LIFE photo archive hosted by Google

TIME: Detroit's Big Gamble

Google’s new LIFE photo archive is an impressive online collection of recently-digitized images dating back to the 1750s.

A search for “1975,” the year I was born, yields some interesting results. Some notable TIME covers from 33 years ago that prove there’s nothing new under the sun: “Can Capitalism Survive?” (see: the global money crisis) and — better yet — “Rebates and Smaller Cars: Detroit’s Big Gamble,” pictured above (see: the the proposed Detroit bailout).

Same with 1948, the year my parents were born.

And I’ve also enjoyed perusing the images from 1920, my 88-year-old grandmother‘s birth year. A few pics from that year that caught my eye include:

— “Typical 1920s big city street…
— “Three women in classic 1920’s attire…
— “The 1920 Yale News Board magazine edit staff…
— “Model wearing fashionable satin dress and coat very indicative of 1920’s style.
–“3rd Ave. elevated railroad running alongside the Bowery.

You can find more info about the LIFE photo archive on the Google blog:

The Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination; The Mansell Collection from London; Dahlstrom glass plates of New York and environs from the 1880s; and the entire works left to the collection from LIFE photographers Alfred Eisenstaedt, Gjon Mili, and Nina Leen. These are just some of the things you’ll see in Google Image Search today.

We’re excited to announce the availability of never-before-seen images from the LIFE photo archive. This effort to bring offline images online was inspired by our mission to organize all the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. This collection of newly-digitized images includes photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s.

Only a very small percentage of these images have ever been published. The rest have been sitting in dusty archives in the form of negatives, slides, glass plates, etchings, and prints. We’re digitizing them so that everyone can easily experience these fascinating moments in time. Today about 20 percent of the collection is online; during the next few months, we will be adding the entire LIFE archive — about 10 million photos.

(Emphasis mine.)

Published by Newley

Hi. I'm Newley Purnell. I cover technology and business for The Wall Street Journal. I use this site to share my stories and often blog about the books I'm reading, tech trends, sports, travel, and our dog Ginger. For updates, get my weekly email newsletter.

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