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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 • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Fancy Drainpipe: 1937

Fancy Drainpipe: 1937

Savannah, Georgia, circa 1937. "Davenport house, Columbus Square." 8x10 inch acetate negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.

 

From last month

From last month

Dolphin Drainpipes

While these drainpipes don't look like real dolphins, they do bear a stunning resemblance to heraldic dolphins including the ones that are on the insignia worn by submariners in the US Navy.

This corner as of April 2009

Some new paint and grout, otherwise no worse for the wear

Still There!

I took pictures of these same awesome downspouts in Monterey Square in Savannah this past May!

Even a drainpipe was important.

Love it. Great times when even a drainpipe was given such a level of details. Love the fish head! I wonder if it was specially crafted for this building or if they were mass produced.

Savannah Ironworking

The great thing about Savannah is that a lot of this kind of stuff is still around. The wrought iron fencing, gates, railings, and downspout decorations like this one are so important to the historical character of the city that there's still people around who know how to repair and reproduce this stuff.

Absolutely still there.

How ironic. My husband and I just took a trolley tour of Savannah on 9/9/10 and these downspouts are most certainly still on this beautiful home. Our tour guide mentioned that these downspouts are supposed to represent dolphins as dolphins are a sign good luck and prosperity, but apparently the designer had never seen a dolphin!

Well...

Fancy, yes. Also butt ugly.

Inspiration

Is this where Gene Simmons got his inspiration for his famous platform Dragon Boots from the "Destroyer" album?

Still Surviving

It looks like that fancy drainpipe survives, as seen here on Google Street View. Hopefully the brick has been repointed since the photo was taken.


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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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