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Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

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Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

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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Brooklyn Murder Trial

Brooklyn Murder Trial

My great grandfather Leo Healy (sitting second from left with hands on table) with his clients, two boys accused of murder in a 1930's Brooklyn courtroom. Both boys were found not guilty.

That's Criminal Court in Brooklyn

It used to be called the Central Court Building. I'm a criminal defense lawyer, and am in that building almost daily. The courtrooms look exactly the same.

I wonder which courtroom it is.

Proper Attire

One of the defining characteristics of old photographs, at least those before the 1970s, is how adult and mature everyone always looks. Even whom we would refer to as "young people."

You just didn't have grown men sitting around in public places in shorts, tee shirts with advertising on them, and baseball caps back then. No one would take you at all seriously if you dressed like that; and you'd more than likely be considered a bum, a menial worker or a nut.

Of course, in today's courtrooms people make the effort to dress as well, but until the 1970s, ALL adults, if they wanted to be taken seriously, made the effort to dress like grown and responsible men and women.

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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