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About the Photos

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]

 
 
NEW FROM THE VINTAGRAPH VAULTS • JEWISH RELIEF CAMPAIGN, 1917

Chinatown: 1930

Chinatown: 1930

San Francisco circa 1930. "Grant Avenue at Sacramento Street." 4x5 inch nitrate negative by Arnold Genthe. View full size.

Newsstand Noir: 1957

Newsstand Noir: 1957

My brother snapped this 35mm Kodak Tri-X negative as a former high school classmate left (Fled? Took it on the lam?) from this newsstand at 1241 Fourth Street in San Rafael, California. At the time this was one of two newsstands downtown. That was in addition to Montgomery Ward, J.C. Penney, Macy's plus all the other kinds of stores that made San Rafael the major shopping spot for Marin Country - that is, until shopping centers started popping up a few years later.

If I didn't know better, I'd think that guy might have been Elvis. View full size.

Montgomery Block: 1940

Montgomery Block: 1940

San Francisco March 1940. "Built as the largest and safest office building in San Francisco, the Montgomery Block became the headquarters of professional men from 1853 to 1890. It was the only major downtown San Francisco building to escape the earthquake and fire of 1906." Previously seen here, its site became a parking lot in 1959, and is now part of the footprint of the Transamerica Pyramid. Large format negative by A.J. Whitlock for the Historic American Buildings Survey. View full size.

Post-War Harrisburg

Post-War Harrisburg

I don't know what year my grandfather took this photo of the Pennsylvania Capitol Building, but I'm guessing it was 1948 or 1949. View full size.

Key System: 1939

Key System: 1939

April 1939. "San Francisco, California, seen from the First Street ramp of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge." Before BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) crossed the bay, there was the Key System. Photo by Dorothea Lange. View full size.

Oliver's Tractor

Oliver's Tractor

A farmer known to my family (but, sadly, not to me) smiles at the photographer - presumably my grandfather - in this early-1950s shot from Honey Grove, Pennsylvania. View full size.

Survivor for Now: 1940

Survivor for Now: 1940

San Francisco 1940. "Silas Palmer House, NW corner Van Ness and Washington. Essentially stick in style, with features of the Villa and Shingle eras, as well as tall Mansard roof on tower. Squared bays are typical of 1880s. Some pseudo-Moorish details on entrance porch. Cast iron cresting on roof. Built circa 1886. Destroyed after 1940" (from HABS notes dated 1961). Large format negative for the Historic American Buildings Survey, photographer unknown. View full size.

 
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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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