This blog features retro photographs taken between 1850 and 1950. Many of the photos are from the library of congress archive site and users of the site submit their personal photos as well.
Shorpy is a great little blog site showcasing vintage photography going right back to the eighteen fifties all the way through to the nineteen fifties. It holds literally thousands of high-definition images covering a myriad of different subjects from years gone by. I have no doubt that anyone who has the remotest interest in vintage photography, will find something here of intrigue and historical value.
The site names itself after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner from Alabama. The homepage always displays a photograph of Shorpy at work, taken by Lewis Wickes Hine, dating all the way back to nineteen ten.
As you would expect from a blog, Shorpy is reasonably simple and easy to use and navigate. There are many categories and lists to search and filter from making for a great way to access this huge database of vintage treats. However, I do feel that overall the main page is very cluttered and would benefit from being stripped back a little in order to make the user experience much smoother.
For those interested in Shorpy, It's definitely worth following them on twitter. They pretty much 'tweet' daily links to amazing and inspiring photos on their site which makes it well worth taking the time to add and follow them.
The layout of Shorpy is reasonably innocuous although it does feel somewhat cluttered. The title of the main header/logo is in keeping with the look and feel of vintage photography, although I feel the placement of advertising right underneath it could have had more consideration. They clash with each other and leave the area feeling awkward. I appreciate advertising is crucial in helping to fund many websites but there's no reason the design and layout couldn't have been utilised to much better effect. Perhaps if there was any budget, the site could have a refresh, which I feel would bring it more in line with its counterparts.
I have a huge passion for photography and there's something fascinating about vintage images. It's almost eerie staring at the faces of people from 100 years ago that look as if they could have been taken only yesterday. Ok, the sepia tones and clothing give the game away but faces never really change.
I like this site a lot and despite any issues I raised in regard to layout and functionality, I would definitely come back. I like the way that through the name 'Shorpy', it has given the site it's own personality and soul, ultimately helping to keep the name alive of a figure from history who could otherwise have been forgotten.