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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Hires Root Beer: 1904

Hires Root Beer: 1904

Philadelphia circa 1904. "Chestnut Street and post office." Plus signage promoting that "Fountain of Health," Hires Root Beer, and a theatrical production called Miss Bob White. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

Philadelphia Record Building

Could it be that it was built in 1881?

Road repair

3 talking, 1 working. Some things never change.

Ben Franklin & the Post Office

I suppose it's obvious that that's a statue of Ben Franklin there in front of the post office. He'a still a staple figure round Philadelphia, and he was, among other things, the first Postmaster General.

That lovely neo classical post office was redone in the Moderne style of the 1930's which while notable for being true to style throughout, it's an thoroughly ugly building. The loss is ours.

Druggist Charles

Hires created Hires Root Beer here in Philadelphia in 1866. Sales took off after it was promoted at the Centennial Exposition here in 1876, making Hires very wealthy. Even today, Philadelphians consume more root beer per capita than any other city in America.

There are quite a few "micro-brew" root beers made in the surrounding region. If you like the stuff, a truly great local root beer (with which I have no connection) is "Hank's." (Google it.) Made with sugar, not HFCS, and literally award-winning; I must say this is one time I agree with the judges.

"Miss Bob White"

I was intrigued by the "Miss Bob White" sign just to the left of the "Hires Root Beer" sign. Turns out it was a comic opera that opened in Philadelphia in 1901: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F00817F6355C12738DDDAF...

Remakable

So many flagpoles - so few flags!

What a great evening

An enjoyable night of entertainment it would have been. A Hires Root Beer in hand while watching the Comedy Opera Miss Bob White on stage. It invovled two millionaires paying off a bet by posing as two tramps who get hired at a farm near Philadelphia. Then along came a New York socialite posing as a milk maid, and after the usual back and forth, wins the heart of one of them. Hires to ya!

917 Chestnut Street

The Philadelphia Record Building - 917 Chestnut Street

Another treasure lost to time. Built in 1882, it was torn down in 1932.


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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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