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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Modern Terminal: 1962

Modern Terminal: 1962

New York circa 1962. "Trans World Airlines Terminal, Idlewild Airport. Eero Saarinen, architect." Photo by Balthazar Korab. View full size.

 

It was beautiful!

Even in the days of its decline in the late 1980s, this was a beautiful space! I actually looked forward to going through this terminal after the long transatlantic flights from Paris, and the dreadful service on TWA. These black and white photos, though they are splendid in themselves, just don't do justice to the space. This is probably the most significant work of architecture designed for air travel in the whole 20th century - and it looked great with Leo DiCaprio as the fake pilot in "Catch Me If You Can!"

My first flight

My first flight took me through this terminal in October, 1962. I thought I had arrived at what the future would look like. They handed out little packs of cigarettes ... to everyone, to my regret. As the song goes, I was "leavin' on a jet plane..."

Pre-clock

Early days before clock was installed.

The ultimate

backdrop for an Alec Baldwin commercial:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3vtfTSxwLs

Chilly

I hate to say it, but the man-cave caboose looks more inviting. This looks like a giant melting igloo.

Could anything look more dated?

This is something straight out of The Jetsons. A 60s idea of what the future would look like, but definitely not the direction it's actually headed now.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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