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About the Photos

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

Canyonland: 1908

Canyonland: 1908

Pittsburgh circa 1908. "Fifth Avenue looking north." On the left, Kaufmann's. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Site of Pittsburgh's annual Christmas Parade

Macy's (successor to Kaufmann's)sponsors the annual Christmas parade on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The grandstand is always set up across from the store in front of the low-slung building with the red banner. It's a great holiday tradition.

Let's go shopping!

Butterick Patterns were my favorite back when I could see well enough to sew. Their fashions were just a "cut above" the other pattern companies. And those purses in the store window on the left can still be seen at Coach or Macy's

Brings back memories

Kaufmanns department store was but one of the many places we planned on going to - had to catch the bus in Bridgeville, PA and until the parkway was finished the trip was long in time but well worth the time and distance. Especially during Christmas holidays as Kaufmanns always had wonderful animated windows full of Christmas scenes.

Meet Me At The Clock

The Kaufmann's Clock was Pittsburgh's equivalent of New York's Biltmore one, a widely-agreed-upon meeting place in the center of the metropolis. Kaufmann's itself was an institution, the store that prided itself on having everything-- even a suit big enough to fit our heftiest president, William Howard Taft, in town for a visit. His picture hung in the lobby for many years as an unauthorized endorsement. Control of the store passed from the founding brothers to Edgar "E.J." Kaufmann, who commissioned (and expertly promoted) two of the 20th Century's greatest modernist buildings, Wright's Fallingwater in Bear Run, and Neutra's Desert House in Palm Springs-- the latter of which, it would seem, Wright never forgave him for.

Window shopping

How I would love to have a little time for window shopping on this street.

Fallingwater

The owner of Kaufmann's, Edgar J. Kaufmann, hired Frank Lloyd Wright to build a country home, the now famous house known as Fallingwater, in the Laurel Highlands about 90 miles from Pittsburgh.

+103

Below is the same view from July of 2011.

Hilliest city?

Does Pittsburgh not give San Fran a run for their money as hilliest US city?
This town has got some serious grades.
Imagine traversing up these sidewalks on a icy January morning?

 
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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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