SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
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About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Big Box: 1906

Big Box: 1906

Louisville, Kentucky, circa 1906. "Columbia Building, Fourth and Main." An interesting look at the gritty environment of the urban horse. And maybe a record for the number of insulators on one tree in a Shorpy photo. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Look at all those windows!

I imagine the owners of this property employed their own full time sign painter to letter each window and most likely all the interior doors throughout this huge building. Great work and not an easy task.


What a great picture for teaching the principles of perspective and vanishing points. All those straight lines ...

Top floor wiring

Note the lines running up to that little crossarm on the top floor. Oh to be a lineman back then.


Built 1890, razed 1966, replaced with BB&T Bldg, 1972.

L H & St. L

That would be the Louisville, Henderson and Saint Louis Railroad, I do believe, though it's difficult to imagine why they would want their top-floor view blocked with their own initials.

Thomas Dufficy

Thomas Dufficy, Thomas Dufficy & Co., 512 W. Main, St. Louis, Died 1911.

Windows 06

Can someone explain why the businesses on the upper floors would paint the name of their company on the windows? Seems to me you'd have to be standing inside an equally tall building across the street or a bird in order to actually see these glass lettered signs.

[The building is on a hill, so whatever is up there would be visible from quite a distance. - Dave]

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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