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The Ohio Building: 1906

The Ohio Building: 1906

Toledo circa 1906. "Ohio Building, Madison Avenue and Superior Street." Nexus of ghost pedestrians! 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


Coal, coal, coal

Ohio, home to thousands of abandoned coal mines. In this building we can find Geo. M. Jones Coal, Jackson Coal and W. Agostini & Co. Coal.

Don't go changing

The Ohio Building looks largely unchanged. Even the cornice seems to have escaped the Great Cornice Purge of the 1950s.

The economics of postcard publishing

I was just cogitating on this, having seen so many DPC photos on Shorpy in the last decade or more. Postcards were (are, they still exist, I think?) a small-format medium. Why an 8x10 negative? It seems, to me, more important in our time, for posterity, than for the market demands of over a century ago.

But what an enterprise that demand supported. It's hard to imagine today, the resources that DPC brought to a market that is today trivial. Special trains? In an era when the entire nation traveled by rail, it's hard to imagine a practical alternative, despite the cost. Yet I look at the photo of William Henry Jackson in his private railroad car (post-dated by a decade at least, since he's clearly not a day over 40 here), and imagine he'd toss aside that luxury for the freedom of Dorothea Lange's 1934 Ford.


Spelling out the name of your building is too literal to an architect that can turn it into a decorative detail. This is on the main entrance on Madison Avenue.


It seems from most of these Shorpy city pix from the early 20th century that 1905 or so is when automobile numbers exploded. Here, Toledo in 1906, the numbers of horse-drawn vehicles and automobiles is already about equal.

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