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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 • FLY TO THE CARIBBEAN BY CLIPPER, c. 1950s

Pleasantville: 1904

Pleasantville: 1904

Indianapolis, Indiana, circa 1904. "North Pennsylvania Street." There's not much going on here, which maybe is part of this picture's charm. Lots of hitching posts, though. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Residence of Nathan Neeld 1109 N. Pennsylvania

This is a view of Pennsylvania Street at 11th St. The first house on the right was the residence of Nathan Neeld. Neeld was an employee (and son-in-law) to James C. Ferguson who owned J.C. Ferguson & Co., a meat packing company in Indianapolis. James C . Ferguson built exact matching homes for his two daughters (and employee sons-in laws). This one was 1109 N. Pennsylvania the other (residence of Edward B. Howard) was located at 425 N. Pennsylvania St. Both were probably designed by architect, D.A. Bohlen.

-Old houses in Indiana. Houses in Indianapolis and Marion county by Agnes McColloch Hanna p. 27,29.

"The magnificence of the Ambersons began in 1873"

One look at this picture immediately brought to mind Orson Welles voice narration of his mutilated masterpiece, "The Magnificent Ambersons," which takes place in Indianapolis as the automobile begins to change the urban landscape, in particular a wealthy neighborhood such as that in the photo.

The streetcar tracks even reminded me of a line from the movie, which seems very fitting for many of the pictures shown here, but is about the old horse-drawn streetcar: "Too slow for us nowadays, because the faster we're carried, the less time we have to spare."

Lost to History

I could not locate anything remotely similar to the homes on the right that is still standing when I searched for the photo's location today.

A number of such imposing homes still exist a block to the east (Talbott St and Delaware St) and to the west (Meridian St). I looked them all over but came up empty.

Fires, serious neglect, and all-too-willing developers consumed many of them over the years. The view today is most likely one of the numerous parking lots that occupy most of the western side of Pennsylvania today 16 to 20 blocks north of downtown.

If only that "T" intersection was marked with a sign.

[The next plate was made one street east at 656 North Delaware. - Dave]

Strange looking fire hydrant

if that's what it is. I don't recall ever seeing one like it.

[It's a Holly hydrant, seen in another of our Indianapolis photos. - Dave]

Rush Hour in 1904?

A closer look reveals two bicyclists, a couple of streetcars and at least one horseless carriage on Shady Lane.

 
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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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