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:
"Baghdad By the Bay" was San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen's nickname for The City, and the title of his collection of affectionate essays published in 1949. My sister took this nicely-detailed 120 Ektachrome transparency just 5 years later, before the neighborhood Victorians became gentrified and the downtown skyline Manhattanized. The intersection at the lower left is Hayes and Shrader. View full size.