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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 • KEEP CLEAN WPA POSTER, 1939

Wash Ave.: 1906

Wash Ave.: 1906

Newport News, Virginia, circa 1906. "Washington Avenue." Points of interest include bills advertising Morris Bros. "up-to-date hatters," a nice carbon arc lamp and the No. 43 streetcar. Detroit Publishing glass negative. View full size.

 

Ahhh, Newport News

Years ago, there were signs stating "Sailors and Dogs, Keep Off the Grass" in Newport News.

Re: Not many telephones in those days

Multiply by 3 to 5 for party line subscribers, but still not as dense as today. Of course, soon there will be virtually NO wires for phones...

So sad

I grew up in Newport News. This picture was taken about 20 years after the C & O railroad pushed east from Richmond to Newport News, transforming a sleepy fishing village into a boomtown. In the 1950s and '60s the black population in the downtown area grew and whites fled to the west. Most of the buildings along once thriving Washington Avenue slowly were abandoned and then demolished in the '60s and '70s. Save for the shipyard at the western end, most of the street is empty lots and isolated office buildings now. It's desolate at night. I doubt there's a single building in this picture left standing. I like the poster to the right of the Morris Brothers signs, for a performance of "Tom Sawyer" at Buckroe Beach about 10 miles away in neighboring Hampton. You could take the trolley from Newport News to the beach when this picture was taken.

Not many telephones in those days

The poles with the many small wires are for telephones. 10 insulators per row and 6+5 rows = 110 wires or 55 pairs for 55 telephones. Not much by today's standards.

 
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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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