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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 • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Stop Bryan-Kern: 1908

Stop Bryan-Kern: 1908

Niagara Falls, New York, in 1908. "Niagara Street." Presided over by a banner advertising the Democratic presidential ticket of William Jennings Bryan and John Kern. Or advising against them if you take the streetcar sign into account. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Maypole-style telephone distribution rings

Those maypole rings are still in use around England. Most of the services are underground, however the telephone being the most recent service, is underground and then comes up to a maypole and distributed service to several residences. They are not as large as this example but will service whole block areas from a single pole.

Facing west

By the direction of the shadows falling, I'd say this view is facing towards the river. I'm still trying to place that monument that is in the distance. Today, that area would be where the US Customs is located at the Rainbow Bridge. I don't know if it was moved onto the Reservation.

Presidential Race

If you look carefully, you'll see that Taft isn't far behind Bryant at this point.

Also, a nice mix of transportation modes on display.

Power House bound

The streetcar's destination is the Power House. The street lighting is a mix of arc lights and strings of incandescent bulbs; perhaps the former are being phased out?

I too

looked at the Google streetview. Very sad. There are areas in Berlin, Coventry and Dresden that are more recognizable after the ravages of war than downtown Niagara Falls.

Rise and Falls

Niagara Falls was hit with an unusually harsh bout of urban renewal in the 60s-70s that demolished whatever may have been left of the streetscape by 1971. Google streetview (which I cannot bear to post) shows an arid boulevard in a landscape of parking lots, with a solitary Days Inn on the horizon.

The camera seems to be pointing East on Niagara Street, away from the Falls, towards Buffalo.

A Bit of Irony

The man on the right appears to be in the classic cell phone pose while standing under the Ma Bell sign.

Added bonus

Another of those maypole-style telephone distribution rings.

 
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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