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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Grand Central: 1941

Grand Central: 1941

October 1941. "Grand Central Terminal, New York City." View full size. Medium format negative by John Collier. FSA/Office of War Information archive.

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Holy crooked shot Batman!

I'm just wondering what the intention of the photographer was when he took this photo at an angle. Was it a purposeful attempt to give it that surreal look? Or was he just trying to get in as much light and shadow as possible? Or did he unknowingly bump the camera just before taking the shot?

Ya know, in the 1960's Batman TV series, all of the scenes with the "villains" in them were shot at an angle like this so that the TV viewers knew the people were crooked.


I spend a lot of time in Grand Central and always try to imagine what it felt like to stand in those beautiful beams of light that we see in old photos such as the one on this site. Because of the adjacent buildings, light can't beam in anymore, but thank goodness we have such wonderful photos to enjoy.

Point of Departure

"Now Ma, don't forget your ticket; You'll be stuck in Jersey without it!"


Within a year or so after this picture was taken, I saw the magnificence of Grand Central Terminal (and of bustling midtown Manhattan) for the very first time. In fact, that was the time and place where I saw my very first 'celebrity' of those times, in person. It was the comedian Phil Silvers, charging up the staircase that today, still leads to Vanderbilt Avenue.

Grand Central

If you look at the large original, the woman with the white gloves looks strikingly like both singer Gillian Welch, and actress Mia Farrow.

Grand Central

It's sobering to realize that this photo was snapped only two months prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Dramatic shadows!

The play between the peoples shadows and smoky light coming in the windows is very dramatic!

What a nice picture!

Locked in Time.

Very nice picture. Many things going on at one moment in time. Good Stuff !
Born in middle America in the late 40's. God Bless America!

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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