Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.
Vintage photos of:
Chicago sewer department workers in the late 1940s. The man kneeling in the middle is my grandfather. That is all I know about this picture. View full size.
My great-uncle, John Betsch, who was born in 1894, and enlisted in the US Army in 1918. He only made it as far as Camp Custer, Michigan, where he was attached to Company K, 10th Infantry. He contracted the Spanish Influenza and died on October 10, 1918. View full size.
This is the "Cutoff" to the Buckhorn trail near the top of Ajax. It goes with the other Aspen winter 1962-63 pics submitted earlier. This favorite one was saved in a different place and I just now found it. 35mm Kodachrome slide. View full size.
This May 1928 photo shows a young Red Irwin, standing between his parents Minnie and Wilbur, after having made the first airplane landing at Hooterville Airport. Red is wearing a white muslin flight suit and cotton flight helmet. He's flying a 1918 Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" with an OX-5 water cooled engine. The Jenny was two place and cruised around 95-100 mph. The straight blade propeller is commonly known as a toothpick prop.
The buildings on the left were razed in the 80s for a ghastly development called “City Center,” which wasn’t as imaginative as its name. The retail portion struggled for decades to fail, and finally succeeded. The sliver of white stone on the right was Donaldson’s, a department store that eventually moved into City Center, where it the brand died in a merger. (The old building was demolished for an attractive Cesar Pelli-designed retail / office complex.) Down the street on the right, it’s the Syndicate Building, later the home of Penney’s. (It was torn down for a retail / office complex.) In the distance, the pointy tower of the remarkably ungainly Minnesota Loan and Trust Building, a 49-foot-wide building that stood until 1920 before it was clawed down for a new Woolworth's.
Everything here is gone except for the light-colored building in the middle. It still bears its original name: Andrus. It’s an office complex. No retail. View full size.
December 31, 1956 (or January 1, 1957). A party my brother, then 19, went to. Other than recognizing a couple family friends, that's all I know about this Ektachrome slide. View full size.