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:
1901. Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Wilbur Wright and glider just after landing. 4x5 dry-plate glass negative attributed to Orville Wright. View full size. The fogging of the negative at the bottom of the frame, combined with the skid marks in the sand from an earlier landing, create the illusion that the glider is still flying.
St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1865 following bombardment of the city during the Civil War. From photographs of the Federal Navy and seaborne expeditions against the Atlantic Coast of the Confederacy, 1863-1865. View full size. Left half of a glass-plate stereograph negative.
April 1865. Charleston, South Carolina, after bombardment by the Federal Navy. View from roof of the Mills House, looking up Meeting Street at ruins of the Circular Church, damaged in an 1861 fire. View full size. This is the scaffolded building seen in last week's Civil War posts. From photographs of the Federal Navy and seaborne expeditions against the Atlantic Coast of the Confederacy, 1863-1865. Right half of a wet-plate glass negative stereograph. Of interest is the faint registration of clouds, which I've brought out with the Shadows & Highlights filters in Photoshop. Most daytime outdoor photography from the 19th century shows blank white skies, a common characteristic of the blue-sensitive emulsions used in the days before panchromatic black-and-white emulsions came into use.