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:
My great-grandfather's mining crew circa 1915 in Mineral County, West Virginia. His name was Thompson Metcalf, and he is in the front row, crouched just to the right of the coal car tracks. The young boy in front of him was my great-uncle "Metty." Thompson died in the flu epidemic of 1918. My grandfather gave me the carbide lamp that Thompson wore. It appears they all had their lamps lit for the photo. They even included the most valuable members of the crew (at least to the mine owners). Some mine owners were of the opinion that "If you lose a man, there is always another one ready to take his place, but if you lose a pony or mule, you must BUY another one". This crew worked the mines in the Beryl, West Virginia area.
Welcome to the first annual Shorpy Top 20 New Year's Eve Image Countdown, where we recap the year's most popular posts based on number of reads. You can keep track as the evening progresses on the grid below. (We'll get to the Top 10 starting around 11 p.m. Eastern Time.) And the No. 1 post of 2007, with 104,800 reads: A screen grab of . . . The Beaver Letter! Whew. Well that was fun but exhausting. Thanks to everyone for making this a super first year for Shorpy!
The ranking grid and read numbers reflect picture standings as of 4 p.m. Eastern time on December 31, 2007. View counts rounded to the nearest whatever.
No. 1: The Beaver Letter, 1958 (104,800 reads)
No. 2: Pie Town Dugout, 1940 (89,800 reads)
No. 3: Weeki Wachee Mermaid, 1947 (85,500 reads)
No. 4: Brooklyn Pin Boys, 1910 (84,700 reads)
No. 5: Inter-City Beauties, 1927 (73,200 reads)
No. 6: Pageant of Pulchritude II, 1928 (37,300 reads)
No. 7: Beach Policeman, 1922 (37,100 reads)
No. 8: Mr. 535-07-5248 and Wife, 1939 (36,800 reads)
No. 9: Custer Car, 1924 (24,700 reads)
No. 10: Carina Nebula (20,935 reads)
No. 11: Chicago & North Western Locomotive Shops, 1942 (20,750 reads)
No. 12: 1951 Oldsmobile Final Assembly (18,290 reads)
No. 13: Flying Fortress, 1942 (18,270 reads)
No. 14: Pageant of Pulchritude, 1928 (18,200 reads)
No. 15: The Virtual Buick, 1953 (17,300 reads)
No. 16: Carnival Ride From Hell, 1911 (16,600 reads)
No. 17: Hi-Fi Boombox, 1954 (15,000 reads)
No. 18: Bathing Girl Parade, 1920 (14,900 reads)
No. 19: Migrant Mother, 1936 (14,800 reads)
No. 20: Manhattan skyline in 1901 (14,500 reads)