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:
Feb. 22, 1908. "Three New York-Brooklyn bridges from Brooklyn." An amazingly detailed panorama of New York recorded by George Grantham Bain. Our 3100 pixel wide version (view full size), detailed as it is, is less than a quarter the size of the hi-res scan of the original 8x10 inch glass negative. From the left: Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge (under construction) and Williamsburg Bridge.
San Francisco Bay, November 30, 1955. The car ferry Klamath heading west to San Rafael from Richmond. We're on board another one heading east. Looking south from the starboard side of our vessel, we'd see this view of the bridge that, when completed, would end the ferry service. My brother shot this on 35mm Kodachrome. But I was there on the boat with him. View full size.
The Richmond-San Rafael bridge on San Francisco Bay under construction, November 30, 1955. Shot by my brother on 35mm Kodachrome from a car ferry heading east toward Richmond. Smoke at left is from a San Rafael-bound ferry passing out of camera range to the north. View full size.