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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • GEORGE WASHINGTON CROSSING THE PIES

No Parking: 1906

No Parking: 1906

DON'T HITCH HERE, the signs say. But where is "here"? The year is circa 1906. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size. UPDATE: It took only 13 minutes for an astute Shorpster to give us not only the location (Madison Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee), but also a current photo.

 

Ruined

Re Soren's comment, it does generally seem to be the case that whenever we get a before and after here, the old photo has more life, at least in the streets, and outside of NYC. Beautiful photos he's brought us.

In regard to this pair in particular, one of the most striking things to me is how the tall building has been utterly ruined. That groove on the side was essential; with it gone, the building is no longer elegant but squat, and throwing that junk on the top adds to the insult. UGH!

[Darn fire codes. - Dave]

Anybody want to buy a vowel?

All the EEEs you need are in the four-story building on the right.

The kid on the bike

Seems to be the only one who knows his picture is being taken.

Filled In

Have they closed off the portion of the Madison building that dipped in or are my eyes having some massive perception problems?

Comparison of then to now

One thing that struck me was how much more life the old picture has then the new one? Of course this could be explained by circumstance like day of week, time of day etc. but that was my first strong impression. Nice photo, the first one.

Midcentury New York street photography

I just discovered Shorpy today and I must say it's an incredible find.

My contribution comes on behalf of my Grandfather, Frank Oscar Larson. A little of a year ago my mother, while sifting through old boxes, came across a box of negatives taken by Frank in the 1950s. Frank was a banker by profession, but an avid photographer on the side. I've sorted, scanned and worked them into a website. I hope you find it interestind.

http://www.franklarsonphotos.com/index.htm

His work is now on display at The Perfect Exposure Gallery in Los Angeles.

Best, Soren Larson

[The photos are amazing! Shorpy says check them out. - Dave]

Post no bills

I have to chuckle when I look at the telephone pole -- it is as covered with stuff back in 1906 as it would be today. And some of them look like the same stuff! I see that there is a wallpaper company in town as well.

Interestingly enough it looks like whatever crossbars that were supposed to be on the pole have either been removed or not installed yet.

[It's not a telephone pole. It's a support for streetcar wires. - Dave]

Then why the cutouts further up the pole ( the square notches) also this looks like it was not a refined piece of work. Note the "y" at the very top. This looks like a tree that was adapted as a pole... in somewhat of a hurry.

"You go first"

he said, as they headed for those precarious fire escape ladders.

+102 (Memphis)

Below is the same view (looking west on Madison Avenue from November 6 Street, Memphis) taken in August of 2008.

"But where is here?"

It's over by the curb to the right of the kid on the bike.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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