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The Earliest Known Photos of 12 Major U.S Cities

Check out these early photos from 12 big cities from more than 100 years ago! It's remarkable how much things have changed.

1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A view of 8th and Market streets downtown - one of the earliest photos of the city, courtesy of Free Library of Philadelphia.

2. New York City, New York

This home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in a daguerreotype from 1848, from the AP. It sold at a 2009 auction.


3. Boston, Massachusetts

William Blake photographed this aerial view of Boston from a hot air balloon in 1860. It was the first successful aerial photographic effort in the U.S., according to the Air and Space Museum. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library.

4. Washington, D.C.

John Plumbe made a daguerreotype of the Capitol Building in 1846, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

5. Detroit, Michigan

A view of Randolph Street in downtown Detroit from the 1890s, courtesy of the Walter P. Reuther Library.

6. Miami, Florida

Gleason Waite Romer took this snapshot of Old Fort Dallas and the Seminole Club hotel in Miami in 1895. This photo comes from the State Archives of Florida.

7. New Orleans, Louisiana

George F. Mugnier photographed a cotton shipment at a New Orleans dock in the 1880s, courtesy of the State Library of Louisiana.

8. San Antonio, Texas

The earliest known photograph of the Alamo Church and Plaza in San Antonio comes from 1858, courtesy of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library.

9. Denver, Colorado

This is a view of downtown Denver's Blake Street in 1866 from the Denver Public Library.

10. Las Vegas, Nevada

This photograph of the First State Bank of Las Vegas, circa 1905, comes from the special collections at the library of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

11. Seattle, Washington

Charles Terry's residence on the northeast corner of James Street and Third Avenue in Seattle in 1865. The building later became Seattle's Public Safety Building. Courtesy of the Museum of History and Industry. Photo taken by Theodore E. Peiser.

12. Los Angeles, California

This is an early view of Spring Street in Los Angeles dating from 1870 - 1880, courtesy of the California Historical Society Collection at the University of Southern California.

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