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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

Granby Street: 1905

Granby Street: 1905

Circa 1905. "Granby Street. Norfolk, Virginia." A slice of life from a century ago. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Hem and Her

Just think of all the dirt, dust, trash, tobacco spit, horse droppings, etc that are being swept up by the hems of those skirts. Yechhh.

Ding Dong

There were many oohs and oz over the first comment at my house -- which is planted firmly on its foundations far away from Kansas!

Another wonderful street scene from Shorpy! I'm a happy witch now!

Building on the right ...

Was torn just down just a year or two ago, to make way for a hotel. The cross street is Main.

Widow Alert

While I enjoyed immensely the creative imaginations of the commenters explaining the lady in black leaving the corner womens undergarments store on the right of the photo, this attire is how widows mourned their dearly beloved husbands in Victorian times i.e. Queen Victoria. The customary period of widow's mourning was one year, but Q. Victoria was so deeply in love with her husband Albert that she dressed this way for the remainder of her life. Quite a contrast to modern widows who often wear fire engine red or shocking pink to their husband's funeral. P.S. If they had cremated him, he could have been Prince Albert in a can.

Those are widow's weeds

I think there's a slight narrative here; the lady is crossing the street to her similarly dressed and beveiled companion (her mother?). One or the other has just popped over to window shop. Perhaps they are attending a funeral that day. And I wonder if the well-preened young chap on the left is one of the party.

Gothic Tracery

Nice bit of streetcar track-and-switch work. Too bad if they tore it all up.

North from Main

The buildings on the left were replaced by newer structures some time ago. The 1869 S. A. Stevens/Watt, Rettew, & Clay building on the right was demolished about 1997 but several buildings beyond on the right remain.

Someone please sprinkle water...

... on the Wicked Witch of the West who is crossing the street.

When I gain those ruby slippers...

my power will be the greatest in Norfolk!

Strong evidence indicates that as a young lady, the Wicked Witch of the East (nee Elvira Gulch) lived and bought her clothes and footwear on Granby Street. In 1924, she joined her sister Almira, a spinster, and bought a small farm in Kansas. They later sold the farm and moved somewhere else, (exact location unknown) and further land records and deeds have been lost. She died unexpectedly in 1939 when a house fell out of the sky, crushing and killing her instantly. While the Coroner filed a Certificate of Death stating that she was not only merely dead, but really most sincerely dead, there is no record of burial. Eyewitnesses claim she mysteriously disappeared when a neighbor, known only as Glinda, removed her slippers. All that remains of her estate are her slippers from Granby Street in Norfolk. They can be viewed at the National Museum of American History in Washington.

 
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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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