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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Down to the River: 1910

Down to the River: 1910

Detroit, Michigan, circa 1910. "Approach to the Detroit River tunnel." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

100 years of wear

Here's a winter view, looks even worse but it's a littler closer.

In the Beginning

I think what always impresses and at times saddens me greatly when looking at some of these photos is the immediacy of the moment that is captured and the newness of the public works some of which continue to exist albeit 100 years of grime, rust, spalled concrete, etc.I have always wondered at times looking at the remnants of civilizations past what the original monuments looked like,in the Shorpy photos we can go back at least 100 years to actually see the moment of birth of some of these often ignored public works.


Interesting to see the International Harvester building on the right. IH was headquartered out of Illinois, so this must have been a branch.


I'll have a Coal n' Coke and make it snappy, I've got a train to catch!

The Michigan Central tunnel is still in existence (and was previewed in yesterday's "Infrastructure: 1910" post featuring the nearby Michigan Central Station), but its future is in question.

And the final result is

a postcard with the same viewpoint, that photo likely shot around the same time. The junk on the right-of-way was taken out by retouching, rather obviously, I think. That's typical. But there are other things changed so you can play "Spot the difference" -- click to enlarge.

Oh, thanks Dave.

I’m glad you cleared that up: I thought there had been a terrible gondola accident.


"Clean up in aisle, errr, track 1".


Why is there so much debris on the lower tracks?

[The tunnel is still under construction. - Dave]

After 101 Years

There isn't much left except for the tunnels. The Enormous Michigan Central Station rests in decay roughly 180 degrees from this position on the map.

View Larger Map

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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