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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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Palmetto Shade: 1865

Palmetto Shade: 1865

April 1865. Charleston, South Carolina. "Post Office (old Exchange and Custom House), East Bay Street, showing the only Palmetto tree there is in the city." Wet plate negative by George Barnard, from photographs of the Federal Navy and sea­borne expeditions against the Atlantic Coast of the Confederacy. View full size.

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Not just any palmetto

In the May 8, 1858 edition of The Illustrated London News, three years before the War began, Scottish author Charles Mackay reported that "in East-Bay Street, nearly opposite the office of the Charleston Courier, stands, carefully guarded by a fence, a magnificent palmetto in luxuriance of growth." This essay and others were republished the following year as "Life and Liberty in America."

According to "Southern Provisions: The Creation and Revival of a Cuisine," the Palmetto Shade Restaurant was owned during the war by one R. Daly.


Below is the same view from May of 2010.

Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

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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