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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 • VOLUNTEER FOR VICTORY

Welcome to Denver: 1908

Welcome to Denver: 1908

        Click here for a view of the arch from the depot.

Denver, Colorado, circa 1908. "Welcome arch and Union Depot." Where blurry pedestrians risk the retoucher's brush. 8x10 glass negative. View full size.

 

When

Was the Arch installed and by whom?

Welcome Arch

Shortly after this photo was taken, this side of the arch was changed to "Mizpah" - Hebrew for "God watch over you while we are apart" - after some citizens pointed out that "Welcome" didn't make sense for people passing under as they departed. "Welcome" remained on the arrival side until the arch was declared a traffic hazard and removed in 1931. The central portion of the depot lost its tower when it was rebuilt in Romanesque style in 1914

Modern advertising skills

The Depot Drug Store's slogan, painted on the side of the building, is "Come In and Wait". I'm not sure that kind of slogan would work today.

Photo Retouching

By the time this photo was taken in 1908, the airbrush had been around for nearly a decade. It's level of sophistication and ease of operation may not have been quite on par with modern machines, but would have definitely done a better retouching job on the blurred pedestrian than this feeble attempt done by a regular brush. From someone who did his share of photo retouching the old school way with an airbrush, retouch grays, and frisket paper, let me tell you that I love PhotoShop immensely.

[The actual "retouching" would be done while preparing the lithograph printing stones, in effect repainting the area. My guess is that the scratching out of the pedestrian was a method of calling attention to the necessity of doing so. -tterrace]

Right you are! My remarks would only pertain to photographic print retouching. Thanks!

My kind of place !

The Oxford Hotel looks like my kind of place. Cigars on one side, bar and restaurant on the other and a nice group of chairs in the middle! Time to sit down and have a smoke!

Superhero

I think that might be the Human Torch crossing the street there.

+104

Below is the same view from July of 2012.

Because ...

that's much less noticeable than a blurred pedestrian, right?

 
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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