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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

Cars+Trucks

Flood Mansion: 1940

Flood Mansion: 1940

        James Clair Flood Mansion (now Pacific Union Club), 1000 California Street, San Francisco. Built 1885-86; Augustus Laver, architect. Reputed cost of about $1 million. Flood died 1889; Mrs. Flood, 1897. Descendants occupied until fire of 1906 gutted interior. Acquired by Pacific Union Club about 1909 and remodeled by Willis Polk in 1910. New England brownstone shell (said to be first brownstone west of Mississippi); Italianate ornamental details. Fence of bronze by W.T. Garratt, at cost estimated from $30,000 to $60,000. Only Nob Hill house to survive fire. —HABS, 1940

March 1940. The Flood Mansion in San Francisco, last seen here after being gutted by fire following the 1906 earthquake, 108 years ago today. Photo by A.J. Wittlock for the Historic American Buildings Survey. View full size.

 

Mizpah Arch: 1908

Mizpah Arch: 1908

Denver, Colorado, circa 1908. "Welcome arch at Union Depot looking down 17th Street." The arch, with the Hebrew benediction "mizpah" soon replacing WELCOME on the other (departure) side, was torn down in 1931. View full size.

 

Spheres of Influence: 1928

Spheres of Influence: 1928

Washington, D.C., circa 1928. "Library for Blind, B Street S.E." Another of those photos where the points of greatest interest are at the periphery -- the Sanitary Barber ("Ladies Hair Bobbing a Specialty") at left, and Hall-Kerr Motors, a Hudson dealer, on the right. National Photo glass negative. View full size.

 

Alley Cad: 1954

Alley Cad: 1954

1954. Washington, D.C. "Hibbs Building, 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Exterior." 8x10 acetate negative by Theodor Horydczak. View full size.

 

Street View Car: 1923

Street View Car: 1923

        This early prototype "Go-Ogle Auto-Rig" was operated by a driver and a lensman who fed motion picture film into the 360-degree camera at the rate of 90 feet per minute. After being conveyed through the mobile developing tank, footage was viewed using a stereopticon indexed to a telephone directory.

March 26, 1923. Washington, D.C. "Test car, Bureau of Standards." See above for details. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

First Class Sanitary Barber: 1935

First Class Sanitary Barber: 1935

November 16, 1935. "New Orleans photographs -- 1123 Royal Street." Hi, Bob! Large-format acetate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.

 

Scenic Saginaw: 1908

Scenic Saginaw: 1908

Saginaw, Michigan, circa 1908. "Hoyt Library." With a number of hazards for the unwary pedestrian. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. 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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