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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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C&O Canal (Colorized)c: 1925

C&O Canal (Colorized)c: 1925

Glass Negative from the National Photo Company (Library Of Congress). View full size.

location and date

This is a great picture! It actually shows the Rock Creek basin for the C&O Canal. Note the Pennsylvania Ave. bridge over Rock Creek in the background. The canal proper begins at lock #1 which empties into Rock Creek a little ways down from the bridge (not visible upstream an on the left in this photo). The spit of land on the left was built by the C&O Canal Company and extended Rock Creek down to where the present mouth of the creek is. The original mouth was at K St. below Lock #1. At the new artificial mouth (behind the photographer) was tidelock and a low tumbling dam that created sufficient depth in the basin for the boats from the canal. The spit of land that now hosts the Thompson Boathouse was meant to be a transshipment point between boats using the Potomac and the canal boats. The canal was closed by a flood in March 1924 so I would date this photo c. 1920.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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