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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 • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Cars+Trucks

New York to Paris: 1908

New York to Paris: 1908

February 12, 1908. Montague Roberts in Times Square driving the Thomas Flyer at the start of the New York to Paris automobile race 100 years ago today. Five months later the car rolled into Paree and won, with considerable drama along the way. There's an entertaining account of the competition in the New York Times, which sponsored the event a century ago. View full size. 5x7 glass negative by George Grantham Bain, whose photos illustrate the NYT article.

 

Bridge Wreck: 1925

Bridge Wreck: 1925

June 17, 1925. "Klingle Ford Bridge wreck" in Washington, D.C., just off (and under) Connecticut Avenue. 4x5 glass negative, National Photo Company Collection. View full size. Who can identify the car?

 

Ak-Sar-Ben, Ah-a-Mo: 1938

Ak-Sar-Ben, Ah-a-Mo: 1938

November 1938. The Ak-sar-ben toll bridge over the Missouri River between Iowa and Nebraska at Omaha. View full size. Photograph by John Vachon.

 

Omaha: 1938

Omaha: 1938

November 1938. Omaha, Nebraska. "Cars parked diagonally along a row of parking meters." View full size. Photograph by John Vachon for the FSA.

 

Parked Girl: 1941

Parked Girl: 1941

August 1941. Cars in the business district of Brattleboro, Vermont. 35mm nitrate negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

Billy Mitchell: 1923

Billy Mitchell: 1923

September 25, 1923. Brigadier General William Mitchell in Washington, D.C. An important figure in the development of military aviation, "Billy" Mitchell is regarded as the father of the U.S. Air Force. His criticism of Army and Navy leaders after the crash of the airship Shenandoah in 1925 led to a court-martial and subsequent resignation. When it came to clothes, cars and horses, he was a connoisseur of the good life. View full size. National Photo Co. Collection.

 

Harriet and Tommy: 1926

Harriet and Tommy: 1926

January 2, 1926. Tommy Leiter and Harriet Mitchell, daughter of Gen. Billy Mitchell. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, National Photo Co. Collection.

 
 
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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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