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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Perpendiculator: 1938

Perpendiculator: 1938

1938. Pender County, North Carolina. "Sloop Point at Hampstead. House over 200 years old. Now occupied by Miss Nellis McMillan." 8x10 inch acetate negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Vernacular Vertigo

What a stunning example of vernacular architecture. Amazingly it still stands today.

No fence on table saw.

Nobody had a protractor. Boom! Innovation.


Someone didn't have a mitre saw. I like it!

This place pioneered

the "build ugly" movement. And in a lot of places they succeeded wildly.


That railing would not help at all to keep you from tumbling over the side.

Choir of angles

It's great to see unusual architecture, at least compared to modern times, but it still looks incongruent.

Obviously installed by

the Three Stooges!

Darn, I forgot to bring my miter box

This was built on the day the carpenter forgot to bring his miter box.

Thanks Shorpy for my giving me a new word today, "spondles." I guess I need to go back to carpentry 101.

I can't seem to find spondles in an online dictionary or on Wikipedia though.

[Try "spindles." - Dave]

Sloop Point Plantation

Sloop Point Plantation is the oldest surviving structure in North Carolina, built in 1727. The McMillan name is mentioned here.

On Flickr, the house as it was in 1950.

Still more info here.

Was restored in the 1990s. Privately owned.

What a find!

A rare example of M.C. Escher's short career in carpentry.

Slippery slope

It looks like they took a porch railing and cut it to fit the stairs. Makes me dizzy just looking at it. The fractured newel post doesn't encourage sliding down the banister, does it?


I have seen a similar railing design in Art Deco buildings; wonderful and really simple. Almost perfect!

If you think about it

that's REALLY clever!

You almost don't need to caption this.

Her style is so distinctive.


Is that linoleum over the old floor boards? Say that ain't so.

So which is structurally better?

You can go dizzy looking at the railing. However, which way is more structurally sound - this or the way we normally have it?

Would the spondles lossen up easier this way since there is less resistance? Just curious.

[We all know what curiosity about lossened spondles leads to. -Dave]

Boy is that ugly ...

... but it sure looks a lot easier to build.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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