Most Amish today will not pose for a photograph. Considering it a violation of the Second Commandment, which prohibits the making of "graven images," the Amish believe any physical representation of themselves (whether a photograph, a painting, or film) promotes individualism and vanity, taking away from the values of community and humility by which they govern their lives. Occasionally, Amish people did have their photos taken, as you can see with the couple in the first image who likely went to a studio for their portrait in 1875. But by the time photography became popular in America in the mid-19th century and photographers and researchers armed with cameras began appearing in Amish communities, most Amish objected to appearing in or posing for photographs entirely.
The images in this gallery were all taken between 1875 and 1942.
The life story of Aimee Semple McPherson, religious evangelist instrumental in bringing conservative Protestantism into mainstream culture.
An updated look at the Alabama tenant farmer families that Walker Evans and James Agee documented in their 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning book.
A look at five real-life "Rosies," the reality of working in defense plants during World War II and then having to give up those jobs for returning GIs.
The internationally famous carnival of delights in New York was the birthplace of the hot dog and the roller coaster.
The Chiricahua Apache medicine man and warrior who refused to accept white man's 'civilization.' Part of The Wild West collection.
Silent film actress Mary Pickford played a pivotal role in bringing Hollywood into the center of the motion picture industry.
In 1936 Angie Debo uncovered the U.S. government's theft of Native Americans' oil rich lands in Indian Territories of Oklahoma.
At the height of segregation, an unlikely alliance between a black medical genius and a white surgeon led to a pioneering medical breakthrough.