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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 • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

Fire and Ice: 1900

Fire and Ice: 1900

Circa 1900. "Detroit River. Car ferry Michigan Central turning in ice." Our third look at one of these railcar transports. Detroit Publishing. View full size.

 

Brace for ramming!

My great-uncle Ole Julliesen owned a NY harbor tug in the 50s and 60s; as a treat my Uncle Johnny took my brother and me on a trip on the ''Leakin' Lena." We bested thick harbor ice and balky freighters for one whole day. I only appreciate now, decades later, the workload Ole must have carried, working the harbor 300 days a year, sixteen hours a day.

Frost on Fire and Ice

By Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

The Noise!

Wow! What a photo. Can you imagine the noise! Ice grinding and cracking, paddlewheels thrashing, a fully loaded boat lurching this way and that as it forces its way through the ice, the steam engine hammering and, to top it all off, steam whistles shreaking in the cold, crisp air.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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