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.

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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • NEW ZEALAND CENTENNIAL: 1840-1940

Municipal Palace: 1907

Municipal Palace: 1907

Cincinnati circa 1907. "Federal Building (Custom House and Post Office)." Alfred B. Mullett, architect. Completed 1885, demolished 1936. View full size.

 
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Sweeping or greasing

The man in the image could also be greasing the switches. "Greaser" was a common though lowly occupation at many big city streetcar systems. Careful greasing of switches and tight curves helped prevent wheel wear and noise.

There's a point to his sweeping

It looks to me as though he's sweeping out the switch points. Stones etc. can get lodged there and keep the switch from closing all the way, causing derailments.

Can't quite make out

what the man center right foreground is doing, cleaning the tracks?

51 years seem too few

That's how long between completion and demolition of this beautiful building, which today would be regarded as a treasure were it extant.

Photo shows clearly the double overhead peculiar to the Cincinnati electric streetcar system; all of the other hundreds of trolley systems use/used single wire feed with return through the rails. Reason given was alleged interference with the telephone system. (Havana, Cuba also had double overhead.)

 
SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE
Shorpy.com | 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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