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.
Vintage photos of:
New York, 1917. "Landship Recruit on Union Square." The U.S.S. Recruit, a wooden battleship erected by the Navy, served as a World War I recruiting station at Union Square from 1917 to 1920, when it "set sail" for Coney Island. This is the first in a series of photographs depicting life around and aboard the landlocked boat. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.
Lightweight boxing champ "Bat" Nelson in 1911. After retiring from the ring, Bat (short for Battling; aka the Durable Dane, born Oscar Nielsen) dabbled in fight promotion and vaudeville. In January 1954, "a pathetic little man of 80 pounds, his mind a complete blank," Bat was committed to the Chicago State Hospital; a month later he was dead of lung cancer at age 71. With 68 wins, 19 draws and 19 losses, Bat once said that although he had "lost several fights," he had never been beaten. 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.