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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

Urban Eden: 1908

Urban Eden: 1908

New York circa 1908. "Living on a skyscraper." An apartment building rooftop garden, with a small menagerie. Bain News Service glass negative. View full size.

 

Meanwhile, overhead --

A DEA observation balloon is hovering, its aeronaut observing through heavy lenses.

Fenestration

Protruding from many of those windows these days and for about the last 40 or so years, would be room air conditioning units. On one of our NYC 90 degree, very humid summer days, with the Heat Index in the low 100s, the noise would at best, be annoying or at worst deafening. Those roof top Gardeners would be quite discomforted. In our working spring and summer days these A/C units were an important part of our business. They would normally be installed by the customer or the tenement handyman. Using Scotch Tape and chewing gum with the upper sash lowered onto the top of unit, I was always amazed that one didn't come crashing down on a passing pedestrian every day.

Double hung

It's nice to see someone knows how a double-hung is intended to be used.

Now, what is that sinister looking gardener going to do with his bumper crop of Castor Bean?

 
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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