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:
Every photo needs a caption, please. View full size.
"Gas tank at 26th & G." The city gas house and holding tanks ("gasometers") in Northwest Washington near the current location of the Watergate complex. The intersection in the photo (seen earlier here) is New Hampshire (middle left) and Virginia avenues. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.
Washington, D.C., circa 1917. "Washington Gas Light holders at 26th and G streets N.W." These relics of the gaslight era ("two of Washington's biggest stinkers") were scrapped around 1947. Just about every city of any size in the latter half of the 19th century had its "gashouse district" -- a rough neighborhood dominated by smelly holding tanks for the municipal gas plant, where coal was gasified to make "city gas" (generally either "coal gas" or "water gas," depending on the process) for illumination. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.
Can anyone identify this dam? This photo is one of a trio purchased in northern California. I get dizzy just looking at the staircases clinging to the side of the cliff on the right. View full size.
June 1942. "Eight units in generator hall of a new addition to TVA's hydroelectric plant at Wilson Dam, Sheffield vicinity, Alabama." Much, if not most, of the energy from the huge Tennessee Valley Authority hydroelectric projects undertaken during the war was used to run the uranium enrichment plants at the government's secret atom-bomb facility in Oak Ridge. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer for the Office of War Information.