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.
Vintage photos of:
Nineteenth-century townscape with an overlay of automobile.
March 27, 1934. "Auburn, Placer County, California. General view of fire house and commercial buildings at Grass Valley and Sacramento Roads." Photo by Roger Sturtevant for the Historic American Buildings Survey. View full size.
U.S. Government bought property of Curtis, Perry & Ward, assayers, for $335,000 and reconstructed building as fireproof three-story brick. Opened as U.S. Mint April 3, 1854. Old building razed 1874. New Sub-Treasury built 1875-1877, four-story pressed brick on granite sills. Building partially destroyed by fire and dynamited in 1906 earthquake ($13 million in gold saved in basement vaults). Restored as one-story building. Passed into private hands in 1915. —HABS, 1940
March 1940. "McCoy Label Co., old U.S. Sub-Treasury & Mint, 608 Commercial Street, San Francisco." Break time for the label-gummers. Photo by A.J. Wittlock for the Historic American Buildings Survey. View full size.