SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Haunted House: 1908

Haunted House: 1908

House Chamber of the Capitol circa 1908, with a quorum of ghosts in this time exposure. View full size. 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Up In Smoke

In the days of indoor smoking, most white surfaces quickly turned yellow with nicotine from the burning tobacco. Odds are pretty heavily in favor of those desks down below having ashtrays.

Dark Stars

Since early (before orthochromatic and panchromatic) emulsions see only blue light, things that are blue are rendered lighter. The opposite color of blue is yellow which shows dark since it's the absence of blue.

If the stars material had yellowed or was a warm, yellowish white like a cream color, that would show up as dark.

So, yellowish stars on a blue background become dark stars on a light background.

Dark Star

Is it some odd effect of the photography process (as with the oranges a few pix back) that makes the flag appear to have dark stars on a light background?

Also, the star pattern appears to be that for the 45-star flag (used 1896-1908), rather than the 46-star flag (1908-1912) or 48-star flag (1912-1959).

[Good eye. You're right about the date. Now changed to circa 1908 instead of circa 1913. As for the stars looking darker than their background, that's a good question. The emulsion on 19th-century glass negatives showed blues much lighter than later panchromatic emulsions, but that wouldn't explain the dark stars. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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