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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 • A CHRISTMAS JOKE WITH A POINT TO IT

Main Street: 1908

Main Street: 1908

Rochester, New York, circa 1908. "Main Street and Hotel Rochester." 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

Fire hydrant

A lot of high value properties equal high numbers of engines connecting to hydrant. Before gated wye's were common each engine needed its own connection to the water supply.

At least 1 still standing.

A familiar facade, from Google streetview: http://goo.gl/maps/S9XVo

That "unusual flagpole"

is very reminiscent of a sailing ship's mast. Would have had ratlines leading to the platform from the deck below.

Dual Carriageway

I'm sure I've seen this sort of roadway before here (such as the Hotel Rochester image), but what's up with the different appearance between the car lanes and the streetcar lane? It looks like snow, but that can't be; sand maybe?

Streetcar tracks

Not in the 1970's. The last streetcar service in Rochester ran on March 31, 1941. By some accounts, most of the rails in the streets were collected for WW II scrap drives; other accounts attribute their loss to post-war street maintenance. I've lived here since the fifties and have only seen a few spots where rails remained, revealed by a large pothole or an excavation.

I'm surprised

that no one has commented on those two sporty little motor vehicles, one parked in front of the hotel and one farther down in front of the pool hall. They appear similar in design, but what stands out is that neither one seems to have a roof. Anyone have an idea what they are?

[Runabouts. - tterrace]

Fire Plug

You don't see that too often...a 5 sided fireplug!

Implosion

kurmujjin is right about the location - West Main Street, looking east from Plymouth Avenue. The former Hotel Rochester on the right spent its last years as a nursing care facility known as "Mariner House". It met its end in a spectacular building implosion on the morning of Saturday, December 18, 1999. The event drew a large crowd, as such implosions often do. We took our younger kids, aged 10 & 11, to watch. They thought it was super-cool.

Note All The Trolley Tracks

Back in the 70's Rochester seemed to have the national record for the highest number of railroad and trolley tracks on city streets - since removed according to current residents.

One-man Crew

If that fellow dug that hole all by himself, I want him on my team. A separate thought: I wonder if those barrels were orange?

Unusual Flagpole?

I noticed the sectional flagpole on the building with the domed roof and wonder if anyone can enlighten me about it. Perhaps it was a retractable?

Fast crowd

I wonder which was taken first, this or the "Hotel Rochester" photo. The roadster parked in front of the hotel is in both, as are the two men standing in front of the theater and the hole digger. Meanwhile, the coach behind the roadster has either taken on or disgorged the group of six, and the white roadster parked by the pool hall has left, or not arrived. Fascinating stuff. You guys run an outstanding site.

How things change

I'm pretty sure this view is looking east from Plymouth Ave, the cross street. If that is the Hotel Rochester on the right, that building eventually was the home of Rochester Institute of Technology before they built their Henrietta campus.

There's always one.

"I see you're digging a hole 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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