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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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The Fall of Washington: 1935

The Fall of Washington: 1935

Sept. 17, 1935. "These two 150-foot-tall brick smokestacks on the Mall in Washington, D.C., were considered an eyesore and ordered demolished. The closer stack fell shortly after the far one toppled. They were erected when a central heating plant occupied the site." Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.


It's probably smoke

They may have used fire to bring them down.

Physics in action

Note the crack forming 1/3 way up the falling stack.

An interesting fact of physics is that all debris from a non-monolithic falling structure will land within a distance 2/3 of its height.

Must have been in a hurry

They didn't even wait for it to stop smoking.

Holy smoke!

Was there a fire in that far stack when they toppled it?

[My guess: dust being forced up the chimney by the force of its collapse? -tterrace]

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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