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:
Toy show at Madison Square Garden, 1908. View full size. George Grantham Bain Collection. In the foreground: Junior Aero Club display. Several shadowy blurs can be seen in this time exposure moving about what at first glance appears to be a deserted exhibit space. The car merry-go-round is slowly revolving.
Whitehall Street, Atlanta, 1864. This photo of a black Union soldier posted at a slave auction house in Atlanta is one of hundreds taken by George N. Barnard during Gen. Sherman's occupation of the city in the fall of 1864. Many were destroyed in the conflagration that erupted upon Sherman's firing of Confederate munitions stores when he departed on Nov. 15. View full size.
"The War in the West." 1864 photo (half of a stereograph) by George N. Barnard. Atlanta Intelligencer newspaper office by the railroad depot. Exposure times were so long that anyone walking appears only as an ectoplasmic blur. View full size. Note tents in background and troop train with soldiers atop the boxcars.
Chain gang of convicts engaged in road work, Autumn 1910. Pitt County, North Carolina. The inmates are quartered in the wagons, which are equipped with bunks and move from place to place as labor is utilized. The central figure is J.Z. McLawhon, county superintendent of chain gangs. The dogs are bloodhounds used for running down any attempted escapes. View full size.