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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

San Francisco: 1927

San Francisco: 1927

"San Francisco views, 1927." On Pine Street, looking east at the 32-story Russ Building. 4x5 nitrate negative by Arnold Genthe. View full size.

 

Sam Spade's neighborhood

And just a couple years later, one block over in an alley off of Bush Street, Brigid O'Shaughnessy shot and killed Sam Spade's partner.

21 years before

The same photographer took this picture from a few blocks away.

Twenty-one years

What's really amazing is to realize that just 21 years before this photograph was taken, virtually the entire city of San Francisco was in ruins after the Earthquake/Fire of 1906.

Ye Gods

It's fewer years from this picture to the chase scene in "Bullit" than it is from "Bullit" to now!

Yes, please.

I could use some Bromo Seltzer right about now.
Happy New Year Shorpy! I look forward to many fine photos over the coming year.

Today in SF

Looking down Pine Street via Google street view. An exact angle isn't possible because of the high rise at 555 Pine. In both, however, we can see another historic structure down the street at 215 Market: the 1923 Matson Building.

 
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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