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:
In what we hope will be an annual tradition, we're pleased to open the season on the Shorpy/Plan59 Holiday Print, made at Juniper Gallery in Fairfax, Virginia, from an original 1938 painting by noted Fortune magazine illustrator Antonio Petruccelli that we purchased at auction last fall in New York. The prints, struck on French art paper with archival inks, are very detailed and quite beautiful.
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For a slight change of pace, here's a 35mm Kodachrome taken by my grandmother on a sailing trip around the Bahamas in 1949. View full size.
1914. Dr. Charles Campbell and a "municipal bat-roost" in San Antonio, Texas ("for one of man's best friends"), his idea for mosquito control at a time when malaria was a major public health problem in the U.S. Disguised as a favorite bat habitat — a church steeple, complete with cross — the roost was fitted with a trapdoor and stilts to facilitate the harvesting of guano by the wagonload for use as fertilizer. 5x7 glass negative, Bain News Service. View full size.