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 York circa 1908. "Herald Square." Panorama composed of two 8x10 inch glass negatives, digitally merged, showing Broadway at 34th Street. Landmarks include the the New York Herald newspaper building (with its clockwork blacksmith bell-ringers and electrified owls), Sixth Avenue elevated tracks, New York Times building and Hotel Astor. Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.
Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Munger Motor & Mfg. Co., front." On the minus side of the ledger, this glass negative has light leaks, dirt, mold and probably halitosis. On the plus side we have beer, motorbikes, circus posters and Freedom Lunch. This circa 1890s Pabst brewery on North Capitol Street would be returning to its beverage roots (minus the alcohol) in just a few years as the Whistle Bottling Works. National Photo Company Collection. View full size.
On location in Santa Cruz, California, my brother and me, garbed appropriately for the period. My Braun Nizo was something like the BMW of Super-8 movie cameras (the Bolex being perhaps the Mercedes): f1.8 11-to-1 zoom lens, lap dissolve function, 18, 24 and 54 fps filming speeds, auto and manual exposure. I see I haven't yet gotten my Bilora tripod with the super-smooth pan head. I'm 28, and already wisps of gray hair are appearing. Cropped from a 35mm Ektachrome shot by my sister-in-law. View full size.