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.
Vintage photos of:
June 29, 1916, fire at the Fox Playhouse between East 13th and 14th Streets. Tenants in the building owned by restaurateur August Luchow included the vaudeville house (showing "photo plays"), Loewinger Brothers printers, a pool hall and Greater New York Film Rental. We also see women at two of the windows. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.
On January 6, 1915, an electrical short in a manhole started a fire that filled the subway line under Broadway at West 55th Street with smoke, resulting in chaos for a quarter-million commuters. The New York Times reported that one person, Ella Grady, was killed. We note that photographer George Grantham Bain, like many of us writing checks just after January 1, was a year off in dating this photo. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.
Another view of the Primadora cigar shop, with a lunchroom, furrier, carpenter and men's clothier as neighbors. View full size. Geo. Grantham Bain Collection.