SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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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Ghost Office: 1912

Ghost Office: 1912

New York's new post office on Eighth Avenue circa 1912. Enlarged in 1934, it's now called the James Farley Building. View full size. In this seemingly deserted time exposure we can see the ghostly images of three different sets of legs.

On Shorpy:
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The New Penn Station

This wonderful building is slated to be renovated into the New Penn Station, despite much rancor over the conversion. It is situated across from the old Penn Station (by McKim, Mead, and White), which was torn down in the 1960s in favor of the new (and godawful) Madison Square Garden. It was this destruction that spurred Jacqueline Kennedy to save Grand Central Terminal, which was also slated for destruction.

Ghost Legs

To get the image this stunningly sharp he probably set his camera to a very small aperture and because of that and slow film at the time, took a long exposure on a tripod - so that's why you'd see the people walking by.

This is a great find!

[Re "slow film time," there was no film back then for view cameras like the ones that made this picture. They used glass plates coated with emulsion. The image is sharp because the plate is big (5 x 7 inches). - Dave]


My last 2 posts disappeared in front of my eyes, haunted?

Phantom limbs

Also we have three sets of ghost shoes walking down the street. Each footfall makes for kind of a stop-motion effect in this time exposure.

The street lights

It looks like there are two types of lights gas and electric?

[There are two temporary lights wired to the taller ones. - Dave]

A modern view

You can see the building as it is now.

N.Y. Post Office

New York General Post Office, now designated the James Farley Post Office, Eighth Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets.

[Thanks! I added that to the caption. - Dave]

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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