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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Come On Down: 1905

Come On Down: 1905

Pittsburgh circa 1905. "Monongahela Incline up Mount Washington." A funicular railway that ran until 1935. The freight incline is on the left. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Work Car?

Behind the two fashionably dressed ladies one can see an electric powered streetcar that would have had a number of possible uses. This type of car is often classified as a work car, as opposed to a passenger car. It could have been in Post Office service, as some cities had this type of car. Another use would be a payroll car, used to collect cash from car barns, etc. It might have been used to move freight, parts between depots, etc. Any suggestions from Pittsburgh traction fans?

Pittsburgh Steel Mills

I understand Thelightisgreen's sentiment regarding the air quality as it once used to be in this steel town. However the locals back then had a different perspective. My wife grew up there in the 50s and 60s, and almost every morning her mother would go out and sweep the "black sugar" off the porch stoop. One day my wife, who was only a child of 10 or so, asked her mother why they had to live in such a filthy place and how she wished the stoop would be clean all the time. Her mother immediately chastised her for her wish saying, "Don't complain. It means the mills are up and running, and your Dad and uncles are working."

It's good to know

that they finished the house at the top of the bluff that is under construction in '05.

Short Skirts

I notice in a lot of these circa 1900 images that some women, contrary to stereotype, are wearing skirts that only come down to mid-calf. And it doesn't look like all of them are still girls, either: note the two women immediately behind the right-foreground group of girls here. Does anyone know what determined 'acceptable' skirt length back then?

We rode it this summer

You get a beautiful view of the Pittsburgh valley from the top. Must have been a hellish city to live in when the steel mills were going full-tilt.

White River Flour

It makes whiter and lighter bread.

Truly a contraption,

but just what is so interesting that you have go to the top?

[Your neighborhood and house. - Dave]

The passanger incline still runs.

Freight one no longer runs, maybe that's the 1935 date. The passenger is one of two remaining of the 17 original passenger inclines in Pittsburgh.


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