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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

Early Riser: 1918

Early Riser: 1918

New York, 1918. "Lewisohn Building, 119 W. 40th Street. Maynicke & Franke, architects." Dwarfed by its newer neighbors 101 years after its completion, this 22-story, 325-foot tower still stands. Irving Underhill photo. View full size.

 

Ghost Car

I've seen lots of blurred people and vehicles on Shorpy before but this is unusual. I think the Photographer caught this car in the act of parallel parking.

[Two different cars; note, for example, the position of the license plate. -tterrace]

You're right, I noticed that after I posted. He must have just been stopped momentarily for the car to show up so clearly.

So, what are they?

You can make out strange-looking statues by the windows on the fourth and fifth floors. Kevin of Forgotten NY calls them gnomes, while to Nick of Scouting NY they are philosophers. I'll be diplomatic and not make a choice.

Scouting NY is definitely right about that block of West 40th, however; despite being in a very busy area the block's strangely quiet, almost like a backwater.

[As explained on the page linked to in the caption, the figures are allegories representing Thrift, Learning, Industry, Exploration, etc. -Dave]

Dealing decisively with noisy neighbours

Imagine heaving a bowling ball out the window 20 floors up and landing it on next door's roof. Would probably go all the way through to the basement.

Two striking things

Underhill's beautiful lettering and that row of low retail and residential buildings. Outstanding!

 
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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