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.
This photo of the Sidney Ohio Cycling club was taken in about 1895. The man in the center is my great grandfather, Burt Heck who left the original to me. At the height of its activities, the club had several dozen members. These guys would cycle 40 miles on a Sunday morning.
Some interesting details are the date 1877 engraved on the roof peak of the house in the background and the kid on the far left trying to get into the picture. Also there are 19 riders and 20 bikes which suggests the photographer was one of the group.
The original print is a very high resolution. I have a poster size print on my wall and it looks fantastic. View full size.