Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Detroit Publishing Company

~ Broad Street north from Spruce, circa 1900 ~

The Detroit Publishing Company was an American photographic publishing firm best known for its large assortment of photochrom postcards. The company specialized in postcards of American and European subjects, including cityscapes, reproductions of artwork, natural landmarks and folklore.

~ Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia, circa 1900 ~

The company was founded as the Detroit Photographic Company in the 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. The company had the exclusive rights to the photochrom process for the American market.

~ Erie Canal at Salina Street, Syracuse, New York, 1904 ~

The best-known photographer for the company was William Henry Jackson, who joined the company in 1897. By the time of World War I, the company faced declining sales both due to the war economy and the competition from cheaper, more advanced printing methods. The company declared bankruptcy in 1924 and was liquidated in 1932.

~ City market, Kansas City, Missouri, circa 1906 ~

Most of the existing negatives and prints are now housed by the United States Library of Congress, which received them via the Edison Institute and the Colorado Historical Society in 1949. Most images are visible in digital form at the Library of Congress Web site.


Debbie V. said...

Thanks for sharing these great pictures. It's fascinating to see the clothing, especially the women's dresses. I know it's real, but they almost seem like costumes - trying to imagine women today in these.

Major Pepperidge said...

Wonderful old buildings... I don't know what architectural style you'd call that, but I'd imagine that many of those buildings have been replaced with glass and steel boxes.

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Debbie: Nothing but pure fascination for me. I love this stuff.

Major: I am sure of that. I love the Erie Canal pic the most.