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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 • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Cleared for Takeoff: 1911

Cleared for Takeoff: 1911

Washington, D.C., or vicinity circa 1911. "Flights and tests of Rex Smith plane flown by Antony Jannus." Aviation 100 years ago, and another look at the biplane seen here and here. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

The Gyro Motor Company and Emile Berliner

Recently I stumbled upon a building in the alleyway between Girard and Fairmont Streets, Sherman and Georgia Avenues NW -- first the Standard Materials Company, making parts for Emile Berliner's "Talking Machine." Later the building was expanded to establish the Gyro Motor Company, which produced engines for biplanes of the 1910s. Berliner was working on a lighter engine for the "Gryocopter" but ended up making a useful engine for biplanes.

I'm Trying to get the building established as a local landmark. Trying to find a picture of that building (774 Girard St. NW) as it was originally.

Way to go Tony!

Living in Tampa I have often heard of Tony Jannus but haven't seen too many photos of him. He is recognized as the first in the world to pilot a scheduled commercial airline flight using heavier-than-air aircraft, when on January 1, 1914 he flew from St. Petersburg to Tampa. The flight took 23 minutes flying 75 mph at an altitude of 50 feet. The fare was $5 and the first paid customer was Abram Pheil, the mayor of St. Pete. Before this, travelers had the option of a boat ride or a three hour road trip. Commercial air service between Tampa and St. Pete continued for only three months with flights daily, except Sundays.

Speechless

I'm a former Marine and Navy aviator and, I thought, an aviation enthusiast, but I've never, ever, seen this picture, nor have I seen the lines of this model aircraft. This is simply amazing, and a wonder to me. I suppose I'm not the aviation enthusiast I thought, never having seen a Rex Smith aircraft. I. Love. It.

Like a dragonfly

The aircraft has edged closer to its current configuration, unlike the Wright Flyer, which always looks backwards to me.

Jannus

Tony Jannus was a remarkable aviator.

"Jannus: An American Flier" is a great book for anyone interested in early aviation.

 
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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