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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

Oyster Bay Cafe: 1905

Oyster Bay Cafe: 1905

Ann Arbor, Michigan, circa 1905. "Oyster Bay Cafe." Continuing the bivalve theme. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Well hello

The ladies seem quite amused about being captured on camera. They have sweet smiles, not at all bothered during their routine. I wonder what is in that big box -- a hat perhaps?

And I bet the homemade candies were to die for.

Oyster thief

Looks like the camera has captured a Jewish man in the act of making off at high speed around the corner with a bag of stolen oysters under his arm.

[That's a "frosh cap." - Dave]

The Original Borders Store

While Joe Z comments that to the left was the original Borders bookstore, a slight clarification is in order. That was the first recognizable Borders bookstore, but way back in 1972, I was in a Practical Criticism class with Mary Borders, wife of Tom Borders. At the time, she told me that Tom and his brother were trying to get a bookstore business off of the ground. The original store was a couple of blocks away (on Liberty, I think) and was on the second level of a non descript commercial building. Because of the strength of a couple of the main Univerisity of Michigan bookstores, they focused on Art books and "Coffee Table" books rather than trying to compete and their focused level of customer service was what allowed them to quickly grow the business. I had a very pleasant visit to the store at Mary's invitation that Spring afternoon and often thought that maybe I should have asked for a job...

For all your microscopical needs

From another angle, in a Detroit Publishing postcard.

[Excellent time-detective sleuthing! - Dave]

Here is another postcard taken of the opposite of the street. The awnings for J.J. Quarry (selling microscopical supplies) are on the far right. (I can't manage to get it to appear at the bottom.)


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Original Borders

To the left of the photographer, and just a few steps back, was the location of the original Borders bookstore.

Where is the Oyster Bay Cafe?

It's right here.

Location

Oyster Bay Catering was at 315 S State Street in 1904.

I need to know

how they got the poster on the brick wall by the Oyster Bay sign and who would read it up that high?

Ear, nose and throat -- and eye

Guess the eye folks broke out on their own sometime in the future. I believe this is at the corner of State and North University close to the diag. Across the street is one of the few arcades found in the States.

A fall day

From the leaves on the ground to the long shadows this looks like it might be a nice late Fall day. Was trying to get a read on the thermometer on the tree but couldn't make it out. The two ladies look a bit surprised by the photographer.

 
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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