Especially note the comments at the bottom of the main article -- these are about how the old Kodak film gave better results than modern digital cameras. Having seen these images, it's hard to disagree...
Also, I find it really sad to think that all of the folks in these images -- so young and vital at the time -- are now either on their last legs or -- more probably -- have passed away.
Bummer ... my turn next ...
Kodachrome was amazing film, especially the slow but oh-so-fine-grained Kodachrome 25, I used to love that film. I reckon you'd need 25+ megapixels of digital to even come close to it. in 35mm format, let alone the 4x5" shown here. There was a link in one of the comments to the main article about how Kodak might again produce film. That would be awesome, but I can't see it happening.
The other aspect to these is how many women are shown employed in the war effort. We tend to forget about that. It was the same in Britain - I seem to remember your mom was involved in something there Max?
My mom was only 10 when the war started and 15 when it finished -- I think I once mentioned that they didn't get electricity in their house until 1943.
She lived in Sheffield, which was a big steel town in those days. Toward the end of the war it was a target for the German flying bombs ("buzz bombs") -- she said that it was when the sound cut out that you had to start worrying...
I believe Kodachrome also had great archival qualities as compared to other slide films. I wonder what the archival qualities of a flash driver are? How many years before those 1's turn to 0's, or maybe 1/2's?
Good Question -- bit it's not just 1s turning to 0s ... it's evolving file formats and media -- if you have an old data base from an old program on an 8" floppy disk for example ... good luck getting that data back :-)
Good old floppies. At my last job I kept one in my desk, and every once in awhile if an engineer stopped by to discuss something and the conversation turned to data, I'd pull the 5-1/4" floppy out while trying to integrate it into the conversation as if it were a thumb usb drive. Always got a laugh. But good point--I've got a laptop and another pc a few feet away at home, and neither could read any kind of floppy. I wonder how much safer our data will be in the "cloud"?
Have you ever read the science fiction story "A Fire Upon the Deep?" It's set way in the future at the edge of the galaxy, but it starts with people data mining old databases and stuff...
I can imagine "archaeologists" from 1000 years in the future wrestling with old data bases trying to mine information out of them...
Please, don't get me started wrt Kodachrome.
I had to mothball/scrap more than 10k$ of 35mm silver halide camera gear, because of the "new market"!
Beyond the film quality, look at the exquisitely careful lighting and posing; yes, they are "staged" shots, but so were Karsh's...
(if anyone still knows who Karsh was)
cheers, - vic
@Vic - yeah I still have all my old Olympus gear, I could get full frame of anything from the moon to a 2mm long water bug. I often wonder why no one has got into making digital backs for the old cameras. Most of the Olympus OM series had removable backs, so it shouldn't be that difficult to make a replacement back with a digital sensor and all the electonics to go with it.
Got to agree with you, I have good quality 35mm cameras and glass that work well, and medium format Mamiya body and lenses that are tack sharp high quality glass. Adapting a digital back to a camera body that was made to take different sized formats and backs would not have been difficult, and the digital sensors would take advantage of the quality construction and sharpness of the existing cameras.
Max, the comparison with digital photography is a little unfair - 4x5" film is huge, hence the quality. You don't get images like that with 35mm film.
David, there are digital backs for cameras, particularly medium format, but they are extremely expensive.
@Paul - I don't think it's that unfair a comparison - digital has still not been able to achieve the quality of these pics in my opinion - so where is the progress? I've blown up a sharp 35mm Kodachrome 25 to a 16x20 inch Cibachrome print and it's still pin sharp.
Ref digital backs - thanks for that - I am sure they would make them for things like Hasselblads, but do you know if anyone's done one for Olympus OM cameras? Expensive maybe, but compared to the cost of replacing all my lenses it probably would look good.
I've thought about getting one of the better digital SLRs - Olympus or maybe Canon - and getting an adapter ring for my Olympus OM lenses - but money's too tight even for that at the moment.... :-(
There really were a lot of ladies working in assembly, and many other roles. Many of the men were away fighting and the women stepped into the breach.
As I recall, there were problems after the war when the men came home and said "we want out jobs back" -- a lot of the ladies were enjoying their new-found financial independence and didn't want to give it up...