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About the Photos

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

Westinghouse Air-Brake: 1905

Westinghouse Air-Brake: 1905

Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, circa 1905. "Machine shop, Westinghouse Air-Brake Co." Company namesake George Westinghouse invented the railway air brake in 1869 and was a rival of Thomas Edison in the early electrical industry. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Magnificent Masonry

What a gloriously-detailed brick and block design. So grand, not even those the rickety fire escapes can diminish it's its beauty.

Ivy League

Was someone commissioned to visit these industrial sites and plant vines?

High at work

Is there a photo from the turn of the century that DOESN'T include somebody doing something crazy unsafe for no apparent reason? I thought this one might be the one, but then spotted the dude on the catwalk roof!

Hey, lunchtime! Anybody mind if I play on the roof for a while?

Made in Wilmerding

Wabtec, the current corporate incarnation of Westinghouse Airbrake, is still located on Air Brake Avenue.

Scale Rail

Love the picture. Looks like a model railroad layout.

What goes around

Notice the Armstrong type of turntable, manually operated. Also the workmen in the second story windows, two are looking at the cameraman taking photo. Well kept factory grounds.

You over there!

Don't just stand there looking at the photographer! Pick up an air brake that needs work and get to fixin'!

The Grass is Always Grayer

That is the finest lawn I have ever seen in any photos of this age. A century later, with all my chemicals, irrigation and fancy, powered equipment, I can't do any better.

Wabtec

The building still exists. It appears to still house Wabtec, a descendant of the Westinghouse Air Brake Co.


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THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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