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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

Florida Times-Union: 1904

Florida Times-Union: 1904

Florida circa 1904. "Jacksonville and St. Johns River." Plus the headquarters of the Florida Times-Union newspaper and much transportation-related signage. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

The Florida Times-Union moved out

Not later than 1921 this building at 136 W. Bay Street became the Atlantic Hotel. An article in The Florida Times-Union was about a character they referred to as the Human Fly, actually a Mr. Rockett. It reads in part:

"Mr. Rockett had assembled a crowd in downtown Jacksonville Jan. 9, 1921, on the premise of scaling the front of the Atlantic Hotel, a three-story building at Bay and Hogan streets."

Jacksonville got bypassed

It wouldn't be long before all those travelers and freight would hit Jacksonville and keep right on going. The city's days as a destination were doomed by the relentless push southward of Henry Flagler's railroads and hotels. By the time I grew up there in the 1950s, Jacksonville was more or less Atlanta-lite with a beach.

Jacksonville got "urban renewed"

The St. Johns River is still there and more or less the same. The docks are gone, and any buildings that remain are unrecognizably altered. There are a few ghost signs visible here and there in downtown Jacksonville.

Signs of the times

I would have loved to have studied under some of the great sign painters of those times. Does anyone know if anything in this picture still exists?

 
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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