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.
Vintage photos of:
September 1913. Denison, Texas. "Group outside Pittman Handle Factory. A 15-year-old boy operating a dangerous boring machine at which he said a boy recently bored half his hand off. To operate this machine (which bores a large hole in the spade handle) the boy has to throw his whole weight onto the lever which pushes the handle (and himself) up against the unprotected borer. A slip might easily result fatally. Boy earns $1.65 a day. This factory has a number of unprotected belts and dangerous machines. One other boy, about the age of this one, was doing all kinds of work, taking away the handles from a huge rip saw, etc., and constantly exposed to danger." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.
Très excitement. Ken informs me that Shorpy is No. 66 on PC Magazine's list of the Top 100 Websites of 2009! (Yes, this is the kind of
fluff incisive reportage magazines run in the summer so the staff can go on vacation, and we're happy to take part.) I want to thank tterrace, Stanton Square, Joe Manning and everyone else who has helped put us, if not on top, at least solidly in the top part of the bottom third! [UPDATE: Even though we are the 66th website on the list, Kyle at PC Mag tells us the results are not a numerical ranking but rather the results of voting on two groups: Top 50 "classic" sites and Top 50 "undiscovered."]
Mexico circa 1891. "Ferrocarill Central Mexicano. Canal of Nochistongo," a drainage excavated in the 17th and 18th centuries to keep Mexico City from flooding. Note the giant camera and tripod employed by William Henry Jackson in the making of his heroically proportioned photographs, the largest of which were recorded on a medium the archivists call "mammoth plates" -- glass negatives that measured 18 by 22 inches. (This particular image was made on an 8x10 inch glass plate -- what modern photographers would consider "large format," but still only a fifth the size of an 18x22.) Detroit Publishing Co. glass negative. View full size.