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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 • THERE'S NO MEDICINE FOR REGRET, 1945

Detroit Photographic: 1904

Detroit Photographic: 1904

New York circa 1904. "Detroit Photographic Co., 218 Fifth Avenue -- 26th Street front." Detroit Photographic, whose business was based on color postcard views and framed prints, had stores across the country around the turn of the century; in 1905 it changed its name to Detroit Publishing. In this view, the more you look the more people you see. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

Pre-Otis

Those basement doors in the sidewalk can only lead to a stairway with possibly a wooden slider chute on one side. The later 'sidewalk elevators' didn't need the slope and were placed right up against the foundation. I loved to watch the deliverymen heaving crates and bales down those slides, it must have been rough downstairs, though.

1, 2, 3

I love the reflections in these windows. There are ropes and pulleys hanging out of the window of the building across the street, and the reflections of two people: one standing next to the photographer (reflected in Detroit's door) and another standing next to or leaning against the building across the street (reflected in the rug merchant's window). Together with Adolphe in the second-floor window, I count three people.

Finally

Good to get a glimpse of the source of so many unique and interesting photos!

Don't jump Adolphe!

That bad, it couldn't be!

The source

So am I right in thinking that this country is still around and providing all the photos to Shorpy itself?

[The country is indeed still here. And just celebrated its 234th birthday. If you mean "the company," Detroit Publishing went into receivership in 1924 and was gone by 1932. - Dave]

SIDE Entrance!

The caption states that this is the 26th Street side entrance to the store, and the photo shows specifically that the side entrance address is 5 West 26th Street. This is on the north side of the block, just off 5th Avenue, and just west of Madison Square.

No ingress

There must have been another entrance. The board across the two doors with the company name seems to effectively bar the door.

[What does it say on the board? - Dave]

Now, having worked retail, I'd have been ticked off with the 99% of customers who tried to open the door when it clearly says the entrance is around the corner.... and then been one of the 99%... Sigh....

 
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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