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Ransom Gillis Mansion, Alfred at John R Streets, Detroit, 2014

Ransom Gillis Mansion, Alfred at John R Streets, Detroit, 2014



This photo is part of a time-lapse series, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/vrg.00096.series
Title, date and keywords based on information provided by photographer.
Forms part of the Vergara Photograph Collection (Library of Congress).

Detroit was the Silicon Valley of the late 19th and the first half of 20th century. The city grew into a hub of commerce and industry spread along Jefferson Avenue, with multiple manufacturing firms taking advantage of the transportation resources afforded by the river and a parallel rail line. Around the start of the 20th century, numerous entrepreneurs in the Detroit area forged into a production of the automobile, capitalizing on the already-existing machine tool and coach-building industry in the city. A thriving trade set the stage for the work of Henry Ford, whose automobile Highland Park Ford Plant in 1910 revolutionized not only automobile manufacturing but virtually created the concept the assembly line and mass production. Historic Gilded Age gave rise to upscale neighborhoods, including the Boston-Edison, Indian Village, and Palmer Woods. In 1930s, with the factories came high-profile labor unions. The labor activism during those years increased the influence of union leaders in the city such as Jimmy Hoffa of the Teamsters and Walter Reuther of the Autoworkers. The city became the 4th-largest in the nation in 1920, after only New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia, with the influence of the booming auto industry. The Great Depression was devastating for Detroit, as sales of automobiles plunged and there were large-scale layoffs at all industrial enterprises. Major Murphy insisted that no one would go hungry, and set up the Mayor's Unemployment Committee that set up relief soup kitchens and potato gardens. From 1942 to 1945, production of commercial automobiles in the city ceased entirely, as its factories were used instead to construct M5 tanks, jeeps, and B-24 bombers for the Allies. By 1945, Detroit was running out of space for new factories. The postwar years 1945-70 brought high levels of prosperity as the automobile industry had its most prosperous quarter-century. Detroit, like many places in the United States, developed racial conflict and discrimination following rapid demographic changes as hundreds of thousands of workers were attracted to the industrial city. In the 1970s and 1980s dozens of violent street gangs gained control of the city's large drug trade, which began with the heroin epidemic of the 1970s when the crimes became increasingly more destructive. Hundreds of vacant homes across the city were set ablaze by arsonists. The number of fires was reduced only by razing thousands of abandoned houses - 5,000 in 1989-90 alone. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the city began to experience a revival, much of it centered in Downtown, Midtown, and New Center.

Urban decay is the process whereby a previously functioning city, or part of a city, falls into disrepair. There is a beauty in this kind of urban decay than can be captured wonderfully through a photographer's well-trained eye.

People keep searching online for one question: "Where can I find free high-resolution stock images that are cleared to use without any copyright restrictions? Where to find images for blog posts or social media?" Almost every image created in the last 70 years is still protected by copyright, but you can find a public domain photo, an image that does not need attribution, or image that has copyright expired. First, it helps to understand some copyright-related terms before using any free images. Always read the terms and conditions of the site you try to use to download free images and photos, so you know if, when, and what type of attribution is required. What is Creative Commons? Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. There are various types of Creative Commons licenses that range from allowing any type of use with no attribution to allowing only certain uses and no changes. Most authors using Creative Commons require some sort of attribution. While relatively easy to use such free images in blogs, using such images for video might be problematic unless you create lengthy credits section. Even if you do, you still may breach the particular image Creative Commons license since it often requires backlinking. What is Public Domain? Works in the public domain are those whose copyrights have expired or never existed. The public domain status of official government works is sometimes difficult to determine but there are some easy cases: works of the United States federal government, for example, are not protected by copyright and are thus in the public domain. The same does not hold in general for the works of other governments or all 50 States of the United States. Determining whether a particular work of a particular government are in the public domain requires research and sometimes even legal advice. What is Royalty-Free? Most royalty-free images aren’t free. In most cases, you’ll have to pay a one-time fee to obtain the rights to use the image. Then you can use it as many times as you like. The term “free” in “royalty-free” means that you do not have to pay royalties to the owner of the image every time you use it. We've reviewed terms of few popular Free Image Websites below. 1. Unsplash Unsplash has its own license, which essentially lets you use the images for free, in any way you like, except for using them to create a competing website. 2. Pexels Pexels also has its own license, which states what you can and cannot do with the images. You can use and modify the images for free for both commercial and personal use without attribution. 3. Pixabay We love Pixabay. Images on Pixabay are licensed under Creative Commons Zero (CC0), which means you can use the images without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist. Pixabay also explains tricky legal language such as "model release". 4. Gratisography Gratisography also has its own free photo license, which lets you do “almost anything you can think of”. While they have not too many images, many are high-quality images that I would use. 5. Flickr Flickr is where you can find images that can be used and modified for commercial purposes. Select “Commercial use & mods allowed” under the “Any license” filter to find those images, and remember to check the license for each image as they vary. Be careful with Flickr images since as far as we can see, many images are labeled public domain wrongfully or without much research. 6. Google Image Search Google Advanced Image Search is a method of finding free-to-use images through Google’s own search tools. It is 100% automated, so you can't blindly trust the license cited. Use it with caution. Same as Flickr, Google bears no responsibility. When using free online images, always do your research.





Vergara, Camilo J., photographer


Detroit (Mich.)42.33139, -83.04583
Google Map of 42.331388888888895, -83.04583333333333


Library of Congress

Copyright info

Publication may be restricted. For information see: "Camilo Vergara...," http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/619_verg.html