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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 • THE NAVY NEEDS YOU IN THE WAVES

Snow King: 1905

Snow King: 1905

New York circa 1905. "Flatiron Building, corner after snow storm." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Geometry exposed in the wintry air

I love this shot of one of my favorite buildings for two reasons.

First, it wonderfully captures the atmosphere and light of a post-snowstorm day, not to mention many evocative period details.

Secondly, because of the way it's aimed down Fifth Avenue, this picture does an unusually good job of depicting the Flatiron's actual asymmetry, something most pictures of it attempt to disguise. Looking at this, you can readily appreciate that the building is a right triangle with its base on 22nd Street, its straight long side on Fifth, and its hypotenuse on Broadway.

Snow-white snow

The difference today is that after using salt, sand and other chemicals, the snow always looks so dirty after a couple of days! This looks so pristine!!!

Putt putt

That automobile really is a "horseless carriage."

Now and then

One major difference is that traffic on lower Broadway runs downtown now.

The Maillard

That is the Fifth Avenue Hotel to the right. It was closed and demolished in 1908. The restaurant on the bottom floor, The Maillard, was quite famous as a candy store and French restaurant. It moved to Fifth and 35th, and then again in 1922 to Madison at 47th. James Beard frequented it and commented on its hot chocolate. Sadly the Depression was its demise.

Ahoy!

Keep a sharp lookout for icebergs!

Widespread cold of 1904-05 winter

Many records were set in that winter season. Many of the old time cold records still stand today. Arkansas's all time low temperature happened in February 1905. Minus 29 degrees is that record of 105 years and counting.

Deja Vu Vu

This photo was taken before the other one, judging by the clock.

It must have taken the photographer some forty minutes to walk across the street, set up his camera, focus and compose the shot, load the glass plate and take the exposure.

[Assuming the exposures were made on the same day. And there are more than just two. - Dave]

Beautiful

This is such a great photo. The composition, mood and perspective are fascinating! And it's cool how clean all that snow is!

A Familiar Scene

Save for all the horses, this could be a scene from the last few weeks here in NYC. Even most of the buildings are still there.

Extraordinary field of focus.

Most of the photo is in focus across the horizontal and vertical planes.

Most photos cannot hold up to the intense scrutiny Shorpy provides.

This is one of the few that do.

Flagpoles

I count 17 readily visible flagpoles (and/or spires)--2 in use.

Also, I'm very glad my car has heat.

The city where I live, however, takes no better care of the snow-covered sidewalks than NYC in c. 1905.

How does NYC do today?

Deja vu all over again

It looks as if this photo was shot just awhile after what we see in this thread.

 
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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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