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:
"Butch & Sally. Feb. 13, 1952." Introducing a new series of Kodachromes that Shorpy found on eBay, taken by a family somewhere in Minnesota. Sally the Dalmatian is in a lot of these slides; Butch the boy, not so much. View full size.
Stored in Whitehorse, Yukon, the SS Klondike in 1961 awaited an uncertain fate. Unlike a couple of her sisters in the background, the Klondike was eventually preserved as an historic landmark. Sternwheel paddle boats were a fixture in Alaska and Canada's Yukon territories during the first half of the 20th century. Shallow drafts of 3-4 feet overcame the problem of undrenched riverbeds, aside from the fact that the northern rivers were ice-free only five months out of the year. Their boilers burned logs; fuel supply was not a problem. Scanned Ektachrome slide from the Frank Burch photo collection. View full size.
Alaska/Yukon sternwheelers enjoyed their last hurrah during World War II, when they were pressed into service carrying freight in support of the Alcan Highway construction project. Ironically, however, the highway led directly to the demise of sternwheeler revenue opportunities. This vaguely dramatic photo details the Nenana's pilot house. She endured a decade of neglect, including occupancy by squatters, until restored for display in Fairbanks. Scanned negative from the Frank Burch photo collection. View full size.
UPDATE: By amazing coincidence, the photographer here (the late father of Shorpy member rsyung) seems to have stumbled upon a shooting location for the Alfred Hitchcock thriller "Vertigo," with the same cars lined up along the curb as in a scene from the movie. Scroll down to the comments for details. -- Dave
Taken by my dad in August, 1957. Bay Bridge in the background. I'm sure someone with an intimate knowledge of "The City" and / or Google maps will figure out which street this is. Kodachrome slide, Contax camera. View full size.
December 1974. This LC-130R Hercules has just arrived at the geographic south pole, flying in from McMurdo Station. This is the same aircraft that appeared in part in this earlier post. Operated by the "Puckered Penguins" navy squadron VXE-6, this is one of several arctic-equipped Herkies employed largely for the benefit of the National Science Foundation until VXE-6 was disbanded in 1999. In later years, this particular airframe sported an image of Walter Lantz's "Chilly Willy" cartoon character on its nose. Image from a Kodachrome slide, Frank Burch collection. View full size.