These are photos from the 1850s through the 1950. They usually post about 4 a day. Most of the photographs are stunning, but when you view them in Full Resolution, something magical happens. You can actually step into them. Unlike photography after WWII, cameras from this era used huge negatives, which gave a level of detail that is almost impossible even in today’s digital age.
You will never see most of these pictures, because they are tucked away in archives and are not easily found by the public. Even if you could find them, you would have to blow them up to see all the detail. Shorpy does that for you.
So what is the magic? When you look at the detail, you realize something. These people are us. The expressions on their faces, their walk, their hopes and their despair are all evident. They are all us. We haven't changed over the years. Only the trappings that we surround ourselves with have changed.
You won't see any electronics in these pictures. No telephone poles, no plastic, no air conditioning. Society may have been simpler back then, but there were still problems and there was still hope. The blog photo above shows a 'calculating room' of the Federal Government where rows of women (and men) toil endlessly on adding machines to calculate the amount of bonus checks for soldiers. There are no computer screens, no cubicles, no fancy desks...only a supervisor that literally stands behind them and watches them work. Still want to bitch about your current job?
And Shorpy? His name was Shorpy Higginbotham and he was a little kid photographed to document working conditions in the mining industry in 1910. He was 12 years old and worked in a coal mine for 10 hours a day. We will never know what became of him, but we can see the resolve in his face. Did he die of old age in a Pasadena nursing home or did he loose his life on the beaches of Anzio? Doesn’t really matter. I still see his expression on other peoples faces every day.
Clicking the title of the blog or clicking here will take you to the full size view of 'Calculating Room'. For a better perspective, browse their blog. It is well worth your time.