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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 • FRENCH BICYCLE GODDESS, c. 1898

Detroit: 1916

Detroit: 1916

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

 

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]

Wildlife

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.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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