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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 • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

The Long View: 1902

The Long View: 1902

Sapphire, North Carolina, circa 1902. "View from the Lodge on Mount Toxaway." Glass negative by William Henry Jackson, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

Sapphire

The area around Sapphire and Toxaway is beautiful. My daddy's family were from that area and they would have been somewhere in the area when this picture was taken.

Wired

I see they had telephone service here. But what about WiFi?

Some South Carolina cousins

Some South Carolina cousins of mine have a row of mountain houses no too far from Mount Toxaway. The first house has been in the family since the 1880s. When my dad was little, his elderly cousins recalled how in pre-automobile days the family would travel up there in the summer to escape the heat. They basically moved the whole household via horse, wagon and carriage. Drove a cow or two up with them, took the chickens, etc. It took them as much as a week to get up there, and they would visit friends & relations along the way as they went.

What a climb

That poor lady in the chair looks like she just had to climb up all those hills to reach that porch.

Purple mountain majesties

This, I would have to say, is one of the most magnificent front yards I have seen.

John Ford was paying attention

It's the opening, or the ending, of how many Westerns?

Ingmar Bergman visits the Smokies

What a striking, surreal photo -- the people look utterly without personality or energy. The woman in the rocker seems unable to even have the strength to flex her arms at the elbow. In 1902, people may have read this photo as a scene of people engaged in spiritual contemplation in the face of staggering natural beauty, but to my eyes, the people seem very isolated and bereft. I wouldn't be keen on spending a weekend at the cottage with that group.

 
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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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