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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 • GEORGE WASHINGTON CROSSING THE PIES

Looking Toward Liberty: 1912

Looking Toward Liberty: 1912

Poughkeepsie, New York, circa 1912. "Main Street looking toward Liberty." A few years after our previous visit, things have been spruced up a bit. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

When was the last time

that you saw a person with a suit on riding a bike.

Cell enlargement

How did you get such a smooth enlargement? I couldn't achieve this with CS5.

[I used the original image, which is about four times the size of the hi-res image posted here. - Dave]

Dental teasing

Foote in mouth.

Pookeepsie: and it's still funny!

Back in the old Vaudeville circuit days there was a list of towns known to every comic that by simply mentioning on stage would make the audience howl. Why? No on knew, but it worked! Poughkeepsie was one.

Dave says: "spruced up", which is true enough. But fast forward to the sixties and the genius-bar running the city decided to draw business back into the downtown area from the outlying shopping centers by paving over Main Street into a pedestrian walkway with ugly cast concrete
planters and benches cast willy-nilly along the way to add to the luxurious ambience of what was a total mess.

This led to the complete demise of downtown business and the stores large and small fell like dominoes. I have been back there recently and the "Main Mall" has been removed and, credit where it's due, things are looking pretty good.

However, don't let me get close to starting on the east-west "Arterial Highway": built on the cheap using city streets and ruining perfectly good neighborhoods.

Ghosts

Besides the man who's not talking into his invisible cell phone, did anyone catch the woman on the bottom left who is surprised to witness the reflection of a man who is not on the street near her? He certainly isn't inside the building. And that glass is flat.

[He's right behind her on the sidewalk. She wouldn't be able to see his reflection. - Dave]

I think I found it

I was a bit obsessed with this one because it seems many of these gorgeous buildings are still standing. The brown tower in the street view seems to be the former location of Elting's children's clothiers. The "1872" building across the street seems to be getting renovated. Way to go Poughkeepsie!


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Lighting

The arc lights of old have been supplanted with incandescent ones. The lighting must have been much less harsh as a result.

Riding against traffic

Many years ago I was taught to ride my bicycle against traffic. This was the late 1940s and the instructor was a crusty old Boy Scoutmaster. I've never heard that advice again.

I note in this image that the bikers are riding in the far outside of the lanes and against traffic. Of course this may just be an artifact of this photo. Or, in fact, in the days of horses and street cars it was the safest way to go.

Looks more like

Pookeepsie.

Dr. Foote

If only he had gone into chiropody rather than dentistry. Imagine the brilliant career he could have had!

Boaters and Bowlers

Oh, to be back in the age of hats.

Notice the time traveler

But, but, but ... he CAN'T be talking on his cell phone in 1912.

[Back when cellphones were invisible. - Dave]

An interesting concept

Doctor Foote the dentist!

 
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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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