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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 • VOLUNTEER FOR VICTORY

Woolworth Rising: 1913

Woolworth Rising: 1913

New York circa 1913. "Woolworth Building under construction." Other Manhattan landmarks on view include City Hall Park and its post office, seen here a few days ago, the Singer Building and the twin cupolas of the Park Row Building. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

The Cathedral of Retail

Never realized how much the top floors of the main mass look like a church.

Horsepower

Compare this to the image of Detroit's Campus Martius from 1913, where automobiles greatly outnumber horse-drawn wagons and carriages.

One of my favorite parts?

The grand view of the dearly departed Singer Building. What a sight!

Timely Cost

The original cost was $13.5 million, paid in cash by Mr. Woolworth. The inflation calculator I use says that in 2010 that translates into $297,871,363. Today that would be a total bargain price.

 
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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