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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Rochester: 1904

Rochester: 1904

Circa 1904. "State Street, Rochester, New York." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Rochester Street Lamps

Take a look on the left sidewalk next to the street clock: there is an elaborate black cast-iron street lamp with two clear globes suspended from a crossbar.


Fellow Rochesterians, here it is colorized.

Powers Building

The Fidelity Trust building is actually the Powers Building -- see full history and current pix here:

Missing Street Lamps

While there do not appear to be any street lamps, there are poles that appear to be suited to support lamps - and they do not seem to have any other function.

[Look closer. Those are supports for the streetcar wires. - Dave]

Sweet oblivion

When I was a kid, my dentist had a sign in the office that read "Painless Dentist Upstairs" - off-putting to say the least as there was no second floor in his establishment.

But in Rochester it seems to have been true - examine the windows in the building on the upper right, where Oxide Gas - I take that to be Nitrous - is on offer.

Personal Transportation

This must have been around the time that the bicyle craze hit Rochester.


You look at these old pictures and wonder when jaywalking became illegal. Maybe in the 1930s when there were more cars in the big cities.

My Hometown!

I love how different my city is in the past than what it is today. This was taken about 90 years before I was born so it was pretty amazing.

Hustle and bustle

Love to see pictures of the mid-size and smaller cities that you have been showing. Especially, since many of them we might not get to visit in person. Read where Rochester is second only to NYC in size of economy even though it is third in population in the state. Busy looking street here in 1904.

Web 1.0

All the building to building wires. Just amusing to see all the lines run at such heights and no street lamps.

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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