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About the Photos

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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • VINTAGE RIO TRAVEL, c 1950s

City of Alpena: 1899

City of Alpena: 1899

Circa 1899. "Sidewheeler City of Alpena." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

        The CITY OF ALPENA, launched from the Detroit Dry Dock Co. in Wyandotte in 1893, was one of several elegant paddlewheel steamboats operated by the Detroit & Cleveland Line out of Detroit. The line dated to 1849 and eventually included 10 large vessels, serving ports all over Lake Erie and Lake Huron.

        The impressive CITY OF ALPENA and sister ship CITY OF MACKINAC were 285 feet long and driven by 2,000-horsepower steam engines. They carried as many as 400 passengers along with significant cargoes of package freight, merchandise and foodstuffs. They provided a critical link to big cities like Toledo, Detroit and Saginaw in the years before completion of railroads and highways to the communities of booming Northeast Michigan.

        The CITY OF ALPENA was taken off the "Coast Line to Mackinac" in 1921 when the lumbering industry had moved to the West Coast and railroads connected most of the towns in the region. She operated afterward on Lake Michigan as the CITY OF SAUGATUCK, and ended up in the late 1930s as a barge, carrying pulpwood and later petroleum products. The once-proud ship was broken up for scrap in 1957.

-- C. Patrick Labadie, Historian
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

 

Henley House: 1930

Henley House: 1930

Circa 1930. "Henley House, ca. 1728, Princess Anne County, Virginia." 8x10 inch acetate negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.

 

What a Dumper: 1918

What a Dumper: 1918

San Francisco circa 1918. "Peerless truck." With a dump body by Modern Vehicle Company of San Francisco. 5x7 glass negative by Chris Helin. View full size.

 

Cannery Row Fire: 1967

Cannery Row Fire: 1967

Kodachrome slide taken by my dad while we were in Pacific Grove for the Christmas holiday, December, 1967. From the Monterey Herald:

"On Sunday, Dec. 24, 1967, the old Carmel Canning Company on Cannery Row caught fire and burned for more than four hours. The blaze, which had more than 65 firemen respond from Monterey, Seaside and Pacific Grove, caused an estimated $250,000 in damage. Fire and smoke billowed from the structure, causing embers to fall on homes in New Monterey and start smaller fires. Fire Chief Clifford Hebrard said it was his opinion “that the fire was set.” An arson investigation was to take place the next day." View full size.

Okie Tater Tots: 1937

Okie Tater Tots: 1937

May 1937. "Children from Chickasaw, Oklahoma, in a potato pickers' camp near Shafter, California." Medium format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

And Puppy-Dog Tails: 1938

And Puppy-Dog Tails: 1938

November 1938. "Migrant cotton picker's children who live in a tent in the government camp instead of along the highway or in a ditch bank. Shafter Camp, California." Medium format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange. View full size.

 

Little House: 1938

Little House: 1938

November 1938. "Home of rural rehabilitation client, Tulare County, California. They bought 20 acres of raw unimproved land with a first payment of 50 dollars which was money saved out of relief budget (August 1936). They received a Farm Security Administration loan of $700 for stock and equipment. Now they have a one-room shack, seven cows, three sows, and homemade pumping plant, along with 10 acres of improved permanent pasture. Cream check approximately 30 dollars per month. Husband also works about ten days a month outside the farm. Husband is 26 years old, wife 22, three small children. Been in California five years. 'Piece by piece this place gets put together. One more piece of pipe and our water tank will be finished'." Medium format negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 
 
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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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