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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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Detroit: 1916

Detroit: 1916

Detroit, Michigan, circa 1916. "Hotel Pontchartrain and Campus Martius." Frequent photographic subjects of the Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

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Migrating Wildlife

The "stag and deer" statue is actually of elk. It's one of several temporary monuments that were erected in Detroit for the 1910 national convention of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE), which was hosted by the Pontchartrain Hotel.

Misfits explained

Believe it or not, people would have their pictures taken and not show up for the prints. Photogs would sell the orphan or - Misfits - pictures to recoup their losses.

The main market for these Misfts, were immigrant bachelors who wanted to send pictures of their sweeties back home, but they either didn't have sweeties, or they didn't have enough to have their pictures taken.

Hence, an immigrant bachelor who wanted to impress the family back in County Cork, or Berlin, would finger through the Misfit bins and pick out athe girl of their dreams.

[That's a colorful explanation but, as noted below, these are clothing stores. This particular Misfit was the haberdashery owned by Sol Berman (you can see BERMAN on the awning) at 120 Woodward Avenue in Detroit. Below, another Misfit Clothing Parlor in New York. - Dave]


I love the stag and deer statues. Those things are huge!

Who's Selling What??

Love to know what "Misfit" is advertising.

["Misfit" seems to have been the retail category for what we would today call clothing seconds, or maybe something more like Big & Tall. There's another Misfit sign shown here, in New York, and here, in St. Louis. - Dave]

Times They Are A-Changing

If you were to have taken this picture 5 years before the horses would outnumber the cars.

Big Brother

It must have been a challenge trying to operate the tiny Hotel Metropole in the shadow of the giant Pontchartrain.

And what a testament to the brand power of Coca-Cola. Ninety-five years later, that logo is so modern that it sticks out like a photobomb.

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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