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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • LAKE GARDA, ITALY

Duluth: 1905

Duluth: 1905

Duluth, Minnesota, circa 1905. Detroit Publishing glass negative. View full size.

 

So Much to See

I have one of these panoramas framed in my home. Everytime I look at it I see something new. The tram, the Central Tower, and down by the Steam Plant, which used to be the place to stay away from (bowery area). Wouldn't the photographer be shocked to see Canal Park today!

We can fix ol' swayback

That old gon could be straightened out by adjusting the turnbuckles under the car. Those cars had truss rods supporting them. If it's not too far gone a big wrench and a level will fix it.

Railroad Nut

Because I am a nut about railroad history, I just love those old railroad cars.

A lonely survivor

Who would have guessed that the Tremont, along with its ghost sign, was a survivor?

Love these Duluth photos!

Its hard to believe my grandpa was 16 years old and living in Duluth when these photos were taken. Maybe he's one of those kids playing by the tracks

Saved the Best

Central High School Building is fantastic. You could get lost in the details and beauty of this Architecture. Sorry about the cannon, but the Building survives!

Boy of the North Country

Where was Bob Dylan born 36 years later?

Funny

I'm hoping the lumber sash and door place sold better stuff than what was on the building.

Recycling

The cannon was sold as scrap iron in 1942 and was melted down and used during World War II. Because there was so much protest over the sale of the cannon, a flag pole was erected in 1949 on the spot where the cannon stood.

Details here.

About face, perhaps?

It would be wonderful if, before climbing down, the 1905 photographer had also turned his camera in the opposite direction (east), to capture the sparkling new Aerial Lift Bridge over the just-renovated Duluth Ship Canal.

[This photo is part of a six-frame panoramic view. There's a photo of the bridge here. - Dave]

Awesome

Thanks once again for a picture of my local area. Like others said some of these buildings are still around. Amazing to see this area when it was a real working class place rather than the tourist area it has become. Thanks again Shorpy

Can you spot the cannon?

What a great photo, so much going on. I'll keep coming back to this one. Thanks to all who provided the local updates and building identification. Is the cannon still there?

Floating

Seems like the photographer must be situated somewhere on the waterfront. Any ideas on his vantage point?

[Many of the Detroit Publishing city views were taken from water towers. - Dave]

Lake Avenue

The bridge crossing the tracks appears to be South Lake Avenue. The tracks have since been replaced by I-35. The stone building to the left with the clock tower is the (still standing) historic Central High School.

Duluth & Iron Range R.R.

The reporting marks on what appear to be early hopper cars and the much abused gondola are for the Duluth & Iron Range Railroad (predecessor of the current Duluth Missabe & Iron Range). Presumably the ore cars are hauling ore from the Soudan Mine, which makes me wonder if some idiot filled a gondola with iron ore. Probably not though. My guess is that it's an old car filled with stone, coal or clinker.

American Plan!

It's so cool to see this outdated term on a hotel sign.

Note the boats

Not only trains but boats here. A lot to see.

Old downtown

Looks to be a shot across Main Street in what is today's old downtown section. Houses are built all the way to the top of the bluff today.

Duluth Today

As a Duluth resident,I greatly enjoyed this photo! Many of the buildings in the photo are still around - notably the tall-spired one in the left-center. That's the former Central High School.

Duluth is undergoing a renaissance today and appreciation of the old buildings, the spectacular setting on Lake Superior and the rugged hills has never been greater! I love living there!

School Time

The Old Central High School with its two wings and clock tower was, and remains, a very imposing building.

Familiar facades

Many of the buildings in this photo still exist. The large stone building in the upper left is the old Central High School, now the Central Administration Building for the ISD. It was built in the 1890s.

I wonder if the Pickwick sign is a company associated with the operators of the Old Saloon at the original Fitgers Brewery. This turned into the Pickwick restaurant, which is still in operation. One of the train cars is a Fitgers Beer reefer.

Must be July

No snow and the water isn't ice.

So many still around

Many of the companies and products seen on signs in this picture are still around after more than 100 years. Armour Foods, Quaker Oats, Coca-Cola, Duluth Paper, both Pabst and Hamm's beer, National Biscuit (Nabisco), probably others.

Hey you kids!

Look at all the little boys running around! Plus the barefoot kid on top of the boxcar and his friend down below. Doesn't seem prudent but I bet it was fun.

Ol' swayback

Seriously overload gondola car, on our far left.

Railyard playground

I find the variety of people and animals hanging around the railyard in almost every photo on here interesting. Here we see a bunch of kids playing around the freight cars. The days before Thomas the Tank Engine! The other day it was free range chickens! Just interesting is all, how different we are today.

 
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Shorpy.com | 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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