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.
Vintage photos of:
Detroit circa 1912. "Dime Savings Bank, Woodward & Willis branch." As is often the case with these glass plates, a supporting player steals the scene: Jordan's Cafeteria, where the Small Steak is 20 cents. The friendly loan officers next door can help with that. Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
Detroit circa 1910. "Michigan Central Railroad tunnel." Other points of interest include the manufactory of American Injector (maker of U.S. Injectors and World Injectors), a large sign proclaiming ROYAL SALAD DRESSING, a number of men working on the railroad, and a fellow reading a newspaper. View full size.
The other day, Shorpy posted this photo of Saratoga Springs, which Dave described as "looking more than a little like one of those idealized Disney 'Main Streets'." One perspicacious commenter pointed out that Disney's relationship to the historic period portrayed in his Main Street (approx. 50 years past), would be like ours to the 1950s and 60s. So here you have it: Main Street in Disneyland, August 1963, roughly at the mid-point between the then-then and now. That's my brother in the gray shirt and Hush Puppies caught in mid-stride. I was just turning 17 when I shot this on Montgomery Ward's house-brand 35mm color slide film. View full size.
January 1942. "Bantam, Connecticut. Defense homes. Little Ann Heath is eager to try out all the facilities of her parents' new four-room defense housing unit, after spending most of her life in a single furnished room. Here she pushes her footstool to the sink in order to help her mother clean up the dinner dishes. Mrs. Heath, a native of Winsted, a city some 25 miles away, is delighted with her new kitchen -- the first she's ever had which she actually considers as a kitchen, and is trying out all the recipes she has collected in five years of married life. The Heaths pay $30 monthly for their apartment." Medium format nitrate negative by Howard Hollem for the Office of War Information. View full size.