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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.

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Dubuque: 1940

Dubuque: 1940

April 1940. "Business section of Dubuque, Iowa. The rich live in houses on the cliffs seen in background." View full size. 35mm negative by John Vachon.

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Found It!

I felt like doing a little investigative work tonight. I was born in Dubuque and raised not far from there in Wisconsin. Not that anybody probably cares, but this is looking west-southwest down Seventh Street, probably from Main. Nothing in the foreground seems to still exist, but the house at the end of the street, as well as the house on the bluff, still remain. Take a look at current-day Dubuque on Google Maps. This is one block closer to the houses at the end of the street.

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For Just A Minute There... really had me puzzled. I was going to call a technical foul thinking this couldn't really be photo of a mid-20th century midwest American business district. There didn't seem to be a Coca-Cola sign anywhere in sight! But if you go to the full size view and look carefully it is in fact there.

I won't spoil it for you; you'll have to find it yourself. Think of it as a soft drink version of "Where's Waldo?".

Dubuque is a Mississippi River Town.

Dubuque was one of the first settlements in Iowa. This picture is looking west. Downtown is along the river bank. Most of the town today is: "Up on the hill". Great river town.


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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