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About the Photos

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 • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Look Out for the Engine: 1910

Look Out for the Engine: 1910

Salem, Massachusetts, circa 1910. "Boston and Maine Railroad depot, Riley Plaza." Our second look at this castle-depot and its steam-snorting iron horse. 6½ x 8½ inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Slice of Life

I wonder what delectable goodies awaited in all those drawers on the bread wagon. When I was a kid commercial loaves of bread were still packaged in wax paper wrappers. The ends were glued shut. The challenge was to open the wrapper without destroying it. Unless several slices were to be removed upon the initial opening of the wrapper, it was necessary to close it up as best as one could.

To keep the bread from becoming stale and dry, the open end was pushed up against a wall or some other vertical surface at the end of the kitchen counter to keep it shut. This was a constant kitchen ritual which was eliminated with the arrival of the plastic see-through poly wrapper.

This is something I definitely DO NOT miss.

Does anyone use breadboxes anymore? In humid climates, they were great breeding grounds for mould (or mold, if one is an American).

Surprising

I know today that we have to warned of everything ("Caution - The Coffee is Hot"), but I would think it would be very difficult for a steam locomotive to sneak up on you as it was exiting the station. Maybe the sign is in deference to the deaf, or perhaps the stunningly inattentive pedestrian.

The ramparts

Any prisoners in the tower?

We're off to see the wizard

Elvira Gulch is heading off to Dorothy's house, to pick up Toto. The flying monkeys are waiting up in the tower, and the wizard is selling cream bread (whatever that is) in wax paper, from the wagon on the left.

Make do with what you have

Wow! Besides the uniform quoins on the corners, the irregular stonework of the rest of the building is pure masonry artwork. I wonder if anyone is capable of building that now.

 
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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