Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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Get Shorpy

For a couple of years now, I’ve been enjoying a web site called and I think it’s high time I shared its delights with my peeps. I’ll begin with the site’s self-description:

“ | History in HD is a vintage photography blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.”

New additions show up pretty much daily on the site. It appears that most of the entries are put there by whoever runs the blog, but they also accept contributions from their readers. Some of the photos are formal portraits of people or places, while others, particularly the reader-submitted ones, are informal snapshots of bygone times, places, and people. A great many of the older photos are available in both normal screen resolution and large, high resolution versions. The level of detail in these photos is one of the major delights of the site. Another nice feature is the frequent posting of photos made from old color slides dating back to World War II or earlier. In many of these cases, the colors are still so vivid that the photos look as if they could have been taken yesterday. Here’s one photo I’ve borrowed from the site for your enjoyment:

I selected this one because it was taken almost exactly 87 years ago in Washington, DC, under conditions very much like what I see out of my apartment windows today.

In summation, is a place where one can get lost. Every page brings a beautiful new window on the past, and often, an exhibition of a kind of photograph that modern equipment may imitate, but never duplicate. If you have any affinity for either photography or history, you really ought to check it out!

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