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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Boston Court House: 1906

Boston Court House: 1906

Boston circa 1906. "Courthouse, Pemberton Square." The Suffolk County Courthouse, a.k.a. John Adams Courthouse, completed 1893. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

It's a steamer

That's a circa 1904-05 Stanley Type B (if it's 6.5 hp) or BX (if it's 8 hp) Solid Seat Runabout. In 1905 only the BX was available. Solid Seat vs. Stick Seat is apparent in the photo below. Models C and CX had a drop-down front for the front passenger's feet, and when not in use the front seat folded down to enclose the upholstery, leaving only the curved wood top in view, as seen here.


No tweeting allowed

I had my last jury duty at this courthouse. The judge advised us that tweeting about the case while court was in session was not allowed. Imagine trying to explain Twitter to the people in this photo.

Great History

Thirty years ago, when I first started practicing law in Boston, this was the home of the Suffolk County Superior Court, and I tried many cases in these courtrooms. It was reputed to be the last building in Boston to be powered by direct current (DC) electricity, and it was, frankly, an unsightly dump inside, with file cabinets blocking doors, windows boarded up, makeshift offices cordoned off in the hallways, and various small mammals inhabiting the nooks and crannies of the grungy, dilapidated clerks' offices. But even then, if you stood in the Great Hall in the middle of the building and looked up to the (faded and peeling) gilded ceiling four stories above, you could tell this was once a monument to Justice in America.

Today it's been completely renovated and it's a gem, and the current home of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court.

Soon to grow

3 years or so after this photo was taken, the Courthouse was extended upwards with an extra two stories being added, designed by the original architect George A. Clough (1843-1916) who designed many buildings in and around Boston.
Much more on the Courthouse here.

Clough also designed two Massachusetts insane asylums, no connection is implied!

Sweet little Buggy!

I just know someone can and will identify that cool little topless car parked by the curb!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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