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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

Frosty Flatiron: 1905

Frosty Flatiron: 1905

New York circa 1905. "Flat-iron corner after snowstorm." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Epic

Only discovered this site today, can't stop watching. Incredible.

Pristine for now

With all of those horses, I'm sure the pure even whiteness of the snow didn't last for long.

White Snow

and stayed that way for a long time I'm sure with no car exhaust. I wonder if the air pollution made the snow less pristine over time.

[The winter air in any big city a hundred years ago would have been full of coal soot -- much dirtier than it is today. - Dave]

Clearing the streets

This picture raises a question I never thought about before. What did they use to plow snow then? Something like the horse-drawn road graders of the day?

Winter Wonderland

There's so much to take in here. It's 11:30, and the man who's in the forefront on the sidewalk has real pep in his step. He looks so modern. Not many women around, unless they're in the carriages. I've never seen that interesting thin building before. [I think you probably have -- it's the Flatiron Building. - Dave]

The streets are plowed quite well. I'm amazed at how some photos look so much like today. A few changes and this looks like Anytown, USA. I guess it's because everything is covered up.

Could've Been Monday

I was actually walking around this area on Monday and this picture gives me the chills from how similar it is to two days ago—except for the roads, of course.

Classic!

Amazing photo. The fact that there isn't an automobile in sight is interesting. Maybe horses worked better in this weather.

I remember last time I was snowed in during a Manhattan blizzard, the traffic cop went around digging holes through the snow piles to put tickets on the windshields.

Luckily they couldn't do that back then.

Snow in the city

Two days ago in Zip Code 10010, where the Flatiron Building is located, 20 or more inches of snow fell. In December 1905 there was a blizzard that dropped 21.6 inches. That was followed in January with another 18.4 inches. I guess the cleanup was no more fun then that it is now. In any case, now that the rains in Southern California have abated it's time for us to head for Palm Desert, where we'll spend the rest of the winter. Frankly, the cold doesn't bother me that much, but the snow and ice covered streets can be very intimidating.

So Clean

No salt on those carriages.

Wow!

I'm constantly amazed at the work you do with these photos, this could have been taken today (literally, judging by the weather you guys have been getting).

 
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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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