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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 Public Square: 1901

The Public Square: 1901

Detroit circa 1901. "Woodward Avenue at the Campus Martius showing Bagley Fountain." Other landmarks include City Hall, the Majestic Building, Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument and Detroit Opera House. Plus a "moonlight tower" super-streetlight. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Grace Hospital Ambulance

I was born at Grace Hospital a few years after this photo was taken. OK, many years after.

There's no Good Humor here

At first I took the white cart to the right to be a horse-drawn ice cream wagon, realizing that the frozen treats would have been packed in blocks of ice in 1901. On closer inspection it appears to be an ambulance for Grace Hospital.

Moon towers? Mind blown.

What an amazing thing. And just as with all these sorts of crisp cityscapes, I love all the vignettes you can see when you zoom in.

Majestic's signage obscured?

Has the sign on the Majestic Building (C.A.SH_EER)(?!?) been intentionally obscured in post-production, or is there something going on with it that I just can't figure out?

[C.A. SHAFER, a department store. - Dave]

Also, I love the observation deck. I wish more buildings today offered that feature. If I traveled back to the day this was taken, I would be up there looking around to see how long it took me to spot an overweight person. Of the 80 or so people that I can clearly gauge in this photo, there are zero.

On the verge of becoming Motor City

No automobiles in the 1901 photo, and just nine years later, most of the vehicles will be autos - Shorpy - Detroit: 1910.

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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