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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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The Corcoran: 1921

The Corcoran: 1921

Washington, D.C., circa 1921. "Corcoran Art Gallery." This empty intersection a block from the White House presents a somewhat different appearance today. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


Little Boy Adventures of the 1930's

My father tells a story of being sent to live with his uncle Gus in Washington DC, for a summer, during the great depression, because Gus had money to buy food to feed my elementary school aged father, which his own parents did not. Gus was a WW1 veteran who had been disabled by mustard gas, and had a life long disability income.
One day, while out playing, my father climbed a tree next to a fence and came down on the other side, only to find himself immediately surrounded by armed guards with their guns drawn and pointed at him. Seems the tree was growing next to the grounds of the White House and he had climbed in. They guards did not harm him. They just walked him over to the gate and sent him off the property to go home.
One of the houses in the background of this photo could very well have been Gus's house.

17th Street in 1921

I suppose the President could just wander over back then and see the exhibits.


Since I work in DC, I've been by this location at 17th and New York Avenue many times. It seems so strange to see private homes surrounding the Corcoran where today we only see Government buildings.

A Tree Grows in DC

Well, there's some decoration now, and a tree is growing next to the sidewalk; but somehow it seems the same. Can't say the same thing for the goings on across the street.


Once more, the ubiquitous Coca-Cola sign appears.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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