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.
More Civil War cutups. "Unidentified men in Union uniforms, one pointing a revolver at another's head." Half-plate tintype, hand-colored. Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs, Library of Congress. View full size.
April 17, 1940. When enameled steel was sexy. "Electric Institute of Washington. Display of ranges in lobby at Potomac Electric Power Co. building." 8x10 acetate negative by Theodor Horydczak. View full size.
Guys gone wild, 1860s style. "Unidentified soldiers in Union uniforms holding cigars in each other's mouths." Ninth-plate tintype, hand-colored. Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs, Library of Congress. View full size.
From 1952 comes this conflation of two popular genres in the children's TV show "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet." Photo by Charlotte Brooks for the Look magazine assignment "Cowboys and Meteors." View full size.
1948. "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus." Color transparency for Look magazine by the future film director Stanley Kubrick, who manages to make this look like an avant-garde Coke ad. View full size.
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.