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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 • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

Pleasant and Main: 1907

Pleasant and Main: 1907

Laconia, New Hampshire, circa 1907. "Pleasant and Main Streets." There's a lot to see in this super-detailed view, including the latest "moving pictures." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

The Cook Building is still there

The building just past the Eagle Hotel on Main Street is the (according to the placard on it in Street View) The Cook Building built in 1898.

Local Product

It's a safe bet that beautiful open streetcar was built by the town's own Laconia Car Co.

The fire hydrant on the corner checks out

A firm foundation

The trolley rails were built below the general road level with ties similar to today's rail construction, then covered with dirt so horses, autos and walkers wouldn't trip when walking across them.

Postcard of the Eagle Hotel

Here's a postcard of the Eagle Hotel the same year, from eBay.

Ties that bind

Just like with railroad tracks in the weeds, there are ties buried under the rails in that dirt. But, cyclists and pedestrians should give wide berth when the trolley car company's sprinkling pot comes by. The electric pump on its water tank gives great reach to the spray from its nozzles, wetting down the dust all over the unpaved street.

Trolleys rails on dirt street?

I don't think I've ever seen a trolley running on what appears to be a dirt street.
How did they keep the rails aligned?

Adrift in New York

Actually, Adrift in New York was not a moving picture, but a play, written by and starring the incredible (if you believe the press of the time) Sara MacDonald. It opened in the late summer of 1906, as most great plays of the time did, in Boonton, NJ. It had stops in Baltimore, Newark, New York, and a few towns in New England. It must have gone on to great success because by 1917 the "Sara MacDonald Company" was advertising casting calls for the play in various theater publications. You can get a pretty clear view of the sign with MacDonald's name here, which is another view of Main Street, Laconia, only a few doors farther away from the Eagle Hotel:

http://www.shorpy.com/node/15112?size=_original#caption

The Pooper Scooper

Is headed for the poop! He'll have job security for probably another 15-20 years.

"Circa" is correct

This would appear to be in 1907, as Sept 17 falls of Thursday in 1908, Tuesday in the former.

So much to see that has so much to say!

The placard for the moving picture "Adrift in New York" gives flesh to the urban-rural social dichotomy that still prevailed in the early 20th Century, no doubt heightening Laconians' gratitude at being able to live where the air was clean, the trolley yielded right-of-way to the street sweeper, L.L.'s cousin Frank ran the livery stable, and the café patronized the services of a sign painter of a decidedly calligraphic bent.

 
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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