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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 • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Scarlet Letter Written Here: 1906

Scarlet Letter Written Here: 1906

Salem, Massachusetts, circa 1906. "Nathaniel Hawthorne house." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

History

One of my teachers once said "everything happened somewhere."

Scarlet Letter

This was actually one of the few books I was forced to read in school that I enjoyed. I always thought of it as poetry that reads like prose.

A Local House

I live in Salem, this house is nearby. It stands on Mall Street just north of Salem Common. The house is condos now, a few years back one of them was for sale. I went in and had a look around. There are still lots of old details, but some modernization too. I wasn't sure if I was in the same room Hawthorne wrote in or not.

Here is someone's flickr image of the house recently:

Better story

I would have been happy to have read The Scarlet Letter in high school instead of The Bridge of San Luis Rey, which was required reading in my junior year English class. What a stinker.

A vs. 007

The Scarlet Letter was required reading in my junior year in high school in 1967. The only problem was at the time I was fascinated by Ian Fleming and 007, and was on a quest to read every James Bond novel available. Having to suspend my reading of racy spy novels in exchange for an ancient story about some lady who was forced to wear a large "A" on her sweater did not sit well with me, and I've held a grudge against old Nate ever since.

 
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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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