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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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Great Boston Fire of 1872

Great Boston Fire of 1872

A city in ruins. Boston, Massachusetts, after the great fire of November 9-10, 1872. View full size. Albumen print by Joshua Smith. Wikipedia link.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Fort Hill

My ancestor owned Gibbs House in the 1600's which I believe was destroyed in the great fire. Would you happen to have a picture of it anywhere? It was next to the Fort, and there was Gibbs lane and Gibbs Wharf too. I know it is a long shot, but I thought I would try. Thank you!


1915 Boston Fire Map

Section 14 is the area that the Great Fire of 1872 affected.

In the lower right hand

In the lower right hand corner; did someone go back and post a sign where his office used to be? I can't quite read it, looks like "Office of Phillipe -illegible- & co." with an address and another sign below it. I'm very impressed by the detail of this photo.


Boston Fire

My great-grandfather, a firefighter during the Great Fire, told the story of two men stuck on a ledge, with the fire burning close, so they pointed the hoses at them. The men tried to shout something but no one could hear over the din. The two men seemed to calm down and wait until it was safe to be rescued. At that time though, they found out that the men were dead, frozen to death. The water that was supposed to save them killed them instead. My grandfather remembered when his dad came home from the fire, with his clothes frozen to him.

Wonderful Site

I just sit and stare at all the pictures. Wonder what happened to most of them..fascinating.

Incredible Photograph

That city in ruins photograph is so detailed. I visit your blog on a daily basis and thoroughly enjoy each and every photo. You are to be commended on the work you do. Each day is like opening up yet another photographic gift. Keep up the great work!

[Thanks very much. - Dave]

Boston Fire

Does anyone know where in Boston this was? or more information on it?

[Click on the Wikipedia link in the caption. - Dave]

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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