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:
Easter 1911. St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York. George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size. Note the pair of Hansom cabs, named after the inventor (Joseph Hansom) and the type of carriage (cabriolet). Hansom cabriolets fitted with taximeters became known as taxicabs. Note the "curtain" in front of the cab -- to keep the passenger from having to see the horse do what horses do.
"Mission where Elsie Sigel met her slayer." Photograph circa 1915. The body of the 19-year-old missionary, granddaughter of Civil War hero Franz Sigel, was found in 1909 bound in a trunk in her lover Leon Ling's fourth-floor apartment at 782 Eighth Avenue in New York, next to the Chinese restaurant where he was a waiter. Ling disappeared, and the crime remains officially unsolved. View full size. Read more about this notorious murder here (continued here). 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.
"Bring out yer rats." Ferrets were used in turn of the century New York to track down rodents. Here is the result of one such hunt in 1908. You want to be dressed in a jacket and tie for this kind of work. From the George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.
In 1911 Thomas W. Burgess was the second man to swim the English Channel. It took him 22 hours and 35 minutes. It's not clear if this photo is from that event, but he's definitely not dressed for recreational swimming. Burgess also swam for Great Britain in the 1900 Summer Olympics. George Grantham Bain Collection.