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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 • THE NAVY NEEDS YOU IN THE WAVES

Flatiron: 1909

Flatiron: 1909

August 1909. "The Flat Iron building, New York." Yet another iteration of everyone's favorite proto-skyscraper. 8x10 glass negative. View full size.

 

That Flag!

Close behind the Flatiron. Does it not say "Lord and Taylor"?

Again, it's a good thing the average mph was something like "10" with the way people wandered across thoroughfares willy-nilly. Fatalities would abound nowadays.

Richard Hudnut. One of the sponsors of TV's "Your Hit Parade" in decades to follow.

Where to Cross?

Crossing the streets looks like a free-for-all. When were painted crosswalks invented?

Don't know how they did it

August. New York City, and no air conditioning. The horror, the horror.

The Flatiron in Harold Lloyd's "Speedy"

I used a nearly identical photo to show the path of Harold Lloyd's taxi up 5th Avenue, crossing Broadway in front of the prow of the Fuller Building, during his final silent comedy, "Speedy," filmed on location in New York during the summer of 1927.

You can see some of the 50 New York locations where Lloyd filmed by checking out my blog. I am presenting Speedy at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria-Queens on Sunday, October 16.


View Silent Visions of New York in a larger map

Here’s how the Fuller Building appears in my book Silent Visions, and how it appears during the movie. The arrow points north up 5th Avenue, while the trolley in the back is headed up Broadway.

Carriage Trade Shops

Some of the signs visible in this photo announce the shops of well-known New York dealers in luxury goods. The 900 block of Broadway, just behind and left of the Flatiron Building, includes the perfume manufactory of Richard Hudnut at 925, and the showrooms of carpet importers Van Gaasbeek & Arkell Oriental Rugs on the corner at 935. Here's Hudnut's 1909 perfume catalog cover and Van Gaasbeek's long-running print ad.

An August morning at 9:30

Great pic, looks like you could just step right into it and go back 102 years ago!

Awnings

OK, so how did they keep these canvas window awnings from flying off into the sunset on a windy day?

 
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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