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South From Chestnut: 1910

South From Chestnut: 1910

Circa 1910. "High Street south from Chestnut, Columbus, Ohio." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


Re: Storehouse of Treasures

Thank you so much for the explanation, timeandagainphoto. I realize it demystifies yet another untouched corner of the universe, but it goes a huge way towards satisfying my literal-minded, need-to-know, aching-with-curiosity soul. (As for Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, there's no reason to assume they don't exist.)

Storehouse of Treasures

davidk - you mostly described the process. perpster’s speculation is correct (sorry for the illusion elimination tterrace) - the first step is obtaining the vintage images that I use as "thens" to the "nows" that I shoot. I use the vintage photographs to triangulate the height and distance in order to ensure my shots are taken from the identical perspective (which is challenging since many of the vintage views were taken in streets that were used by significantly fewer and slower modes of transportation, different optics of modern lenses, large glass plates vs. digital, etc.). I have hundreds of sets from all over the country that I've done since 1986 – I mat and frame them next to one another (see below for a couple of examples). The reason they match up with the Shorpy views is because I use the Library of Congress for most of my vintage views like Shorpy (I also use the National Archives, libraries, and other sources). By the way, my storehouse of treasures is numerous lateral filing cabinets in my basement and several gigabytes of hard drive space in my computer.


Many of these arches were moved about a mile north on High St to the "Short North." They give a nice cozy feeling when you are out on the street.

"Columbus-ohio-short-north-arches". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Speaking of illusions

But, but, what do you mean they don't exist, tterrace?

Enigma Variations

Maybe taap previously photographed the "now" views of the same Detroit Publishing catalogue of images that Dave uses for Shorpy.

[That's on a par with saying Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny don't exist; leave us with some illusions, please. -tterrace]


OK, I accept the explanations by Dave and tterrace as to how timeandagainphoto does it! BUT, after offering the Bing possibility earlier today, I went out and about and ran across a Bing Streetside camera car mapping roads in Pittsford, New York, the first time I've ever seen one! If I wasn't suspicious already, I'm now totally convinced that Shorpy is somehow tied into the space-time continuum at a level beyond my ability to comprehend.

Re: Enigma

Although I feel like I'm falling into a trap of my own making, I still must ask this of timeandagainphoto. Just so I really understand: you have a massive archive of photos of streetscapes from across America, and when you see a Shorpy photo taken from the same vantage point, you dive into your storehouse of treasures and pluck out the matching picture?


I'm glad tterrace included a "g" in the noun. As for how I do it, Dave was right - I use my camera and take the pictures. I'm glad people enjoy them (it drives my wife insane).

The real question

The real question is not how he makes a specific image but how does "timeandagainphoto" (taap) know which image Shorpy is going to publish and in some cases it is several years before it is published on Shorpy.

[And some he took before there even was a Shorpy the Website. He addressed the enigma here. -tterrace]

"How does timeandagainphoto do it?"

There are OTHER street view programs out there. Bing (Maps) "Streetside Explorer at eye level", is one of them, IF the street you're looking for is one of those they cover (far less then Google at present), and IF you can hit one of those times it's actually working. The relevant view appears to be in their database, but I kept getting "try again later" messages when I went for a look-see.

[Actually he does it by standing in the appropriate spot with his camera and taking a picture. - Dave]

Okay, I give up

How does timeandagainphoto do it? He isn't taking screen grabs from Google streetview, and he always has the same perspective as in the Shorpy photo. I am both dumbfounded and gobsmacked.

Twenty Year Offset

In the 1970s Columbus was solidly in the 1950s.

I don't know if that 20 year difference tracks forward or backward.

Not Much Left

The Atlas building still remains. It's the building with "4%" on its roof. There may be a couple others, like the Elevator restaurant and an apartment building, but that's about it. The building I work in sits on the corner of Chestnut and High. I wish Columbus still had the arches going all the way down High Street, not just in the Short North.

Night Lights

As I scan over all to see, I kept thinking what this street would look like with the arches and signs fully lit at night.

Just so much to see.

Love these busy street scenes, a moment captured in time and in such exceptional detail. Everyone hurrying about their business and paying no attention to the photographer who here must be more or less in the middle of the road.


Below is the same view from May of 2013.

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