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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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Back Alley: 1914

Back Alley: 1914

District of Columbia, 1914. "Alley clearance. Slum views." A scene that I don't imagine would have changed much since the 19th century except for the utility pole. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


Look out below!

Any minute now, that guy reading the paper is going to get hit on the head by that plant hanging precariously above!

Mmm, Vermeery

This is immediately reminiscent of Vermeer's "Little Street."

That's not too bad

Considering that it's an almost 100 year old "slum alley" it looks better than the alley next to my apartment building.

Hello, Wall

It's hilarious how it appears that Miss Chubby there is belly-up to the wall and talking to it.

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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