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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 • LAKE GARDA, ITALY

Tenement Beautiful: 1921

Tenement Beautiful: 1921

        Before Urban Renewal, there was the Hyacinth Window Box.

March 1921. "City Gardens Club of New York exhibit at the International Flower Show, Grand Central Palace." From the Home Improvement issue of Better Hovels & Gardens. Gelatin silver print by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.

 

Magic flowers

That's amazing! If planting flowers can pick up your garbage, straighten your shutters and paint them, and dry your laundry with neither electric dryer nor clothesline, I guess I should get planting!

Clothesline

Why is a clothesline in a narrow-lot yard always taken to be a sign of squalor? It's simply a feature of high-density housing.

Odd couples

Mr. and Mrs. Ungar told their boy to stay away from that Madison kid next door.

Three generations of exhibition halls

Grand Central Palace was not related to Grand Central Terminal even though it was located just a short distance away. It was New York's main exhibition hall from its opening in 1911 until the early 1950's, when it was demolished and a high-rise built on the site. The New York Coliseum on Columbus Circle then became the city's exhibition hall, a status it held until the Javits Convention Center opened in the 1980's.

Now the Javits Center itself is becoming obsolete, being too small for today's mega-conventions, but there are no real plans to replace it.

 
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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