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:
Circa 1925. "Man pointing at California State Automobile Association signage; woman with pennant reading BOOST THE REDWOOD HIGHWAY." A souvenir from the early days of motoring, when signage was a do-it-yourself affair, with routes marked and mapped by automobile clubs. 6½x8½ inch glass negative originally from the Wyland Stanley collection of San Francisciana. View full size.
Northern California circa 1927. "California State Automobile Association Official Mechanical, First Aid and Towing Service Station." Offering Emergency Road Service and Red Crown Gasoline. 6½x8½ inch glass negative originally from the Wyland Stanley collection of San Francisciana. View full size.
Washington, D.C., circa 1935. "Post Office Department Building (Old Post Office Building or Pavilion). Old (far left) and new Post Office Department." The "new" building, inspired by the Place Vendome in Paris, is now the Ariel Rios Federal Building. 8x10 nitrate negative by Theodor Horydczak. View full size.
May 1920. Yosemite National Park. "Prize Cup, Fourth Annual AAA Economy Run, Los Angeles to Camp Curry." An early test of fuel efficiency sponsored by Standard Oil of California. 8x6 inch glass negative originally from the Wyland Stanley collection of San Francisciana, acquired and scanned by Shorpy. View full size.