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:
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.
Circa 1963. I'm not sure what's worse: that my brother is in the front seat or the metal baby seat itself, hooked to the seatback of the car. View full size.
"To Ernest. Sincerely, William Suarez Prieto, Panama, 1943." There are two addresses for William, one in Panama City, Panama, the other in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba; and the words "agua dulce." View full size.
This is a Kodachrome of my bedroom in Pacifica, California, in November 1966. I was 10 years old, and apparently an unnaturally neat child. That's my stupid dog Blackie on the bed -- Blackie eventually bit a neighbor kid and "got sent to the farm" - I was in college before I figured out that my parents had him put to sleep. They were also like beatniks, so the whole house was covered in that awful seagrass rug stuff that left waffle marks on my feet. My prize possession, one share of McDonnell Aircraft stock, is framed over my desk. That desk, which is now my wife's computer desk, had an elaborate drawing of a Gemini instrument panel on the underside, and I spent hours lying under it, on the overturned Cost Plus chair, pretending I was in orbit. That's a model of a
B-57 B-58 bomber on top of the Zenith TV, which had a broken on-off switch and required me to crawl under it and plug it in when I wanted to watch anything. There are a lot of Roy Gallant books on astronomy and space travel on the shelf, and the window looked out on the driveway. I really miss that camel-hair comforter on the bed. View full size.