SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
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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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Downward Spiral: 1936

Downward Spiral: 1936

Washington, D.C., circa 1936. "U.S. Supreme Court interiors. Stairwell looking down." Safety negative by Theodor Horydczak. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Cut n' paste

It would have been a better photo if Ted had Photoshopped out the tripod.

Broke one of the golden rules of photography

Don't get your camera bag or tripod in the picture!


Wonder that Hitchcock didn't shoot a film here.

Stone cutting the treads

Imagine the labor involved in cutting out the 3 rectangular holes for the upright balustrades? 3 per tread x's many. In Sicilian marble too.


Would really dig these crazy stairs.

Great Ride

Do Supreme Court pages, or Justices in their robes, slide down that railing?
A leg of the photographer's tripod is in the bottom of the frame.


I love the tripod at our feet.

Great Custodial Staff

I visited the SCOTUS building last summer and peered down that stairway; they have managed to get rid of the lettering etched into the floor.

Drip ... drip

There must be leak in the roof. There's a watermark at the bottom.

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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