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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Pittsburgh Rising: 1908

Pittsburgh Rising: 1908

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, circa 1908. "A group of skyscrapers." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Below is the same view from July of 2016.

Kaufmann's Dept Store

This is a wonderful photo. If you look closely there's a sign for Kaufmann's - they're the family that commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build Fallingwater about an hour and 15 mins. from Pittsburgh.
I also love the road that goes up the hill in the back!

Access to the river

What's really interesting to me is the river access, which is now a parking lot that floods periodically, and a highway. It's a funny thing, there's been a movement to connect the city's people to the water, a pretty successful movement, in my opinion - what goes around comes around again, altered for the early 21st century.

Herrs Island Bridges

The two bridges in the background cross the Allegheny at Herrs Island. One was called the Herrs Island Bridge and was located at 30th street (not 31st which was erected in 1927). The other was a railroad bridge at 33rd street.

OK fellas

We've just purchased a new coal barge and we need a new snappy name for the company.

bridge upper left

I think that's a railroad bridge that is still standing around 12th street. I cruised near it on the gateway clipper over the summer.

This is close to the same view as the photo-it is taken from mount washington between the two remaining inclines.

Intersection of Wood St.

This shows where the Monongahela River intersects with Wood Street. Most of the buildings on the shore are still there.

View Larger Map


For a brief period, the 'Keystone State' was the 'S.S.Brown' as well. Thanks, The Big Dog. Sad ending, but I understood that fire was a major hazard with these boats.


Love the view of the old Hill/Strip incline.
It operated for a 70-year stretch before it was torn down in 1953, and hauled both coal and people, launching from a resort and casino on the Hill side and docking at 17th Street and Penn Avenue in the Strip.

In the late 1800s, Pittsburgh had more than a dozen inclines; only two remain. There is talk about rebuilding this one!

Fun with Funiculars

Great angle. Picture must've been taken near where PJ McArdle meets Grandview Avenue. Incredible that the Penn Incline (running behind the Pennsylvania Station) looks as close as it does, given that it was near 17th Street. Any idea which bridge that is in the upper left hand corner?

Keystone State/Majestic

The Keystone State, built in 1890, traveled between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. In 1913 she was converted into the an excursion boat and renamed Majestic. She wrecked in June 1914 above St Louis and later burned to the waterline. Pictures of her end can be found here.

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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