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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

The Best Little Bathouse in Texas

The Best Little Bathouse in Texas

1914. Dr. Charles Campbell and a "municipal bat-roost" in San Antonio, Texas ("for one of man's best friends"), his idea for mosquito control at a time when malaria was a major public health problem in the U.S. Disguised as a favorite bat habitat — a church steeple, complete with cross — the roost was fitted with a trapdoor and stilts to facilitate the harvesting of guano by the wagonload for use as fertilizer. 5x7 glass negative, Bain News Service. View full size.

 

Awesome . . .

When I lived in a very rural area a few years ago, we had a lot of parties and people were always amazed because we didn't have any mosquitoes . . . . every evening we'd sit on the deck and watch the bats . . . . it was very cool.

How did he get up there?

Somone said erelyer, how did he get up there? It's true, how did he get up there maybe, he's a bat and flew up there?

Where's The Ladder?

Am I the only one who is curious to know how he got up there?

[My guess: With a ladder. - Dave]

Mad Genius

Could use a few more like him.

Bat-hyphens

So, does one properly hyphenate "bat roost" or not? They seem to go both ways there.

Bat Roost

More information here.

The Good Doctor

Looks a bit like Teddy Roosevelt, eh? The "rotundness" and all that.
Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska

I didn't realise the scale of the construction...

...until I saw the man standing there. I thought that it was something quite small, with a shape that imitated a church steeple.

Interesting shot!

Go Organic!

It's amusing that so many people think of natural and organic solutions as new and modern. I guess most folks don't think about what life was like before DDT and other chemicals. It's a great photo.

Wonderment

I'm so glad the good Doctor chose to pose on his Bat Roost. Otherwise we'd not get a true sense of the size of that thing. You don't really see timbers that size much anymore!

[The supports are poured concrete. - Dave]

 
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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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