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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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Ford's Theatre: 1860s

Ford's Theatre: 1860s

Old Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., where Abraham Lincoln was shot in 1865. View full size. Wet collodion glass plate. Photograph by Mathew Brady.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


Umm ... so the building next to the Dye House has signs with the word "Legs" on it ... was that a prostitution house?

[The sign for O. Mosack (Kosack? Hosack?) is advertising the Jewett Patent Leg, a prosthetic limb. - Dave]

+144 (approx.)

Here is the same view from September of 2009. The theater recently reopened after being closed for some time for renovations. In addition, a new visitor's center was constructed next door. Although the interior of the theater looks "as it appeared" in April of 1865, the interior is a reconstruction. Shortly after Lincoln's assasination the theater closed. It was then leased to the War Department for use as government offices. In 1866, the US government purchased the building and it housed War Department offices until 1893 when the roof collapsed and killed 22 people and injured many more. In 1932 the building reopened to the public as the Lincoln Museum. Only in 1968 did it reopen as Ford's Theater and had its first performance in over 100 years in 1969.

Morbid Neighbor

Right next door is the Dye House. Eeeeeeeerie!


I'm amazed that there's no marquee. How did anyone know what was playing? Was the marquee an invention of the electric age?

How times have changed

Amazing to see D.C. with dirt streets. Hard to imagine.

SHORPY HISTORICAL 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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