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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

Boats & Bridges

Men Overboard: 1917

Men Overboard: 1917

New York, 1917. "Aboard the Recruit." Our first glimpse of life on the "landship" U.S.S. Recruit, a wooden destroyer set up in Union Square as a Navy recruiting station. For our marooned sailors there was a phonograph, dancing and a pet goat. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

Landship Recruit: 1917

Landship Recruit: 1917

New York, 1917. "Landship Recruit on Union Square." The U.S.S. Recruit, a wooden battleship erected by the Navy, served as a World War I recruiting station at Union Square from 1917 to 1920, when it "set sail" for Coney Island. This is the first in a series of photographs depicting life around and aboard the landlocked boat. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

Tygart Valley Span: 1938

Tygart Valley Span: 1938

September 1938. "Construction of new bridge, Tygart Valley Homesteads, West Virginia." View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by Marion Post Wolcott.

 

Central High Shell: 1927

Central High Shell: 1927

Washington, D.C. Central High shell crew on the Potomac at the Key Bridge in 1927. View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative.

 

Harpers Ferry: 1865

Harpers Ferry: 1865

1865. "Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. View of Maryland Heights at confluence of Shenandoah and Potomac rivers." Wet plate glass negative (detail) by James Gardner. Civil War glass negative collection, Library of Congress. View full size.

 

Manhattan Bridge: 1909

Manhattan Bridge: 1909

March 23, 1909. Construction of the Manhattan Bridge as seen from Brooklyn. 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

New York, New York: 1941

New York, New York: 1941

December 1941. "Lower Manhattan seen from the S.S. Coamo leaving New York." View full size. 35mm negative by Jack Delano. Office of War Information.

 
 
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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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