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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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Celebration Illumination: 1909

Celebration Illumination: 1909

New York, 1909. "Hudson-Fulton celebration. Union League Club illumination." 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.


What a difference a 100 years makes

Then they were trying to create daylight at night, and now we're trying to conserve energy and turn down/off lights at night. I wonder what the Kw/h usage was.

Joe from LI, NY

Read all about it!

This was a huge celebration involving over a million lights. See what the NY Times had to say about it.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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