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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 • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Greatest Show on Earth: 1904

Greatest Show on Earth: 1904

1904. "Hotel Lincoln, Pittsburg." Let's turn our attention to those Barnum & Bailey circus posters: "Two days only, commencing Wednesday afternoon May 18, Old Stock Yard Grounds, East Liberty. Two performances daily, doors open at 1 and 7 p.m." Featured act: The Wentworth Trio, "trick riders in a series of entirely new equestrian acts with running horses and English road carts." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Maybe just the posters

This would be a great one to color.

Lincoln > Chatham > Mayfair

From the historic Pittsburgh Images site, it appears that this hotel eventually became the Hotel Mayfair and was demolished in July of 1950.

Photo Description: State of demolition activities at the Hotel Mayfair and neighboring buildings to prepare for the construction of the Gateway Center complex.

Inside and Out

If you open the image to full size - it is interesting to see one well dressed man in the window of the hotel and then one not so well in the alley of the hotel. Makes you wonder what each was thinking at that moment.

[Don't forget The Third Man. - Dave]

Creepiest Show On Earth

Fact: In 1904 there were still no limits as to how scary your clowns could be.

106 years later

Waiter in dining room finally gets his 15 minutes of fame!

Nightmare fuel

Those creepy clown faces make me glad the other poster is cut off. Even the guy at the top of the poster has a creepy expression.

Moreover, the guy in the hotel window has a sort of eeriness all his own. He looks like a statue.

Penn and Fifth

The old city directories show the Hotel Lincoln at Penn Avenue and Fifth Street. ("Rooms without bath, $1.50 single, $2 double; with bath, $2 single, $3 double.") Sometime around 1910 the name was changed to Hotel Chatham. Seems to have been demolished around 1960.

Its corner of Penn and Fifth is now occupied by Fifth Avenue Place.

 
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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