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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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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Local Traffic: 1905

Local Traffic: 1905

Detroit circa 1905. "North Woodward Avenue." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Power Sort of Obsolete

The power wires GCR points out are for the trolley car power system. It was, indeed, a Direct Current (DC) power system. Most streetcars used 600 volt DC power; the heavy wires on the poles are additional feeders for the trolley feeder system; the trolley wires alone would not be able to carry the current for the entire length between substations.

Heavy overhead wires

Most Likely feeders for the DC streetcar line.

Obsolete power

Are those power lines with the metal poles and heavy gauge wire part of a DC distribution system ? They sure don't look like any AC system I have seen .

Something's missing

Looking at the picture, I see only one thing that looks like a hitching post, on the right side. I would expect to see more hitching posts, and mounting blocks, too. Were they already taken up by 1905, or are they not present because it's a major thoroughfare?

Imagining oneself

I always think of Willoughby...

Or River City, Iowa

When I imagine myself at the turn of the century...

...this is what I picture. Quiet, lovely street with grand houses.


What's with the guy on his cell phone.

[Remember the good old days when everybody seeing this photo would have said it looked like he was picking his nose instead? -tterrace.]

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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