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About the Photos

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.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

Railroads

Greased Lightning: 1924

Greased Lightning: 1924

        Our second look at this locomotive, whose cylindrical design echoes the shape of its steam-boiler brethren even though it's entirely electric.

June 1924. Washington, D.C. "Largest and most powerful electric locomotive in the world being exhibited by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway and the General Electric Co." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Mightiest Electric: 1924

Mightiest Electric: 1924

June 1924. Washington, D.C. "Largest and most powerful electric locomotive in the world being exhibited by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway and the General Electric Co." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Rear Brakeman: 1943

Rear Brakeman: 1943

March 1943. "Walter V. Dew, rear brakeman, on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe between Chicago and Chillicothe, Illinois, watching the train from the cupola." Photo by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Heavy Lifting: 1910

Heavy Lifting: 1910

Circa 1910. "Brown electric hoist unloading freighter Constitution at Cleveland." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Fire-Eater: 1942

Fire-Eater: 1942

December 1942. Chicago, Illinois. "Working on a giant locomotive, one of the '400s,' in the Chicago & North Western Railroad shops." Medium-format negative by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Ghost Concourse: 1910

Ghost Concourse: 1910

Circa 1910. "Train concourse, Union Station, Washington, D.C." Time exposure capturing hundreds of ephemeral footfalls. 8x10 glass negative. View full size.

 

Live Third Rail: 1910

Live Third Rail: 1910

Detroit circa 1910. "Michigan Central R.R. tunnel." Another in a series of views of the approach to the train tunnel under the Detroit River. Please note: LIVE THIRD RAIL, DO NOT TOUCH. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative. View full size.

 
 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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