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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 • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

Congress Street: 1910

Congress Street: 1910

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, circa 1910. "Congress Street." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

You're all looking in the wrong window

So many people have commented on the sinister looking man in the window on the left. For goodness sakes, take a good look at the window on the far RIGHT! Not only does there appear to be a jack-o-lantern like skull near the very top of it, but if you look even more carefully, it appears to be sitting on the shoulders of some alien like beast with an enormous head!

Psychedelic signage

Was there such a thing as an oculist pole? Also, there are many wagons here but few horses. Where are they?

[Attached to the wagons. Four wagons and four horses below. - Dave]

Foreshortening

Even though I am a photographer, it always amazes me just how foreshortened the streets really are in the old photos. The distance between the YMCA and the church seems very short in the photo but on Street View, you can see that it is a LONG walk, indeed!

Unchained bicycle

An unusual sight these days is seeing a bicycle that is not chained to a post, etc.

Street View

This one is more accurate - look at the details on the building housing the Sake Japanese Restaurant at 141 Congress:


View Larger Map

Everybody sing!

"Young man, there's no need to feel down.
I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.
I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town
There's no need to be unhappy.

Young man, there's a place you can go.
I said, young man, when you're short on your dough.
You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time.

It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a....."

Spooky

The guy in the first floor window on the left.

Today's view

Looks like Sake Japanese Restaurant is now in the YMCA building. The building with rounded corners and mansard roof appears to be on the corner of Chestnut street, and the church now sports a white spire. The wooden buildings appear to have been replaced by malls. Not surprising for Portsmouth, which has undergone lots of changes - they moved a bunch of buildings to Strawberry Banke and The Hill during urban renewal to prevent destroying them. I used to work in downtown Portsmouth - what a great place to be every day.

Another cell phone time traveler

After the cell-phone time traveler found in the clip from Charlie Chaplin's The Circus was discovered, I didn't think another one was possible. And yet, there is a young girl with that familiar hand held to the ear that is all the rage (on the sidewalk, in the sunlight).

Who's in the window? What's he doing?

The man by the bicycle is looking at someone in the window.

Exciting Contest

One streetcar driver to the other: "Wanna race?"

Guy in the window of the YMCA to the left.

I looked, but I don't think that building exists anymore. I wonder if that is an office or something.

This view is a little better I think

This view is a little more accurate I think. The buildings on the right are hard to see through all the foliage in the original photo, but the building on the left seems to be mostly intact. Except they removed the bay windows. Why?!


View Larger Map

Creepy Guy Alert!

Second story window of the Mens Association building.
Not really that creepy but I like that as the title.

In the window

There is a sinister looking fellow in the window of the building on the left.

Mr. High Pockets

I think he's looking up towards the open window. May be a loud conversation going on.

Concerning "Mr. High Pockets"

I rather think the photographer, just before he squeezed the bulb
and out of habit, yelled:"watch the birdie."

Snidely

Note the sinister looking gent in the window of the building on the left.

How does a lady cross the road?

Whilst crossing the trolley tracks, the lady raises her skirt, ever so slightly, to keep it out of the excrement and other debris that lie there.

Hey you!

I wonder if the man in the window was speaking to the photographer, attracting the man on the sidewalk's notice.

re: Top Left

Those two guys are probably saying "#!@&*# vines!" On the other hand, Mr. High Pockets seems entranced by the lamp.

A current view


View Larger Map

(I hope I did this right.)

Top Left (Out of Picture)

What could those guys on the mid-left be looking at?

 
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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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