The Shorpy Gallery
 
5000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
 
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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Traffic These Days: 1913

Traffic These Days: 1913

Washington, 1913. This is, as far as we know, our final glimpse of the Haynes roadster before it motors on its way down 14th Street into eternity. If the darn umbrella ever changes. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Boss Shepherd and the District Building

It's nice to know that the statue of Alexander "Boss" Shepherd has been returned to its rightful place of honor in front of the District Building.

Glass on your plate

Just saw a great documentary on the photographer Sally Mann. She was using a huge old field camera and shooting 8x10 inch glass plates, using a collodion wet plate process, with darkroom equipment in the back of her Suburban. She was shooting, amongst other things, old Civil War battlegrounds, and marveling at the flawlessness of old glass negatives from Brady and other Civil War era photographers. As we do here about twenty times a day...

It was great seeing how it's actually done.

I liked the notion of the Haynes roadster speeding off into Eternity, by the way. Very evocative.

Glass Plate/Negative difference?

Is a glass plate a "positive" versus a glass "negative" of the photograph?

[They are the same thing -- the negative is a glass plate. "Plate" just means flat -- a flat sheet of glass, like windowpane. The negative is made by taking the glass plate out of the camera and dunking it in developing solution. Most of the images you see on Shorpy are made by shining a light through the negative onto an image sensor and then electronically reversing ("inverting") the result. Below are some pictures of an actual glass negative that I took in my kitchen. Click to enlarge. - Dave]

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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