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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 • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Luna Park: 1905

Luna Park: 1905

"Luna Park at Night." Coney Island circa 1905. Time exposure on an 8x10 glass negative. Detroit Publishing Company, Library of Congress. View full size.

 

re: Cheek to Cheek

I hadn't meant that part of the photo (though that's pretty interesting--I've never seen tin hills before!). I was speaking about something below the A and M of "Alhambra", directly over the heads of the people in line.

This site is awesome, by the way! I've been checking in here for about a year, though only just registered for comments this past week.

[More faux rocks, perhaps. - Dave]

Cheek to Cheek

This is absolutely gorgeous. Strangely enough, it reminds me of the "Venice" sequence in Fred and Ginger's "Top Hat."

There's a bizarre bit of tarps or something on the left side of the picture, just where the balustrade begins to descend, right above the people. It almost looks like something collapsed there. Any idea what it was?

[They might be the tin hills that formed the backdrop of a spectacle called "The Fall of Port Arthur" -- the reenactment of a naval battle in the Russo-Japanese War. - Dave]

Dreamland

What a beautiful photo!

It looks like a fantastical place out of a voyage into someone's dreamworld. I wish I could travel back in time...

I was at Coney Island just last week (taking "little ones" to the NY aquarium) and walked past Astroland and promised them a return visit to enjoy the rides. But yesterday's NY papers had headlines announcing the place is closing this Sunday! Another place where dreams and memories are made, lost forever.

Fabulous, indeed.

It is just wrong, so wrong, that I never made it to Coney Island in its Glory Days. This picture is spectacular!

My only trip was around 1990, and while still fun (my brother had to retrieve my headband from behind the "Breakdancer" ride, which whipped us in giddy circles -- and which we nicknamed "The Backbreaker" after our third time!), it was definitely a little seedy. As we left, the streetlights and stoplights went out and police officers were trying to direct the honking, yelling HORDES in near pitch blackness.

There were five of us in our little Volkswagen with Texas plates--scared out of our minds and trying to get back to Staten Island. We still talk about our night of terror at Coney Island!

Hello wall...

...meet your newest print. Mmm mmm. Fabulous!

 
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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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