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:
Back in October 1956, my brother shot this Ektachrome slide to show the construction of the new Engineering Building at Cal Poly, and a student parking lot just happened to be in the foreground. Today it looks like a vintage car rally. For extra points: spot the Corvette. View full size.
On the left, a general idea of what this 35mm Ektachrome slide looked like shortly after my brother shot it in July 1956. On the right, what it really looks like today. Luckily, Ektachrome's fading is pretty uniform and restricted to one color, so in most cases a well-exposed shot can be corrected to yield something acceptable. Over- and under-exposures are more of a problem.
This is the Blue Rock at the corner of Magnolia & Ward in downtown Larkspur, California. In it is one of the three bars. Also: a very nice 1946ish Plymouth convertible, and in the foreground, the front end of a Nash Metropolitan. View full size.
My sister acquired this photo while attending Tufts in the '80s. The photographer was unnamed and the only label said: Boston, 1913. View full size.