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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Work Zone: 1860s

Work Zone: 1860s

Washington, D.C., circa 1860s. "Old Winder Building, 17th & F. St. NW." Wet plate glass negative. Brady-Handy Collection, Library of Congress. View full size.

 

Wow!

It is hard to believe that this photo is that old. It looks as if it were taken yesterday. I know a little town that just installed street lights that are strikingly similar to the ones picture.

Narrow Escape

This historic structure narrowly escaped demolition in the 70's, according to the article. Thanks to those concerned citizens who banded together to save it.

Stucco Unstuck

Surprisingly modern looking building for 1848. But whatever that sheathing is didn't hold up very well- it's already peeling off exposing the brick beneath.

600 17th Street NW

The Winder Building is now the headquarters of the US Trade Representative, across the street from the Old Executive Office Building, which itself is beside the White House. I worked at USTR until this past spring. Inside, the hallways of have been restored to their pre-Civil War configuration, with plaster walls, brick floors, and the old gas lamp fixtures still in place (now electrified).

It's a somewhat strange building to work in, despite its modernization. The offices are odd sizes and the plumbing is exposed. Still, it's a very solid building!

Old Old Winder

The Winder Building, a stone's throw from the White House, is one of the few remaining pre-Civil War office buildings in D.C. Opened in 1848, it was Washington's first "skyscraper."

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | 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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