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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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The Heart of Detroit: 1907

The Heart of Detroit: 1907

Detroit circa 1907. "The Campus Martius." Landmarks include the Detroit Opera House, Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, Cadillac Square, Wayne County Building, Hotel Pontchartrain. Panorama of three 8x10 glass negatives. View full size.

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True Crime

Another fantastic pic of the Campus Martius area, giving the rare view up Monroe Street where Gies's European Hotel operated (the attached building to the left of the Hotel Fowler, center of pic). In 1894, the infamous H. H. Holmes lodged Mrs. Pitezel there for a few days, the poor woman never knowing her daughters Alice and Nellie were but five blocks away.

D.M. Ferry and U of Michigan sports

Dexter M. Ferry, the man behind the seed company in this picture, donated the land in south Ann Arbor on which today's U of M athletic venues stand. One of which, the outdoor track and field venue, is named Ferry Field. Before today's Michigan Stadium, Ferry Field was the home of the football Wolverines, and the iron gate with the "FERRY FIELD" name remains in place on south State Street.

"Man of the Hour," again

Also playing on Shorpy at

The NYT called it a "Virile Melodrama," and said: "A youthful Mayor who cannot be bribed or intimidated, a financier who wants to get control of a street railway franchise in perpetuity, and a pair of political bosses, who are at odds with each other and who are fighting to gain supremacy in their organization -- these are the chief characters in George Broadhurst's play "The Man of the Hour.""

Women downtown

I have noticed over and over on Shorpy that almost every city street scene in the northern states features women bustling about, presumably doing their shopping, having lunch with their friends, walking with their daughters, etc. In the photos of southern cities, you almost never see women on the streets. Nearly every southern city street scene comprises pretty much entirely men. Why is this? Heat? No place for "a lady" to be seen? Has anyone else noticed this?

re: Seedy

The Ferry Seed Warehouse seen in the background is at the western end of what is now Greektown. It's now an office building.

Moonlight Tower

I believe that the structure in the center foreground of the photo is a moonlight tower. It was an early form of street lighting where there would be one tall tower with bright, probably carbon-arc, lights instead of multiple smaller lights closer to the ground. Austin, Texas is the only city that still has these in operation, although they have been updated to use a modern light source.

[A Shorpy favorite, seen in many of our Detroit photos, for example, here, here and here.]

High speed photography

No Shorpy spirits, except the sprinters already mentioned.

Concerning those lights, how much illumination did they actually cast?

A calamity?

Something big must be going on behind the Pontchartrain! A fire engine speeding left to right and dozens of men appear to be running toward the same destination. Or is it happy hour at the establishment proclaiming Kentucky Whiskey available here? Even the group of folks standing at the corner of the Hotel have their attention turned in that direction! So much going on here!


Rajah Coffee

Can Starbucks be far behind?

Horse Sense

The Motor City with more horses than motors! In back, the classic sign of economic progress -- smokin' chimneys.

Is a radio tower

in the center of the picture? It appears to be a large tower.

[It's a street light. -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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