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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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Eat Velvet: 1900

Eat Velvet: 1900

The Maine shore circa 1900. "The beach at Old Orchard -- Hotel Velvet and Ocean Pier." The roof of whose "Big Casino" urges us to "Eat Velvet, Drink Moxie." Panorama made from three 8x10 glass negatives. View full size.

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All about the slope

One needn't look too close to see the difference between Atlantic and Pacific beaches with this photo. The Atlantic beaches feature more gradual sloping, which produce larger tidal shifts and warmer/shallower swimming waters, while Pacific (think Santa Monica, etc.) beaches have colder waters, bigger surf, and fewer storms. There's more at play, of course.

Current Day

Velvet Ice Cream?

[The Velvet Kind, a popular ice cream brand around the turn of the century, has made multiple cameos here on Shorpy. -Dave]

Yet another flaming ember

This may come as a surprise. The Hotel Velvet burned down on August 15, 1907.

A lot shorter now.

Winter storms and fires have taken their toll. The pier was built in 1898. The original length was 1,825 feet. It lost a few hundred feet the first winter it faced. The large casino at the end used to host big band music during its heyday. I remember in the 1960s there were many photos of the famous bands hanging on the walls. At that time the casino building housed a miniature golf on the first floor and a small Aquarium on the second floor. The casino building itself collapsed into the sea in the famous Blizzard of 1978.

The pier now is under 600 feet in length and at low tide is often completely out of the water.

More on its history here

Wait, wait, don't tell me.

The hotel's basement was known as "The Velvet Underground," right?

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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