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:
We found a box of 4X5 glass plate negatives in my parents' basement years back. Here's a scan of one dating back to around 1910 - 1915. We have no idea who these two gents are. We're assuming the photographer was somebody in my family. Pics were taken in and around the Detroit, Michigan. View full size.
Once upon a time, the little logging town of Portage sided the coast of Turnagain Arm just south of Anchorage, Alaska. Then on Good Friday, 1964, an earthquake measuring 9.2 on the moment magnitude scale caused the elevation of Portage to subside by more or less eight feet, to a height below sea level. The environs were flooded with salt water and the town was summarily abandoned. This photo shows what was probably the town's rail station before the calamity, which forced Alaska Rail to realign its right-of-way. Perhaps knowledgeable readers will verify? Scanned (and desaturated) Ektachrome slide from the Frank Burch photo collection. View full size.
This is a wonderful old picture of High Street in Hamilton, Ohio as it appeared back in 1919. The young lady walking with the little girl in this photo is my great-grandmother Annabelle Hacker and the little girl is my grandmother Blanche Humphries. Some of of businesses seen here are the Colonial Billiard Parlor, Mathis-Songhen Company, Goodman-Strauss Company, Republic National Bank and the Walk-Over Shoe Store. Just a fantastic look back in time.
At the Palm Springs parade in February 1955. I found this 35mm Kodachrome slide in a collection at a swap meet. View full size.
Another in a series of Kodachromes taken by my dad in the late 1950s as he traversed the country with wife and daughter in tow. View full size.
My grandmother Myrtie Crabtree (first girl from the left) with her parents John and Ida Higginson Crabtree, and brothers, late 1903 or before Spring 1904. Others may be relatives or their neighbors, the Pence family. Photo’s original border: J.J. Wall, Gross, Nebr.
Around May 1892, the Crabtree family moved (because of terrible dust storms) from their sod house on homestead land near Norden, Nebraska, to Bonesteel (near the Rosebud Sioux Reservation). Bonesteel the town was just starting. My great-grandfather John was the Postmaster at the trading post for six years. After the Postmaster position, John owned a the wagon shop where he fixed buggies and wagons.
Sometime after spring 1904, the Crabtree family moved to a farm in Mondamin, Iowa. John had traded his successful business (mud and all) in Bonesteel, for property he had not seen. Myrtie, her dad and brother had typhoid fever in Iowa, possibly contracted in Bonesteel, where many people had been sick with typhoid before they left. View full size.
This is my great-grandfather John Crabtree, last seen in the Bonesteel photo. After living in several locations, John and Ida moved to Long Pine, Nebraska, where John had an up-to-date shoe repair shop from about 1912 to 1921. He then moved his equipment to his home, also in Long Pine.
Great-Grandpa had polio when he was around six (1861) that left his right leg paralyzed. The story is that John learned shoemaking so he could make specialty shoes to fit himself and others. In Long Pine (according to his daughter Myrtie), John was known for how perfectly he made shoes. Workmen on the Railroad (including the conductor) brought him shoes to work on from all along the line, because he did such good work. View full size.