SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Textbook Example: 1912

Textbook Example: 1912

Circa 1912. "New York Public Library building." With a variety of motorized conveyances. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Library Lions

"Fortitude" on the left, north side; "Patience" on the right, south side.

Hold On To Your Hat

The building at the extreme left in this photo is still with us today. It was known as the Knox Hat Building, standing at 452 5th Avenue, it was built in 1902 as the headquarters of one of the Country's largest and most famous headgear manufacturers. A surrounding high rise glass tower was added when it was known as the Republic Bank Building. The major tenant and new owner is now another bank, HSBC.

Knox Hats

While so much has changed in the past 102 years, one survivor in addition to the library itself is the building at the extreme left. Built in 1902 in the Beaux-Arts style, and designed by the same architect as Grant's Tomb, it was the headquarters of the Knox Hat Company for many years (Knox also had a huge factory in Brooklyn)and is still known as the Knox Hat Building even though the company's long gone. HSBC Bank now uses it for offices and has an enormous highrise building crowding it on two sides.

He kindly stopped for me

In the bottom right corner of the photo there is a wagon hurrying along. Is that a coffin in the back?

[Whooooo knows? -tterrace]

Libraries and carriages

I wonder if 100 years from now, whether Shorpy will display a similar photo that shows how libraries became as obsolete as horse-drawn carriages?

Will e-books have the same effect on these magnificent edifices as the internal combustion engine had on the carriages?

A Very Good Year

I'm always on the lookout for photos taken in 1912, because that's the year that my Mom was born. She's 102 years old, and still lives on her own and is sharp as a tack. When I see a photo like this, I try to imagine all of the things she has seen in her lifetime, and it helps me visualize the work into which she was born.

The New York Public Library has hardly changed a bit, except I did notice that the facade in the 1912 views must have been unfinished, for today, 6 statues grace the frieze on the colonnade, rather than the single one that was there then.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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