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:
Part of Washington Market in 1956, looking north along Washington Street at Fulton Street in Lower Manhattan. The market, which began as an open-air bazaar in 1812, was renovated with the facade seen here in 1940 and razed in 1967 to make way for the World Trade Center. With more than 800 vendors, it was for many years the largest wholesale produce market in the United States. Photo by Fred Palumbo, New York World-Telegram & Sun. View full size.
March 22, 1948. The New York City Public Market at First Avenue and East 73rd Street (?), an example of the food market in transition. A typical 19th-century market would have many separate vendors in an open-air space like a town square. By the early 1900s the open-air space had given way to separate vendors under a large shed roof with no walls, often near the train station. Here in 1948 the space is enclosed, but still with separate vendors (greengrocer, butcher, dry goods, fishmonger etc.). After the introduction of centralized distribution and self-service for the various product categories, the individual vendors fade from the scene and the market has a new name: "super-market," now spelled without the hyphen. View full size. 5x7 safety negative by Gottscho-Schleisner.