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.
Vintage photos of:
Mount Lowe, California, circa 1913. "Ye Alpine Tavern on Mount Lowe Railway line." Our second look at this mile-high Swiss-style chalet that was the end of the line for passengers of the Mount Lowe scenic railway. As we saw in the video clip accompanying the previous post, excursionists got a spectacular ride for their fare (which in the railway's opening year of 1893 was a hefty $5). 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size | Continue reading
Postscript: There's at least one other high-resolution view of the railway in the Library of Congress archive, for a total of three images, and there could be more to come. Although they were taken a century ago, they are in effect "new," having been digitized in April 2010 and put online in the past few weeks or months. Up until recent years or months most of these Detroit Publishing images have been effectively invisible for the better part of a century, existing only as negatives or as colored postcard views, which are something like low-resolution cartoons. Large-format prints, which were part of the Detroit Publishing business, have not survived in large numbers or were never made in the first place. It's only now, for the first time, that people are able to experience these views in the great detail afforded by the 8x10 inch glass negative format, thanks to digital technology, which lets us get a positive image of the negative without making a photographic print on paper in the darkroom, which is where a lot of detail gets lost. So the view you see on your video display right now on Shorpy is, for many if not most of these images, their much-delayed mass-audience high-definition premiere.