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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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Commercial Place: 1905

Commercial Place: 1905

Norfolk, Virginia, circa 1905. "Commercial Place, Norfolk." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Without power steering

Can you imagine the skill of the drivers to be able to park those wagons against the curb like that?

Trotter's Drug Store

J.M.F. Trotter, who ran his drug store at 124 College Place in Norfolk, was an active member of the Virginia Pharmaceutical Association. In the 1880s he appears to have lived in Danville. After 1898 he appears in Norfolk.


Great pic, as always. Trotter Pharmacy open all night gave me my laugh for the day! Thanks Dave.

Bring the kids!

There sure are a lot of liquor sellers in the photo, but my favorite is "Family Liquor Store" way at the end of the street.

My first google street view contribution.

Hope I get this right. You guys always beat me to it!

View Larger Map

Open all day

Hey, they had 24 hour drug stores in 1905.

Odd symbol

What's that odd domino-like sign or symbol on the Arco building on the second floor to the left? Almost looks like a face.

[You're close! - Dave]

All gone now

Miller & Rhoads is no more.
All those buildings are no more.
They did complete the monument with a confederate soldier on top in 1907.

Signs of the times

One thing which always stands out in these older images is the skill of the old sign painters and sign makers.

To find a really skilled sign painter nowadays, who really knows his stuff is a rare bird indeed.

Real sign painters who understand letters, spacing and fonts have, for the most part, been replaced by computer operators who have little understanding of the sign makers craft.

Old Henry

"Old Henry Rye", not to be confused with "Oh Henry," the candy bar, which didn't appear until 1920.

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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