SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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 White Is King: 1908

The White Is King: 1908

Circa 1908. "Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis." Our title comes from the sign over the White Sewing Machine Co. store. 8x10 inch glass negative. 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!


The Dr. Sullivan sign with the pointing hand and painted dentures is so classic, I'm looking for Norman Rockwell.


Below is the same view from September of 2008.

Time traveler

No, not one of those oft-seen individuals who just coincidentally appear to be holding a cell phone to their ear, but a retail establishments named simply "Unique" would seem to have fallen back in time from the 2000s.

To the West

Behind the streetcar, to the right of the Unique Theatre and to the left of Lenin's doppelganger on the wall sign, is the West Hotel. Despite the tackiness of its peppermint-stripe facade on its lower levels, it was the destination hotel for visiting celebrities. A young Winston Churchill stayed at the West during the final week of Queen Victoria's reign, when giving stirring accounts to packed houses at the Lyceum Theater (located behind the cameraman) of his exploits in the Boer War. It survived Churchill, the Republican National Convention in 1892, a fatal fire in 1906, and the Great Depression, until its demolition in 1940.

Street cleaner's day off?

Rarely do we see a street so flithy as this one. And not just the typical horse waste but trash in the gutter!


If you look at this picture long enough, you'll see a Starbucks.

Still there

The Masonic Temple building still survives as the Hennepin Center for the Arts, and the Lumber Exhange building survives as, well, the Lumber Exchange.

Hennepin Avenue today

View Larger Map

Next time I walk by those old buildings I'll keep 1908 in mind.

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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