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:
New Orleans circa 1890. "The Clay Monument, Canal Street." Fascinating details abound in this scene captured by William Henry Jackson: The 1-horsepower horsecar, the ancient carbon-arc lamp suspended from a complicated-looking boom, and much signage. Personal favorites: WIG MANUFACTORY, and logo of the ETV&G (East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia) Railway. View full size.
The Jersey Shore circa 1920. "Atlantic City Boardwalk and New Garden Pier." An apt seaside metaphor might be the billboard as a sort of terrestrial barnacle, encrusting every available surface with ads for yarn, hair nets, cough drops and typewriters. 5x7 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.