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:
"Christmas 1954." My grandmother in her living room in Miami Shores four years before I was born. She made the mantel decoration, which saw service for many years, with Brazilian pepper berries from a big tree in the backyard, mixed with pine cones, all attached to a chicken wire frame. Grandmother, handy with a needle and thread, also made the curtains herself. She was, needless to say, big on Christmas. Scanned from a 35mm Kodachrome slide. View full size.
Most locomotive portrait artists were consummate professionals who didn't allow things like light poles--or old ladies--to obscure their subject. Whoever took this photo wasn't on his game apparently. The old lady--a rather comical figure, is she not?--is probably the photographers wife, but I like to think she's lost and wandering around the Cincinnati Union Terminal service area looking for the ticket window. The locomotive, for those who care, is C&O Pacific type #492. Photo dated July, 1937. View full size.
Lima, Ohio. December 1941. The brilliant C&O/Lima Locomotive design team poses for a photograph in front of their latest creation--a 2-6-6-6 Allegheny. Despite years of claims to the contrary, this first series of Alleghenies were indeed the heaviest steam locomotives ever built. This photo was taken by the Lima company photographer mere days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and for C&O the first ten Alleghenies came right in time for the surge of war traffic on America's railroads.