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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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River City: 1900

River City: 1900

Buffalo, New York, circa 1900. "Buffalo River and elevators, foot of Main Street." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Reimagined grain silos

Today, a few of the old grain silos have been painted as Labatt's beer cans. Labatt's, a popular Canadian pilsener, is imported via the Peace Bridge between Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario, I believe. The import arm of the brewery is located in Buffalo. The repainted silos are a tribute to what is arguably western NY's most popular beer.

You just have to see it to believe it!

Also, you can tour the silos now, and even go up inside one. This is not for those afraid of heights (like me), something the tour operator stresses. One silo is used on occasion for recording music. There are also companies in the area that rent out kayaks, canoes, water boards, and water bikes so one can paddle in the Erie Canal and Buffalo River to investigate the silos, and returning wildlife.

A great job has been done on the Buffalo waterfront, there is ice skating in the winter, there are new restaurants, breweries, and many wildlife habitats recreated from what was once a polluted wasteland. The City of Buffalo has a lot to be proud of for once.

A Great Photograph

I have spent more time studying this anonymous photo than any I have seen on Shorpy--and I've seen them all. It is an amazing composition. The range of tones and textures, the surface of the river, smoke, steam and clouds, the weathered dock and coal in the foreground. Those elevators look like sets for a Fritz Lang film. And the overall oppressiveness. A great photograph.

Flour milling

Minneapolis was the flour milling capitol back at that date, but Buffalo was its big rival. Eventually, by about 1930, Buffalo became the biggest flour producer, largely due to shipping costs and a special political deal to allow Canadian wheat to be milled "in bond" in the US and passed on to European markets, which gave Buffalo a clear cost advantage.

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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