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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Big Sky: 1942

Big Sky: 1942

Butte, Montana, in September 1942. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Russell Lee, Office of War Information. Anyone see their house here? View full size.

 

From near the M on the hill

The picture looks like it was taken with a telephoto lens from near the M on the hill west of town looking pretty much east. The Berkley pit was dug along the foothills of the ridge in the background.

I'm moving to Butte

... in five weeks. I want to make an effort to re-create the angle and setting of the photo.

We have a restored house in Uptown Butte on West Mercury. I'll see how many of the more distinctive buildings in this photo we can identify.

Thanks for a fun project idea!

Have you seen your Butte today?

I believe this is the area in the photo on Google Maps today:


View Larger Map

The photo looks like it was taken from Big Butte Road (no, I did not make that up!) looking east. Antimony Street and West Woolman Street run away from the camera in the foreground toward that iron superstructure at left, which is the most easily identifiable feature. Many of the houses appear to still be there. Looks like the area that would become the gigantic Berkeley Pit copper mine is in the background. It appears that some type of mining was already taking place, though the copper mine wouldn't open until 1955 according to Wikipedia.

Memories of Butte

I am fascinated by the similarity of my last memory of Butte and this picture. My father was a miner in Wallace, Idaho, and when the galena miners went on strike, we would pack up and head for Butte, where Dad would find work. One vivid memory is of the steps that went up the mountainside between houses, they seemed very steep back then (late 1950's). Does any one have any pictures of the area I am describing?

Seeing Butte, Montana

To see Butte you have to want to see it as the city is located, for the most part, north of I-90. It was the same when U.S.10 was the main east-west road. There are times we do take old U.S. 10 (now state highway 2) west over the mountains for old times' sake.

Recent?

Does anyone have something recent from the same angle to compare? Just wow. I wish the LoC had Canadian stuff in it as well.

Amazing

This site is so brilliant!

I waste all my afternoon here seeing and appreciating these pearls!
Congrats and thank you so much for this wonderfull work.

Here We Go Again

This shot will keep me pretty busy for a while, especially in High Definition. This type of detail was available in the pictures of New York City, but that's my territory and much of it is familiar. The closest I've ever been to Montana was the license plate on a rented car in California. I'm hoping our Shorpy commenters (or is it commentators?) can identify the more interesting parts of the picture.

 
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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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