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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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High Office: 1909

High Office: 1909

New York in 1909. "Metropolitan Life Insurance Building and Madison Square." The Met Life tower in the final stages of construction, with various scaffolds and platforms attached. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.


Like Clockwork

There appears to be scaffolding of some sort across the clocks. It's too early in the 20th Century for a Daylight Savings Time change. Perhaps some other sort of timepiece maintenance is happening. Too bad we can't see the clocks on the south and east sides of the building.

[Note the absence of hands on the clocks. -tterrace]

Prestige over efficiency

It looks like the skinny tower part is more for height and prestige than practicality and business efficiency. They could have gotten more useful floor space per dollar building fewer but wider floors. Inadequate space per floor is what doomed the Singer Building.

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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