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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 NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Tree House: 1923

Tree House: 1923

Washington, D.C., 1923. All it says here is "Dept. of Agriculture." Back when the place was run by the Keebler Elves. National Photo Company. View full size.

 

Original TIFF?

I've searched high and low for the higher-res source file of this image on the library of congress site and elsewhere and I can't find it for the life of me. Could anyone point me in the right direction?

[It's here.]

Tree Fark

Jefferson Drive at 12th Street

To the right is the Department of Agriculture to the left is the Freer Gallery. Between them is 12th Street SW, a service road and tunnel under the Mall. I crossed the Mall, 100 feet from there yesterday morning. The tree house is gone but the two buildings are still there.

Early LOTR Style

I think that's where Gandalf used to live. He eventually had to move out because of all the carpenter ants (his "Jedi tricks" had no deterrent effect upon them). Nowadays he's in a Tampa condo.

Noble Redwood Tree House

More photos here:

This was the General Noble Redwood Tree House – a 50-foot section of a 2,000 year-old giant sequoia tree. This idea was conceived as an impressive government exhibit for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

The tree was cut in the General Grant National Park – which is now Kings Canyon National Park in California. A team of twenty cutters worked for seven days, fifty feet above the ground, to cut the 26-foot diameter tree.

Workers then hollowed out the stump, and cut the tree into some 2-3 dozen sections, which would be reassembled on the site of the exposition – complete with an interior circular staircase!

In 1894 the tree was moved again to the grounds of the Agriculture Building, on the Mall in Washington, DC. It was then that the structure was made waterproof with the addition of a peaked roof and four dormer windows, and covered with redwood shingles.

The tree house remained on the mall until 1932, when it was placed in storage at the Agriculture's Experimental Farm in Arlington, Virginia. In 1940 the Farm was transferred to the Army for part of the Pentagon grounds, and the tree was likely burned at that time.

 
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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