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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

Boston Market: 1904

Boston Market: 1904

Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1904. "Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Ames Plow Co.

The Ames Plow Company, purveyor of "agricultural implements" directly under the great dome of the central market building, is now the name of a pub at the far eastern end of the same building (the foreground of the photograph). In fact, in nice weather, there are tables outside just about where "Queen Victoria" is depicted buying a head of lettuce from one of the vendors. Yes, the whole place is very touristy, full of Banana Republics and Crate & Barrels. But architecturally it's one of the great urban "saves" of the late 20th century. A model for things like South Street Seaport in NYC and the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.

Re: Death by Molasses

You're looking west here toward Scollay Square (now Government Center). The Molasses Flood occurred in the North End on Commercial Street which would be north from here or looking to your immediate right.

Quincy MAH-ket now

Roughly the same view now. So glad Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall survived the urban renewal nightmare of Mayors Hynes and Collins and Edward Logue that destroyed Scollay Square and the West End. Keep the old pics of Boston coming, Dave. Love to see one of old Scollay Square.

Wow!

I hadn't been on the site in a while....finally broke down and bought a new desktop and 24" monitor. This was the first photo and first to view full size. I had no idea the size and clarity of the scans. Terrific.

Getting a head

In the lower far right corner, the late Queen Victoria's stunt double negotiates the price of a head of lettuce.

And this is before refrigeration

These fruits and vegetables would have been grown within a day's transportation from Faneuil Market. Refrigerated transport was based on ice-packing at the time was mainly for meats and luxury goods like ice cream, rather than perishables like produce. CO2 refrigeration had really only begun five years ago when this photo was taken.

Based on the numerous crates of apples, and what appears to be a truckload of pumpkins, as well as the outerwear, can we estimate that this photo was taken in late September or October? A great many of the apple farms that produced this bounty are probably covered with housing by now.

How Green It Is

In today's modern context, this is a very "green" scene. Local produce, animal powered transportation, and natural skylight illumination.

Hangin out at tha Bah Dood

Just had my company Christmas party there a month or so ago. the entire second floor is now a huge bar/nightclub, and the bottom floor is a food court. I would love for it to have stayed a produce market in the style of Eastern Market in DC, but alas tourism prevails.

Death by Molasses

In the background, above the sign for the Boston Fruit and Produce Exchange, there is a huge holding tank. Is that the one that burst, causing the Molasses Flood of 1919?

Right neah Scollay Squayah

The amazing thing is that the building still looks more or less the same (not to mention it being a HUGE tourist trap now). That's Faneuil Hall in the background.

 
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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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