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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 • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Wright Brothers

Ride Like the Wind: 1902

Ride Like the Wind: 1902

October 10, 1902. Kitty Hawk, N.C. "Wilbur gliding in level flight, moving to right near bottom of Big Hill." Glass negative by Orville Wright. View full size.

 

Just What I Always Wanted: 1901

Just What I Always Wanted: 1901

January 1901. Dayton, Ohio. "Bertha Wright, age five, niece of the Wright brothers, daughter of Lorin Wright," with some of her many Christmas presents. Dry-plate glass negative by the Wright Brothers. View full size.

 

Testing Their Wings: 1902

Testing Their Wings: 1902

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. "Start of a glide; Wilbur in motion at left holding one end of glider (rebuilt with single vertical rudder), Orville lying prone in machine, and Dan Tate at right." October 10, 1902. 5x7 dry-plate glass negative attributed to the Wright Brothers. View full size.

 

Testing Their Wings (Detail)

Testing Their Wings (Detail)

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. "Start of a glide; Wilbur in motion at left holding one end of glider (rebuilt with single vertical rudder), Orville lying prone in machine, and Dan Tate at right." October 10, 1902. 5x7 dry-plate glass negative attributed to the Wright Brothers. View full size. This is a detail from the post above.

 

Kitty Hawk: 1901

Kitty Hawk: 1901

1901. Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Wilbur Wright and glider just after landing. 4x5 dry-plate glass negative attributed to Orville Wright. View full size. The fogging of the negative at the bottom of the frame, combined with the skid marks in the sand from an earlier landing, create the illusion that the glider is still flying.

 

Scipio Wright: 1917

Scipio Wright: 1917

Scipio, a St. Bernard acquired by Orville Wright in 1917. Photo taken between 1917 and 1928. View full size. 5x7 glass negative by Orville Wright.

 

Christmas With Wilbur and Orville: 1900

Christmas With Wilbur and Orville: 1900

December 1900. Christmas tree in the home of Wilbur and Orville Wright at 7 Hawthorn Street in Dayton, Ohio, three years before their famous flight. 4x5 dry-plate glass negative by the Wright Brothers. View full size. There's a lot of detail here for fans of old-school Christmas decoration. Zoom the gifts. Update: Niece Bertha is shown here playing with the dish set in a different room or house.

 
 
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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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