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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • GIFT IDEA: VINTAGE TRAVEL POSTERS

Boats & Bridges

City of Alpena: 1899

City of Alpena: 1899

Circa 1899. "Sidewheeler City of Alpena." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

        The CITY OF ALPENA, launched from the Detroit Dry Dock Co. in Wyandotte in 1893, was one of several elegant paddlewheel steamboats operated by the Detroit & Cleveland Line out of Detroit. The line dated to 1849 and eventually included 10 large vessels, serving ports all over Lake Erie and Lake Huron.

        The impressive CITY OF ALPENA and sister ship CITY OF MACKINAC were 285 feet long and driven by 2,000-horsepower steam engines. They carried as many as 400 passengers along with significant cargoes of package freight, merchandise and foodstuffs. They provided a critical link to big cities like Toledo, Detroit and Saginaw in the years before completion of railroads and highways to the communities of booming Northeast Michigan.

        The CITY OF ALPENA was taken off the "Coast Line to Mackinac" in 1921 when the lumbering industry had moved to the West Coast and railroads connected most of the towns in the region. She operated afterward on Lake Michigan as the CITY OF SAUGATUCK, and ended up in the late 1930s as a barge, carrying pulpwood and later petroleum products. The once-proud ship was broken up for scrap in 1957.

-- C. Patrick Labadie, Historian
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

 

High Water: 1903

High Water: 1903

"Loading steamer Chalmette during high water, March 23, 1903, New Orleans." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Big Jim: 1910

Big Jim: 1910

Mobile, Alabama. "River packet Jas. T. Staples." Sternwheeler steamboat (known as "Big Jim") launched at Mobile in 1908; plied the Tombigbee River between Demopolis and Mobile; destroyed in a boiler explosion at Powes Landing in 1913 at a cost of 26 lives, one week after its owner had killed himself with a shotgun. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Rolling on the River: 1908

Rolling on the River: 1908

The Mississippi River circa 1908. "Steamboat landing and Union Station at St. Paul, Minnesota." Sidewheelers and sternwheelers on view include the Minnesota, Hiawatha, Idler, Wanderer II and F. Weyerhaeuser. View full size.

 

Vertigo: 1959

Vertigo: 1959

May 1, 1959. "Downtown San Francisco -- California Street East Bay vista from Nob Hill." 8x10 inch acetate negative, photographer unknown. View full size.

 

Pennsylvania Lines: 1900

Pennsylvania Lines: 1900

Circa 1900. "Anchor Line docks and Penna. R.R. coal & ore docks, Erie, Pennsylvania." Also represented: Cars of the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

The Pleasure: 1901

The Pleasure: 1901

        "The handsome new screw ferry steamer PLEASURE, recently added to the large fleet of excursion steamers in the service of the Belle Isle and Windsor Ferry Company. She is to run on the Detroit River, touching at Belle Isle, Windsor, and other summer resorts."

Detroit circa 1901. "Screw ferry excursion steamer Pleasure at Belle Isle ferry dock, Woodward Avenue." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative. 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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