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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 TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Cars+Trucks

Totaled: 1923

Totaled: 1923

1923. Assistant Postmaster General John Bartlett's car in Washington after an accident. Bartlett, a former governor of New Hampshire, survived. Details of the wreck, unfortunately, did not. View full size. National Photo Co. Collection.

 

I'm a Wreck: 1923

I'm a Wreck: 1923

"Auto Wreck, 1923." Another Washington, D.C., vehicular mishap, this time at the Library of Congress. View full size. National Photo Company Collection.

 

1923 Wreck Redux

1923 Wreck Redux

July 30, 1923. Washington, D.C. A closeup from this morning's post of a wrecked car in the water. View full size. National Photo Co. glass negative.

Trail, British Columbia 1959

Trail, British Columbia 1959

My father worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and when we moved from Ontario backwoods to the City of Trail, we rented a railway house between the tracks and the Cominco smelter. Our front yard was the parking lot and our back was the railway tracks. The trains shuttling ore passed so close that I could hand the engineer a magazine from our upstairs window. It was difficult to sleep the first few days in the city, but after a week the engines passing by our window didn't disturb us one wink. This was a time of tension with the USSR and I believe we were one of the targets of the Soviets. At the time, Cominco was the largest non-ferrous smelter in the world, providing zinc and aluminum to the free market. The smelter still stands but our old residence is gone. Good riddance. View full size.

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.

 
 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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