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:
Montgomery, Alabama, circa 1906. "Commerce Street from Court Square." Whose designer would probably be none too pleased with the telephone poles and wires sprouting from his fountain. Our second look at this bustling hub. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
Circa 1911, our second selection from the panoramic series "Washington from Washington Monument." Landmarks include the State, War & Navy Building at left; the White House and Ellipse; and U.S. Treasury. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
1938. "Petitin's Store, Grand Coteau, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Building dates to ca. 1834." While this ad-encrusted grocery might strike you as charmingly rustic, the Dr. Pepper sign seems to have so offended the photographer's sensibilities that for the other pictures she took, she draped it with a cloth. 8x10 acetate negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.
Circa 1911. "Washington from Washington Monument." Points of interest in this first installment of a six-segment panoramic view include B Street (today's Constitution Avenue), running diagonally from the Potomac Electric powerhouse at lower left; Louisiana Avenue, branching off in the general direction of Union Station at upper right; the Old Post Office and its clock tower at left-center across Pennsylvania Avenue from the Raleigh Hotel under construction; the Agriculture Department greenhouses in the foreground with a corner of the Smithsonian "National Museum" at far right, just below Center Market; Liberty Market at upper left, below what looks to be a vast tent encampment; and, at right-upper-center, the Pension Office north of Judiciary Square and the District Court House. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.