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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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Postal Castle: 1908

Postal Castle: 1908

"Post Office Department, Washington," circa 1908. The Old Post Office building seen from the corner of 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. on a rainy day. George Grantham Bain Collection glass negative. View full size.



What is the surface of Pennsylvania Avenue at this point? It looks like wet asphalt, but I don't think it was asphalt until the late 20th century. I don't see any coblestones, however. Is that just dirt?

[Late 20th century? Asphalt paving of Washington's streets began well over a century earlier, in the 1870s. - Dave]

Designed by...

Willoughby J. Edbrooke, who was also architect of the Main Building "Golden Dome" at Notre Dame. You have to love that name. It's super-Victorian.

Beautiful Building

You can tell this is an old photograph. Analog clock!

Roman Numerals

If I am getting my Roman numerals right, the year of construction was 1847. Not much traffic even for a rainy day at noon.

[MDCCCXCVII is 1897. - Dave]

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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