World War II 4X5 Colour Photos

Registered: Feb 03, 2009
Total Posts: 744
Country: Australia

Forgive me if you have seen these before. It is a fascinating window into the fairly recent past:

From one of my email partners....

Amazing quality!!

Back in the mid '70s when I was working at Hellers Camera in Bethesda Md. I had a reference book with a color photo of the battleship Pennsylvania in an advanced base sectional dock, somewhere in the Pacific in about 1944. The quality of the photo made it clear that it was shot with a large format camera, which puzzled me since I did not think Kodachrome (the only modern color film of the time in the US ) was available in sheet films. A guy I worked with was an old Kodak hand (and WWII vet, a radioman in Europe) and told me that they did have sheet Kodachrome, and that there was only one machine to process the film, located in Rochester . The exposed film was sent there for processing.
And note the almost complete lack of basic safety equipment. I saw only one pair of safety glasses, and only a few of the workers were wearing gloves. Working without gloves around sheet metal is an injury waiting to happen.

Notice most of the woman had lip stick and nail polish on. WWII could not have been won without the woman of America stepping into men's shoes to build the equipment needed to defeat the axis powers.

Fascinating! Some of these these images are 70 years old and look as fresh as ever. If someone had told any of the subjects in these photos that we'd have such a clear look at them in the year 2012... Boggles my mind. Thought you'd find this interesting !

Registered: Mar 08, 2008
Total Posts: 5366
Country: United States

Fascinating, indeed

Registered: Jan 01, 2008
Total Posts: 595
Country: United States

I've seen these before but still love reviewing them. The lighting in some of these seems strobist-esque. I wonder what he was using for light back then. Great stuff.

Registered: Jun 29, 2008
Total Posts: 4093
Country: United States

There are large collections of these types of photos, all are simply fantastic. These appear to be a small set from the larger 365 photo set in the Shorpy Collection. Look about 1/10 of the way down the page under Kodachromes.


Registered: Sep 20, 2012
Total Posts: 4
Country: Canada

Amazing collection! Thanks for posting.

Registered: Oct 07, 2011
Total Posts: 683
Country: United States

Great collection of pictures. I consult at Corpus Christi NAS and there are many similar photos on the walls near my office that are amazing to look at.

Registered: Mar 08, 2008
Total Posts: 5366
Country: United States

On my second look, notice the relative absence of obesity

Registered: Feb 21, 2010
Total Posts: 129
Country: Canada

These are awesome!! Looks like they were taken yesterday

Registered: Feb 11, 2012
Total Posts: 66
Country: United States

Unbelievable quality!

Registered: May 21, 2008
Total Posts: 2711
Country: United States

Fantastic!!! What a generation!
Keith W.

Registered: Jul 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1212
Country: N/A

From the looks of most of these.. They give the impression of planned/posed shots for publicity.

Excellent images nonetheless. Fascinating to read and view.

Registered: Jan 11, 2012
Total Posts: 212
Country: United States

I think that Alfred Palmer was a heck of a good photographer!

Registered: Dec 13, 2010
Total Posts: 144
Country: United States

I agree that these looked planned, given how perfect the lighting is.Some women are even wearing nail polish while revitting. All exceptional historical time captures of when America truly came together for a just cause. We will ever have a similar time?