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:
Yes, the Russians had their Sputnik, but we were first with the interplanetary bounce-house.
March 31, 1959. "The 'Astrotarium,' the world's only planetarium in a big top, makes its first appearance in the New York area at Abraham & Straus (Babylon) during the week of March 30. Admission to the astronomy and space show, sponsored by A&S to promote public interest in science, will be free. The planetarium will be set up in a parking lot adjacent to A&S-Babylon at the Great South Bay Shopping Center." View full size.
Just in from NASA, a spectacular image assembled from 48 frames taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of the Carina Nebula 7500 light-years away, which means we are seeing these stars as they were in 5500 BC — making this the oldest picture on Shorpy so far. The bright star at left is Eta Carinae, which can be seen throwing off two enormous lobes of gas prior to exploding — possibly in the next few thousand years, maybe tomorrow — as a titanic supernova. We're offering this as a JG fine art print, made using NASA's 480mb master file.