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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 • SUMMER IN ITALY, 1951

Great Chimney House: 1939

Great Chimney House: 1939

Oglethorpe County, Georgia. 1939 or 1944. "Great Chimney House, Lexington vicinity." 8x10 acetate negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.

 

Captured in a Couplet

Old houses were scaffolding once, and workmen whistling.

T.E. Hulme

Beyond a "fixer-upper"

Hire the bulldozer as this dwelling is not worth the powder to blow it to kingdom come. Also it's haunted, which you can see for yourself if you look at the ground level boarded-up cellar window where a ghost is caught on film fleeing from the basement where somebody hanged himself in total frustration over trying to make repairs. The apparition is apparent in the small tree near that window and it appears to be a woman with breasts. Also I thought I spotted somebody mooning the public in the first floor window right above it, but I think someone stuffed a throw pillow in the pane to replace the broken glass. Excuse me, someone is ringing my doorbell. Or maybe it's the ice cream man.

The shoe

must be buried in the overgrown weeds.

Sigh

This house is calling out to me to fix it up and love it, as a place of this vintage should be.

Seen better days

The stark reality of time passing. Beautiful decay. I love the bones of those once-lovely houses.

Holy buckets

How many ways can I spell "wow"?

In its day

Folks would come from miles around just to dance the Virginia Reel and then spend some time on the front porch, gossiping and sipping mint juleps while listening to the songs of the cicadas and frogs.

How long since new?

Whenever I see one of these derelicts on Shorpy, I wonder how long has it been since it was fresh and new with its first coat of paint and its first family enjoying themselves in it? It doesn't look like it's been inhabited in the 20th century. It was probably built before electricity or plumbing were considered necessities in a house this size, which would have been the 1880s when such amenities first started appearing. Maybe built in the early 1800s, inhabited till the 1870s, then vacant ever since?

 
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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