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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 • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Pike's Peaker: 1900

Pike's Peaker: 1900

Colorado circa 1900. "A Pike's Peak prospector." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative by William Henry Jackson, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

Some Assembly Required

Those cast iron stoves did not need to be delivered assembled. Since we don't know what is behind us when looking at this photo let's assume it came in on mule. A mule could carry 100-250 pounds. So if you leave the fire box as one load and the legs/doors/etc as another two mule loads would do the trick.

What always amazes me in old cabins is the use of wood to stabilize the chimney. Or heck - even those old wooden chimneys.

I like his little stove.

That little woodstove was surely made of cast iron. I wonder how it was delivered to his cabin, because it would have been a heavy piece of freight. Did he bring it on a pack horse or mule, or were the roads good enough that a wagon made the trip to his little cabin?

An ash tray sat below the grate on which the wood rested inside the stove. Ashes sifted down into the pan and larger coals stayed in the stove. The ash tray and its contents could be removed through the small side door on the stove. This made ash removal much easier.

But you knew all that already, didn't you?

Beautiful stove

That stove would cost a fortune to buy in a good condition. Beautiful handwork.

Our miner friend looks as though he may have been gotten hold of some "Rocky Mountain High."

Watch out!

Yer gonna git bow-legged carryin' all them tools -- oops, too late.

Mudhooks is on the money

If you look at Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs from this period, you'll find that in addition to wood- and coal-fired ranges they carried a line of gasoline- or kerosene-powered stoves, with such names as "Summer Queen."

Muffin Pan Man!

I bet he could whip up some tasty grub.

A Little Reflection

That shiny jug by the stove features a rare find --- a reflection of the photographer, William Henry Jackson, standing by his tripod-secured camera.

A coot's best friend.

He has a dog. I just love that he has a dog.

Oh lardy, lardy

Percolator, mosquito net, dog

All the comforts of home!

Cooking alfresco

Ever cooked indoors on a wood stove in a windowless cabin in the middle of summer? That's why many old homes had "summer kitchens." It was hot enough in a cabin without having a stove going full blast.

Equipment

Note the hand-drill steel, "single jack" and "double jack" hammers ... wonder if this is at Cripple Creek? Funny that the stove is outside.

 
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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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