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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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Hotel Astor (Colorized): 1909

Hotel Astor (Colorized): 1909

Detroit Publishing photo taken during the Hudson-Fulton Celebration during October, 1909. The details are amazing and I just wanted to see what this scene might have looked like in color. View full size.

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Oh my goodness!!

What an amazing job colouring the photo. Amazing to imagine life back then. Well done and regards from Australia. Kenny

1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race

This photo is absolutely spectacular! Here is a link to information on the 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race that was advertised on the building.


Yes Dave, this is better.
We will expect all photos in Shorpy to be color from now on.

[The caption was written by the colorizer, Dennis Klassen. - tterrace]


Great job! Puts my attempt at colorizing downtown Detroit to shame. Thanks for inspiring me to do better.

I assume you used Photoshop; but, what tools do you primarily rely on to uniformly color the different objects? How long do you think this one took you to do? Are there any instructional aids you can recommend?

Too many questions? Just a great job!


Wonderful job! Wow, that looks like it was a lot of work. For some reason, I'm especially drawn to the green wagon with the "S" on it, out front. It really looks realistically worn and dull.

This is a great example of how colorized photos can enhance these views of the past. Thanks for the great work!

[The identity of the "S" wagon was revealed here. - tterrace]

Cross dressing?

A close examination of this colorized version shows me something curious. Right at the bottom, just to the right of the vehicles there, there is what looks to be a woman in a white dress, with one man's pants clad leg showing.

Now that I look at it again - It could very well be a young man wearing a butchers apron or the like, rushing across the street.

[It is a young man in an apron; this close-up shows he's carrying a jug, which probably indicates the kind of establishment he's working for. - tterrace]

Thanks Terrace!

Nice, but flags

A little vexillological research would have helped, I think. The H-F flag was described in the news accounts of the day as having blue-white-orange stripes (like the Dutch flag of Hudson's era) and the big flag on the front of the hotel is that of Cuba, then a new flag. It has five stripes of blue-white-blue-white-blue with a red triangle at the hoist bearing a white star.

Makes me see new details

For some reason, adding color makes me see stuff I missed in the original. In particular: why is there an Arc de Triomphe on the roof?

That green garlanding must have taken forever to make green. I salute you.


Wow! What a nice color job! Thanks!!

Good Job

Outstanding work. A lot of fine details 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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