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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

Cincinnati: 1915

Cincinnati: 1915

Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1915. "View from Mount Adams." At right, a streetcar on the incline railway; the Union Central Insurance tower rises in the distance. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Cass Gilbert's Contributions

The architect of the Union Central Life Insurance Building was Cass Gilbert, originally of St. Paul and later New York. In the same year that he completed this 495-foot tall building, he also finished his most famous work, the 792-foot tall Woolworth Building in New York. This means that as of 1913, Cass Gilbert was the designer of the tallest building in New York and the (2nd) tallest building outside New York. Not bad!

$245K

According to Zillow, 395 Oregon Street, the house the kids are playing in front of, was built in 1871. It's listed at $245,000. The entire block could have probably been bought for less than that when the picture was taken.

395 Oregon Street

The house next to the tracks next appears to be still there on Oregon Street. The Mount Adams & Eden Park incline is gone -- you can still see the foundations in the satellite views.

Picture pulled from from Google Maps Street view and edited to correct angular distortion. The engineer who designed this (H Lane) was pretty inventive.

Union Central

The Union Central building is now the PNC Tower. Originally it was the headquarters of the Union Central Life Insurance Company. When it was completed in 1913 it was the second tallest building outside of New York.

I worked for Union Central for 38 years and had access to archival photos of the tower, some taken while it was being erected. I remember seeing a photo of the building engineer, standing on one of the railings at the top, arms folded & looking quite proud of himself, as if he had built the structure himself. I wish i had made of copy it.

Lots of smoke in this photo, and a fantastic shot of the Mount Adams Incline! Love the group of boys playing in the foreground.

A Real-Life Our Gang

"Lets go play a game of freeze-tag under the tracks."

There's nothing quite like being a kid and growing up in a city. There's an adventure around every corner.

Be calm.

A good head for heights was needed on this streetcar. Wide open it afforded good views but not for the nervous. I could not find the dentist but water towers there are in plenty. The king of which are here:

 
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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