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:
Autochrome portrait of a young woman thought to be Charlotte Spaulding, taken around 1908 by Edward Steichen. Made with a complex process using three hues of dyed potato starch, autochromes were glass positives viewed with a projector or mounted on a light box. Credit: George Eastman House Collection.
TWO EXAMPLES of early color photography by none other than Edward Steichen have come to light recently, the New York Times reports: "Almost as intriguing as the pictures themselves is the story of how they recently made their way from a house in Buffalo, where they apparently sat unseen for decades, to the collection of the George Eastman House in Rochester, one of the world’s leading photography museums, where they will be exhibited for the first time this fall."
August 1954. Eight-panel patching bay at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, for assignment of any of eight telecine film chains (slide or movie projector and TV camera) to any of several control rooms, for insertion of film content into video feed. One television camera is used with each of three Eastman 16 mm projectors, three RCA 35 mm projectors and two Gray "Telop" projectors. Multipin cable plugs contain two audio and video outputs, start-stop circuits and intercom and monitoring circuits. View full size. Ektachrome by Peter Samerjan.
"A novel idea for the audiophile who likes his music wherever he is. A household teacart can be used as a mobile carrier for any combination of audio gear." December 1954. View full size. Ektachrome by Ken Schmid Studio. Components: Regency HF-150 high fidelity amplifier, Webcor "Diskchanger," Jensen "Duette" reproducer. More from the original press release from Regency Inc.: "Most homemakers are used to wheeling their cleaning equipment with them from room to room -- why not do the same for the entertainment unit that helps to
Just in from NASA, a spectacular image assembled from 48 frames taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of the Carina Nebula 7500 light-years away, which means we are seeing these stars as they were in 5500 BC — making this the oldest picture on Shorpy so far. The bright star at left is Eta Carinae, which can be seen throwing off two enormous lobes of gas prior to exploding — possibly in the next few thousand years, maybe tomorrow — as a titanic supernova. We're offering this as a JG fine art print, made using NASA's 480mb master file.