SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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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Ninth & U: 2008

Ninth & U: 2008

Northwest corner of Ninth and U streets, northwest, Washington DC. For "Now & Then" comparison with Elite Laundry: 1924. I couldn't get an equivalent angle to the 1924 photo without fear of being run-over. Also, I hadn't appreciated the wide-angle lens used in the original photo.

This sad abandoned building has certainly seen better times. It looks like its last business incarnation was as a liquor store. It is currently sheathed with Formstone, (aka permastone), "the polyester of brick." The numerous club and concert posters plastered to the walls reminds me of the recent photo of 600 H St. NE: 1925.

Oops, thanks to anonymous tipster for setting me straight on location.

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Envisioning the Elite

The lenses on those old view cameras were not especially wide-angle. Broadly speaking, the difference is in the size of the focal plane relative to the size of the lens. A 10-inch-wide glass plate would have been at least five times as wide as the lens aperture; a 35mm film frame (or the average CCD sensor in a digital camera) is about the same width as the lens, or smaller.

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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