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:
Equestrian signalman on the New York Central's Eleventh Avenue freight line circa 1911. In a 1930 article on the West Side tracks' demise, the New York Times wrote of the "eight men and twenty-four horses comprising the famous 'cowboy troop' [or 'West Side Cowboys'] whose function it has been for years to ride ahead of the puffing locomotives as they wheeled along Death Avenue." The dangerous street-level tracks were eventually replaced by a 1½-mile viaduct, the High Line, that after decades of abandonment is being turned into a long, thin elevated park. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.