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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Main Street: 1906

Main Street: 1906

Circa 1906. "Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts." Bonbons and dance lessons are among the goods and services on offer in this bustling burg. View full size.

 

Worcester Trolley Incident

Thirty years ago, I worked in Worcester for an old, established family. They told me of an incident involving their grandfather and it would have happened at about the time of this photo. Seems the old gent was riding a city trolley when a malfunction caused the car to come to an abrupt halt with no warning and people were thrown forward. With his shoulder, Grandpa smashed a glass panel which was mounted between the seats and the front entry steps to the car. I think such a panel is visible here on the trolley at center. His coat torn and his shoulder slightly lacerated, the old man went to his doctor for stitches and then boarded another trolley so he could go to the trolley office and pay for the glass he had broken.

Naked

I'm happy to see the buildings still standing, but I wonder why the adornment above the windows of the Harrington Corner were removed. In my opinion, it wasn't an improvement. Its interesting that there is a policeman in the intersection in 1916 as well. Slimmer version.

Pool?

Hey! Where is the pool hall?

Iron atop the poles

As an insulator collector, I really enjoy seeing some of the stuff I collect in use. Shorpy has been a plethera of information as to how some of the hardware was used.

In this picture, we see for the first time this pole topper in action. At www.insulators.info, a fellow collector that specializes in brackets and pins, was as excited as I was to see this thing.

Here is a little more info on what I speak of.....

http://www.insulators.info/pictures/?id=332535741

Weird hobby I have, huh?

Main Street: Ten Years Later

This shot of Main Street at Harrington Corner was taken in 1916. It's of the same intersection, viewed from the same direction, but at the corner diagonally opposite of the one shown in the picture from 1906.

Many of the buildings are still there today, including the two tallest ones on the left side of Main Street, seen in the 1916 view. An old-world, Chinese restaurant, called the Hong Fong was soon to be located in the small building with the "Therin" or "Sherin" sign. As a child in the '50s and '60s, I went there numerous times with my parents, and was always fascinated by the incredible furnishings and carved icons that defied description, which were on display throughout the dining areas. We last ate there in 1965, and I recall at the time that on the menus it was mentioned that the restaurant was established in 1916.

We ordered take-out from them until they closed around 1968, and sadly, the whole building that housed the restaurant was demolished that year to make room for a parking area.

If you look very closely at the above-mentioned building in the 1916 picture, you will see a banner announcing the upcoming, July opening of the restaurant.

The cars and clothing styles certainly place the picture in the 1916 time frame, but that banner definitely dates the shot to that particular year.

Teeth and typefonts.

Have to love the large molar that proclaims the dentist's office is there. Also towards the center of the photo, on the wall of building behind the Belmont St. car is a sign that says "Photographs." The font used on it looks way too modern for 1906!

My comment was going to be

What, no Dunkin' Donuts? And there it is!

The Medical Profession

As someone in the medical trade, I'm always humored at these type of signs hanging 100 years ago. The spectacles with the eyeballs and the tooth with the Dr.s name on it, etc. With immigrants arriving and the language barriers, its so true, a picture IS worth a thousand words!

Albert A. Barker, Architect

Albert A. Barker, Architect on the third floor of the Harrington Corner Building (from Wikipedia):

Barker & Nourse was an architectural firm in Massachusetts. It was the firm of Albert Barker (1852-1905)and Walter B. Nourse and operated from 1879 to 1904. A number of its works are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Harrington Corner

Thanks to cnik70 though we can see what DOES remain. The Google photo was taken in 2007; so almost exactly 100 years later:

100+ years later


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Only bits and pieces of the past remain.

 
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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