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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 • NORWAY IN SEPTEMBER, c. 1920s

Boats & Bridges

Tappan Zee: 1957

Tappan Zee: 1957

Nov. 29, 1957. Sun through the clouds, very nice, but the truly stunning sight for most modern New Yorkers would be a nearly-empty Tappan Zee Bridge.

Ghost Ship: 1916

Ghost Ship: 1916

September 1916. "Kron Prinz Wilhelm, German ship, interned in U.S. in tow." The former passenger liner, pressed into service as a commerce raider by the Imperial German Navy at the start of World War I, being towed from the Norfolk yards to Philadelphia. During its eight months on the high seas -- after leaving New York Harbor with 2,000 tons of coal -- the converted 15,000-ton cruiser sank more than a dozen Allied ships and took hundreds of prisoners. Running low on supplies, its crew and prisoners beset by a variety of illnesses, the battered vessel sought refuge in April 1915 at Newport News, where its sailors were interned for over a year. After the United States entered the war, the ship was seized by the government, rechristened the USS Von Steuben and converted into a troop carrier. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Brooklyn Bridge: 1909

Brooklyn Bridge: 1909

"Brooklyn Bridge and East River. April 1909." At left, the Manhattan Bridge under construction in this view looking east into Brooklyn with Manhattan Terminal at lower left. 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

Consul Peter: 1909

Consul Peter: 1909

1909. "Consul Peter smoking." Peter, "famous monkey of the Parisian music halls," was an act at Oscar Hammerstein's Paradise Roof Garden in New York. As the subject of "Consul Crosses the Atlantic," he was also perhaps the first chimp movie star. George Grantham Bain Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Steam Under the Bridge: 1906

Steam Under the Bridge: 1906

Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1906. The sidewheeler Cincinnati passing under the Roebling Suspension Bridge. Detroit Publishing glass negative. View full size.

 

Vencedor: 1897

Vencedor: 1897

September 4, 1897. Commodore H.M. Gillig's racing sloop Vencedor on Lake Erie. Photo by John S. Johnston. Detroit Publishing Co. glass negative. View full size.

 

Annisquam Light: 1910

Annisquam Light: 1910

Circa 1910. "Annisquam Light. Gloucester, Massachusetts." Detroit Publishing Company glass negative, Library of Congress. 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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