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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 • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

The Web: 1907

The Web: 1907

Chattanooga, Tennessee, circa 1907. "Market Square." Beneath a cat's cradle of streetcar wires, we have a nice selection of restaurants and dental parlors. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Then and Now

Chattanooga is a favorite daytrip for me, and I just figured out where this is. It's kind of depressing because only 100 years later it looks absolutely nothing like this. On the left side of the street in the picture, the stone building kind of hidden behind the "Stewarts" sign now stands alone empty in a parking lot. At least things seem to be improving in downtown Chattanooga. Maybe the 21st century will treat this block better than the 20th century did.

Leer Jets

Look at the men on the sidewalk in the lower left corner checking out the woman crossing the street!

Yesterday: Small business. Today Big business

The message made clear in this picture is that small business has been subsumed by big business during the 20th century.

This picture is truly depressing. Depressing for us in the lack of enterprise that today's society reflects.

The Thirsty Eye

I looked at this photo for a long time looking for a bar or beer delivery and thanks to Jimmy Longshanks and his ability to spot the beer wagon this picture is complete.

Faultless Lager Beer, what a name. How did you order a glass -- "I'll have a Faultless"?

Streetcar cables

Here in Belgium, several middle sized cities kept their streetcars until late in the last century. I remember that the streets of Binche, where my grandparents live, had such a crisscross of cables above them, up until the late 1990's, when they removed the streetcars.

Books THEN Wallpaper

Answering the question: what happens to the titles that won't even sell in the bargain bin?

I'll take two cases.

Delivery truck in the left foreground is from the Chattanooga Brewing Company.

Business Directory

  • Books. Wall Paper
  • Campbell Furniture Co.
  • Car Station
  • Caudle
  • D.B. Loveman
  • Doctor Gibbs
  • Drs. Dayton & Barrow, Dentists
  • F.O.E. Aerie 845
  • Fletcher
  • Geismar's
  • Marble Hall
  • New York Dental Parlors
  • Restaurant Gass Bros. Gentlemen & Ladies
  • Rosenthal
  • S.J. Klaus
  • Schwartz
  • Singer
  • Stag Hotel. Barber Shop.
  • Stewarts
  • Tadema
  • The Globe

Diversification

Books and wallpaper?

Gass Brothers?

I think you are talking about my sons. Eat here, get gas.

 
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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