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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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© 2014 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • CARNAVAL EN LA HABANA, 1941

Buffalo Rising: 1904

Buffalo Rising: 1904

Buffalo, New York, circa 1904. "St. Paul's Cathedral, Episcopal." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Star Trek, 1904

One explanantion of the vanishing man at the left, Mr. Scott just got the command to beam this guy up, and in seconds he should be safely aboard the starship Enterprise.

Church on Planet X

The lens vignette effect makes it look like a scene from some Twilight Zone episode where a 19th century American town has somehow been relocated to a moon of Jupiter.

Steeple windows

Are those windows in the steeple? Is it possible to go up inside it? Whatever for?

Red Sandstone

According to the Historic American Buildings Survey, the cathedral's load-bearing masonry exterior walls and the 275-foot main spire are all made of red Medina sandstone that came from a church-owned quarry near Huddleston, N.Y. The rest of the roof is covered in slate shingles. The heavily buttressed main entrance and the spire survived a disastrous gas explosion and fire in 1888 that gutted the rest of the building and necessitated its reconstruction in 1888-1890.

Tools of the era (redux)

Many photographers today are obsessed with technical qualities like centre-to-edge sharpness, vignetting and light falloff and will use only the most advanced lenses.

Here we have a photograph where the back has been shifted so far to that the lens no longer covers the entire plate and a lens that can't quite resolve the top of the steeple. By contemporary standards, this would be an unacceptable documentary photograph.

What I see here is a a photographer who worked with and within the technical limitations of his equipment to produce a very striking image. A lot of contemporary 'gearhead' photogs could learn from this.

An Unusual Perspective on Louis Sullivan

The tall building at the left is Adler & Sullivan's Guaranty (aka Prudential) Building of 1894-1895, seen from the back. You can just make out the cornice at the top of the facade and the arch over the doorway, both shown in extreme foreshortening.

"Considering the tools of the era"??

You have it exactly backwards, bub. How (and when) do you think the great cathedrals of Europe were built?

Obligatory Street View

How did they do that!

Notice the church's steeple is of brick. It boggles my mind when I try to figure out how men were able to lay the brick at that height and angle, considering the tools and equipment available during that era. Wow!

 
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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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