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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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Behind the Boardwalk: 1900

Behind the Boardwalk: 1900

New Jersey circa 1900. "Atlantic City from lighthouse." To be continued! Detroit Publishing Company glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Home Improvement

That house mentioned by Aarno on South Congress is still there surrounded by a sad and tired emptiness. All of this within a stone's throw of boardwalk casinos. The house has fairly recently enjoyed the benefit of a crappy vinyl siding job and new windows. There are probably a few more houses standing in the immediate vicinity of Congress Avenue that can be found in the photo.

It is difficult to see the neglect of this area now (and the last 50 years) when contrasted with the pride of craftsmanship from 1905.

Found one old house

I've been browsing this area with Google Earth trying to find even one of those pretty houses which are plenty in the photo. They've been mostly torn out, but I think I found one: It is a four-floor house standing by the S Congress Avenue, on the middle right of the photo. It has a hipped roof with an odd flat appendix on the top of it. Great!

The Golden Age of the Cupola

The better to see the Monopoly streets.

AC's early Steel Pier

If you blow up the high def picture, at middle left you will see two piers into the ocean. The first pier comes into the land and ends in a building with two roof turrets. That is AC's early famed Steel Pier.

Charming old AC

The years have not been kind to Atlantic City. I love the photos on this site of this great city in her heyday. When I ride my bike around AC today, I revel in the hidden bits of faded glory that still exist.

The earlier poster may not have noticed that it is winter. Jersey shore towns tend to get a little desolate in winter. My guess is that hasn't changed much in 100 years.


I kept staring at the houses and their lots because something seemed to be missing. It took me a while but I finally figured it out -- driveways.

What square did I land on?

Where are all the green houses and red hotels?

Not the Atlantic City I remember!

I remember the Atlantic City of the late 60's - early 70's; a run-down place of penny arcades and peep shows. Sort of like a worn out mistress desperately trying to hold on to her youth. You also didn't venture too far off the boardwalk - Atlantic City was a dangerous place.

This shot, however, shows Atlantic City at her height and in all her glory. A vacation mecca for much of the central-eastern US. Grand homes, hotels with wide verandas, world-class attractions. What a place it must have been!

Where'd everybody go?

Wonderful photo. I assume it was taken very early in the morning, but it's still eerie to see all those houses with almost nobody around.

Channeling W.C. Fields...

Ah, the old Absecon Lighthouse. Yes, indeed. Just like I remember it. What's that you say, young man? Seven dollars to climb to the top? For that kind of money, kid, you're gonna have to carry me up there.

On the serious side, what a treat to see some of these old beauties of homes in their just-built glory. These in the foreground have a turn-of-the-century tract-house look to them. Then there's the obvious transition going on between indoor plumbing and ye olde outhouse. Probably a welcome change, given what looks to be a cold winter's day down below the lighthouse.

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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