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About the Photos

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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Big Box: 1906

Big Box: 1906

Louisville, Kentucky, circa 1906. "Columbia Building, Fourth and Main." An interesting look at the gritty environment of the urban horse. And maybe a record for the number of insulators on one tree in a Shorpy photo. View full size.

 

Look at all those windows!

I imagine the owners of this property employed their own full time sign painter to letter each window and most likely all the interior doors throughout this huge building. Great work and not an easy task.

Perspective

What a great picture for teaching the principles of perspective and vanishing points. All those straight lines ...

Top floor wiring

Note the lines running up to that little crossarm on the top floor. Oh to be a lineman back then.

1890-1966

Built 1890, razed 1966, replaced with BB&T Bldg, 1972.

L H & St. L

That would be the Louisville, Henderson and Saint Louis Railroad, I do believe, though it's difficult to imagine why they would want their top-floor view blocked with their own initials.

Thomas Dufficy

Thomas Dufficy, Thomas Dufficy & Co., 512 W. Main, St. Louis, Died 1911.

Windows 06

Can someone explain why the businesses on the upper floors would paint the name of their company on the windows? Seems to me you'd have to be standing inside an equally tall building across the street or a bird in order to actually see these glass lettered signs.

[The building is on a hill, so whatever is up there would be visible from quite a distance. - Dave]

 
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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