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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Rotterdam Canal, 1904

Rotterdam Canal, 1904

Spuiwaterboot Canal in Rotterdam as seen from a bridge. One of a series of images taken in Europe in 1904 by an unknown photographer. Scanned from the nitrocellulose negative. View full size.

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Spuiwater - Rotterdam

In an article about the eldest locks of Rotterdam (in Dutch) I found a post card, taken more or less from the same viewpoint, the filename of the picture was "spuiwaterboot," so someone probably once took that filename as the name of the canal.


Yes, this is Rotterdam: The Spuiwater canal.

Not Rotterdam?

In my opinion this photo cannot be from Rotterdam, for the simple reason there has never been a canal with that name in Rotterdam. "Spuiwaterboot" is a strange name anyway, "water" meaning "water" in Dutch as well and "boot" meaning "boat". "Spui" used to be an old name for a water outlet (the best-known "Spui" is a now a square in Amsterdam). So most probably what we have here is a contamination of terms used to catalogue a photo showing the water of a canal named "Spui" with a boat in it.

The most probable candidate for this photo's location might be the Spui Canal in The Hague, which actually existed until being filled-up and changed into Spui Street between 1900-1905. In that case, this might be a photo that was made just before the canal was changed into a street.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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