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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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Union Station: 1921

Union Station: 1921

Washington, 1921 or 1922. "Union Station waiting room." View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative, Library of Congress.

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Passing Through

Even the ghost images appeared to pause long enough to leave a faint impression. I often wonder in this type of picture how many people were passing so quickly through the shot, their images weren't captured.

You can't do that!

Hey! Photography is not allowed in Union Station. Stop that!

For Refuse...

...And Fruit Skins. That signage made my day.

What are those screens

on the righthand side of the photo, above the entrance to where it says "To Gates 16 & . . ." They look like three huge TV screens but, this being 1921, they must be another type of screen that indicates arriving and departing trains, etc.

[The sign underneath has the answer. These may have used something like lantern slides to project an image on frosted glass. - Dave]


I love the look of the spirits in this picture. The sedate passengers appear as corporeal entities and the more active appear otherworldly, as if this were a waystation for this world and the next.

Union Station Again

This waiting room is so distinctive and good-looking that despite 62 years between visits I remembered it well.

In 1942 I was six, but in 2004 failed to take a photo; maybe someone else will show us how it looks now, especially the way there are dining areas that extend into the room.

There must've been radiators hidden behind the screens at each end of the benches.

Union Station

As an example of post-9/11 mindset, I found myself searching for unattended bags. I think I see one.

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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