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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 • FLY TO THE CARIBBEAN BY CLIPPER, c. 1950s

Charleston Noir: 1910

Charleston Noir: 1910

Charleston, South Carolina, circa 1910. "King Street lights at night." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Somehow diminished now

The older photos always look more grand compared to the modern day vantage points. Must have something to do with the lenses used. Buildings look bigger, streets deeper, etc.

Base Ball on tap

What wonderful signage here! Having been born and raised in NYC, I'm wondering what makes the New York Shoe Shine Parlor (on the left side of the street just past the department store) New York-ish. I don't have the means to enlarge a section of the photo for more detail, so I'm also wondering about the "Base Ball" poster in the store's window.

Light trails

I agree with tterrace on the light trails. There is one pair of headlight trails, and the four taillight trails were made by four vehicles. A single taillight was the legal minimum until sometime in the '50s (grandfathered on models as late as 1960 under Texas law). In 1910, I'd be surprised if one vehicle in a hundred had a matched pair. They would also have been quite a bit dimmer than modern ones.

[In 1910, a taillight on a car or wagon would have been a kerosene or oil lantern. Which might have swung side to side a little. - Dave]

re: re: +100 Charleston

Thanks tterrace. It was actually luck combined with an improvised "tripod" (a temporarily liberated trash can nearby) and very little traffic at that time of night. I am nowhere near your mastery of Photoshop.

re: +100 Charleston

Timeandagainphoto's +100 shot is gorgeous. Was it pure luck that kept the display windows from getting blown out while at the same time getting detail in the low light and shadow areas, or deviously clever trickery and expertise on your part? Whatever the case, bravo.

Charleston update

Here's an update from my friend in Charleston:

I checked this out last night when I went home. This is in fact the corner of Wentworth and King. The building in the right hand foreground is extant. It is the old Masonic Hall. The ground floor is now a women's shoe store (aren't they all?) and the upper floors are slated to become lofts, but the economic collapse saved - oops, stopped the destruction of the old Masonic meeting room. The beautiful building on the left with the YMCA fund raising wheel was torn down and replaced with a modern building c 1960.

String of Lights

I can recall in the 1960s, some small towns still had a string of incandescent lights across Main Street. The newer photo is not as interesting.

Past is better

I like the old view better!

+100

This is looking north from Wentworth. Below is the same view from May of 2010.

On the Square

It looks like the Brethren have closed the lodge and moved onto the sidewalk for a few cigars before heading home.

Cable Piano

My parents had one. 'The Cable Piano Company, established by Herman D. Cable of Chicago in 1881, claimed to be "the world's greatest manufacturer of pianos, inner player pianos, and organs."

Exhibits B, C & D

Those light trails have to be the traces of four someones, since they're not parallel.

YMCA needs help!

The "Y" needs another $140,000 to meet the goal of $150,000 for its new digs. I wonder if it ever got built.

Exhibit A

Looks like the camera caught someone driving under the influence.

Previously on Shorpy

A daytime view, posted here two years ago. The YMCA clock is on the Hirsch, Israel department store.

What's missing

No dentists!

 
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