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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Rhapsody in Brick: 1940

Rhapsody in Brick: 1940

December 1940 or January 1941. "Detail of industrial building in Massachusetts." 35mm Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano. View full size.

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Blue Skies

The blue of that sky brings tears to my eyes. Hooray for Kodachrome.


This looks like the powerhouse for a factory, as evidenced by the whistle and steam exhaust stacks. I wonder if the engine(s) pulled a lineshaft or generators.

The Height of Humankind's Creativity

I'm sure that the architect who designed the industrial building with smokestack often said, "This was my greatest achievement, thank goodness they used brick. I weep for the future."

Beautiful brickwork.

You're right,it is pleasing to the eye. But look at that newer brickwork on the right; at first sight it looks like a cavity wall outer skin with all the stretchers showing, but in fact every seventh course is stretcher, header, stretcher, header, which makes it more likely to be a solid nine inch wall. Is this a well-known American bond? I don't remember ever seeing it before.

The warmth of brick

How much more pleasing to the eye is the brick structure than one made of grey concrete? This is from the days when artisans, not labourers, turned an architect's design into reality. Anyone can mix concrete but it takes talent to lay a course of bricks correctly.

SHORPY OLD 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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