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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 NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Charleston: 1865

Charleston: 1865

1865. "Charleston, South Carolina. View from roof of Orphan Asylum. The Citadel in middle distance." From photographs of the Federal Navy and seaborne expeditions against the Atlantic Coast of the Confederacy, 1863-1865. Wet plate glass negative, half of stereo pair, photographer unknown. View full size.

 

Charleston today

"Church off to the right" isn't the one in the pic. The one there today is Citadel Square Baptist Church. The one in the older pic IS still there, but it's off the short park in the upper right, out of view. Park is called Wragg Square. Forget the church's name.

Marion Square was the parade grounds for Citadel cadets. They were involved in the attack on Fort Sumter. Is this a spy pic or something?

Wonderful Rooftops

Roofs were so much more interesting in the 19th and early 20th century--dormers, chimneys, peaks and valleys everywhere...

Marion Square Today

After the Citadel moved closer to the river, others took over the premises - here is a view today. Looks like one building got an additional story - the church off to the right is still standing, but little else remains from that era.

That's Home!

That's Marion Square on the right; home is three blocks away. The windows are open because the air's like hot soup in the summer. That's really something.

The Gathering

I'm wondering about the group of people too. It almost looks like they're sitting at a table. In the three-story building below and left of them, you can see a bed in the window.

Charleston

Amazing brick work on some of those places.
Clearly a very warm day, with all the windows open.
I wonder who the group of people is there on the right? There are certainly some children and adults.

Observation

Is that an observatory on the near corner of the Citadel?

No Billboards

Not one ad. No billboards. How did people live like that back then?

Pre-AC

I'm struck by the number of thrown-wide-open windows in this photo. Catching a breeze and whatever else wafted in with it, I suppose.

Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska

A Lot With a Little

It's really quite amazing to look at how much we managed to accomplish without the use of toilets, cars, phones, computers, TVs, radios, movies, the Internet, or even hot showers!

 
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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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