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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 • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

Libby Prison: 1865

Libby Prison: 1865

April 1865. "Richmond, Virginia. Libby Prison." The infamous Confederate jail. Composite of two stereograph wet plate glass negatives. View full size.

 

In Union hands

Thousands of Union officers were held here during the war, but when photographed in April 1865, the notorious prison was in Union hands, and the prisoners you see pressing their faces against the bars are Confederate officers getting a taste of their own medicine, among them the former commandant, Maj. Thomas P. Turner.

Waiting for Lincoln?

In April 1865, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln visited Richmond, Virginia and toured the city on foot. When he came across Libby Prison, a crowd of onlookers stated "We will tear it down", to which Lincoln replied, "No, leave it as a monument."

Victorian Internet

I think this is the earliest example of (relatively) modern technology I've seen on Shorpy -- an 1865 telegraph line.

 
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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