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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 • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

Catalina Interlude: 1910

Catalina Interlude: 1910

Catalina Island, California, circa 1910. "Avalon Bay Aquarium wharf and beach." 5x7 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Big Avalon fire of 1915

I'm fairly certain that nearly every structure in this photo burned down just a few years later and were replaced newer buildings; the house with the onion shaped dome is certainly no longer there.

West Coast fashion

Same as the East Coast fashion. I was curious to see if the women were all wearing black stockings here -- and they are. How miserable that must have been.

Interesting that in a world without mass media the styles of bathing suits for men and women are exactly the same as the beach babies we've been seeing in Atlantic City and Coney Island. Mail order, perhaps?

[Magazines. - Dave]

Onion Dome

What is the building near the middle of the photo with the onion dome?

United Wireless

Up on the hill is the tower of soon to be defunct United Wireless Telegraph Co.

A Good Time

Snapping the diver off the high board is a good catch. Perhaps that was the subject of the photo.

I've been scuba diving off Catalina and that water tends to be COLD.

Was renting swim suits fashionable then? Both men and women seem to be in only one style of suit per gender.

Stairway to heaven

One wonders if a lot of people's hearts gave out while climbing those endless staircases.

Futuristic House on the Hill

I am familiar with the Holly House, but this one is new. Anyone have any idea what it is and if it is still there?

 
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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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