SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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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Shadow Government: 1908

Shadow Government: 1908

Circa 1908. "West front, U.S. Capitol, Washington." Today only, a tricameral legislature. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

The US Capitol dome is painted

It's not constructed of stone at all, but of nearly 9 million pounds of cast iron. The exterior has to be repainted occasionally. That last occurred in 2010 when more than 500 gallons of paint was applied. A more comprehensive phased restoration project was initiated in 2012 that involves removal of all paint from the dome, repairing defects in the ironwork, resealing, and finally repainting with an epoxy and urethane paint system. The skirt portion of the dome has been completed. Remaining work, including restoration of the interior face, is awaiting approval of funds.

Not white?

The dome and even the main buildings don't look as white as they are today. I always thought it was the natural color of the stone that made it white. Did they start white-washing it later?

Re: Mower

... with automatic fertilizer and spreader!

1908 mowing

Whenever I see large fields of manicured grass in these old photos I wonder how were these fields were kept mowed before the era of modern mowing tractors? Anybody know?

[Horse-drawn mowers, such as this from around the same time. -tterrace]

Hey that's pretty clever- they mow and fertilize at the same time! ;-)

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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