New Digital Collection of 1923 Dayton Area Street Views

We are pleased to announce the recent digitization of the Dayton Telephone Pole Line Photographs (MS-70), which consists of 113 images of documenting the locations of telephone pole lines in Dayton and rural Montgomery County, Ohio, in March 1923.

Most of the telephone pole lines were located at major road intersections, and in the photographs, the surrounding area is typically visible. This provides a nice snapshot of how that location looked at the time, including buildings, businesses, residences, and sometimes automobiles, pedestrians, and animals.

The entire collection can be freely accessed online, anytime, through the Wright State University Campus Online Repository, at CORE Scholar: Dayton Telephone Pole Line Photographs (MS-70).

Each image is numbered and the exact location identified in the caption. All images in the online gallery have been geo-tagged with a map location. To view a map showing the locations of all images in the gallery, click on the map to the left of the page, then click on any pin to see the photo captured at that location. If you are already viewing a particular image and want to know the map location, zoom in on the map at the right-hand side of the page.

Screen shot of an image in the Dayton Telephone Pole Line Photographs gallery, indicating the location on the web page of the images' geo-tag information.
Screen shot of an image in the Dayton Telephone Pole Line Photographs gallery, indicating the location on the web page of the images’ geo-tag information.

Some of the scenes look very familiar, such as Photo No. 10, On South Brown Street, Just South of Fifth, Looking North (shown here in a mashup with a Google Maps image, under Fair Use):

South Brown Street, just south of Fifth Street, looking north, shown in Google Maps today (left) and in 1923 (right, photo ms70_02_012).
South Brown Street, just south of Fifth Street, looking north, shown in Google Maps today (left) and in 1923 (right, photo ms70_02_012).

And some of the scenes look very, very different — as one might expect from nearly 100 years of change! — such as this scene in Photo No. 80, Whipp Road, at Lebanon Pike (Far Hills Avenue), Looking West:

Whipp Road, at Lebanon Pike (Far Hills Avenue), looking west, shown in Google Maps today (top) and in 1923 (bottom, photo ms70_02_082).
Whipp Road, at Lebanon Pike (Far Hills Avenue), looking west, shown in Google Maps today (top) and in 1923 (bottom, photo ms70_02_082).

We hope you’ll enjoy looking at these images as much as we enjoyed preparing them for you!

This digital project has been produced by the University Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives, through the combined efforts of its archivists and digitization specialists, who collaborated to provide the digitization, metadata encoding, and uploading of digital content to CORE Scholar.

Please visit the Special Collections & Archives’ CORE Scholar page to browse additional digital collections. Don’t forget to check out the University Archives’ CORE Scholar page as well.

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