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:
Santa Fe 4-8-4 2928 in passenger train helper service over Cajon Pass. Photo taken 10-19-1952. Photographer unknown, unfortunately. View full size.
My great uncle Claxton. I only knew him when he was older and had a full head of wavy gray hair. In his younger days he had jet black hair with a white stripe straight up the middle. I'm not entirely sure of the date, but it must've been in the early 30's or late 20's. Uncle Claxton had been sick and had just gone outside to warm up a bit. His youngest brother was a bit of a gadget freak and snapped this picture. I always thought it made him look very Bohemian ...
Autochrome portrait of a young woman thought to be Charlotte Spaulding, taken around 1908 by Edward Steichen. Made with a complex process using three hues of dyed potato starch, autochromes were glass positives viewed with a projector or mounted on a light box. Credit: George Eastman House Collection.
TWO EXAMPLES of early color photography by none other than Edward Steichen have come to light recently, the New York Times reports: "Almost as intriguing as the pictures themselves is the story of how they recently made their way from a house in Buffalo, where they apparently sat unseen for decades, to the collection of the George Eastman House in Rochester, one of the world’s leading photography museums, where they will be exhibited for the first time this fall."