Shorpy. Why I love it and why you should love it, too.

I can thank Shawn Levy, the Oregonian movie critic, for introducing me to Shorpy. It’s a website where Dave cleans up old photos in the public domain and posts them. Why do you care? Because old photos are awesome and full of fun detail you can spend hours examining. Take a look at these two:

Clackers, 1920

Office Xmas Party 1925

The Kodachromes are particularly fabulous:

Young America: 1959

But the best part about this site is the reader comments. “What is that object back there on the wall?” someone will ask. Then, some knowledgeable antique dealer will pipe up that the object is a westinghouse wind up clock with hidden flask or whatever. In fact, I enjoy the comments so much that when I go to the site, I bypass the posted pictures and head straight for “recent comments” where I click through and see what people have been chattering about. Often times when streetscapes from the past are published someone will take the time to find the same location on Google’s Street View. Sometimes someone else will pipe up that they live right around the corner.

The only thing I don’t like about the site is that things aren’t very searchable and Dave can be a bit cantankerous, but aside from those two things Shorpy has provided me with hours of delight.

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