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About This Image:
I may not ever find a time machine, but sometimes old photos like this one of vintage Birmingham Alabama are the next best thing to a TARDIS. There are elements of vintage photographs that are, of course, familiar, but there are an array of small details that speak to a lost era.
The first element that most of us probably see in this old old photo is the streetcar on the downtown streets of vintage Birmingham. I know it was the key element that attracted me and made me want to restore this old print (originally published by Detroit Publishing in the early 1900s). Streetcars ran on the streets of Birmingham from the 1890s through the early 1950s. This vintage Birmingham print is from circa 1906 in the heyday of the classic electric streetcars.
But the elements of turn of the century life extend beyond the streetcars, the cobblestone streets, and period clothing. It’s in the little details like the functional awnings over the street windows seen here along 2nd Avenue North near the intersections of 19th and 20th streets. Notice how the awnings on the sunny side of the street are down while they are drawn up on the shady side. In an era without air conditioning in the old south, you wanted to control how much light came in during the hot days. These days most of our awnings are fixed and mostly decorative reminders of yesteryear.
The Birmingham streetscape a century later is much different, but there is one common element. The tall building you see looming ahead still stands. Known today as the Frank Nelson Building, this piece of vintage Birmingham, the First National Bank Building was one of the first skyscrapers in the city and was only a few years old when this photo was taken. Do you think any of the people walking along the streets of Birmingham that sunny morning imagined people would be looking at this photo of that long ago day over a century later?
It was a real pleasure cleaning up and bring out the original detail in this vintage Birmingham Alabama street scene. It’s such a cool blast from the past and deserved to be preserved for other actual and armchair historians to enjoy. Which camp do you fall into?
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Messages From Past Customers
…thanks to Facebook and finding Mark E Tisdale, a special print will become a memory in my parents’ home this Christmas…
I treated myself last year to two of your lovely works of art. The telephone box & the Scottish cottage on a country lane. Love them!
…it is a surprise for my daughter when she comes home from college.. …and I can’t wait for her to see it!!
Nice surprise for her finishing her first year and doing amazing!
My daughter sent me this print as an early Mother’s Day gift. It arrived today and I love, love love it!
Received my red phone box cards today. Thank you – they are lovely. Look forward to purchasing from you in the future.
I took the photograph of the house to be framed and the young lady who helped me choose the mats and frame was so taken with the photography that she asked for your name so she could see more on the web.
If you hear from an Erica I want a commission!
Just wanted to let you know, for Christmas, my sister got me a GIANT photo from you of the mountains and sheep in Connemara (Ireland).
It is really beautiful and I love it. Gotta have it matted and framed next.
Best part of my day = getting my prints in the mail!!!!!!!!! Yahoo!!!!!
Absolutely delighted! They are perfect!
Got my print today – Beautiful! Thanks! : )
Can’t wait to get it framed and on the wall.
I framed the picture of our house and put it under the tree for Sid.
He loved it!
Received the print today! It’s gorgeous! I really can’t thank you enough.
I’ll frame it and hang it in my apartment in NYC as soon as I get back.
The Lighting in this print is stunning! Thank you!
DeAnn just called me so very excited, she received the picture. She thinks it’s just beautiful.
Thank you so much and I’m sure you will be hearing from her too.
Yes! I got my tractor print in the mail today, and I love it! It is beautiful. It is vibrant and ….perfect… and I am going to frame it and hang it asap! I love it. Thank you Mark! You are an amazing photographer.
Originally I purchased these cards to give for Easter, but they are so beautiful I decided to frame and keep them for myself.
Mark Tisdale’s work is excellent.
The cards are very high quality. Images are sharp and colors are vibrant!
I ordered a framed print of the Macon County Clinic and Nurses house . My mother… worked there from 1956 until the clinic closed. Now 80 and retired for many years , she often talks about the many people she remembers from those days, My brother and myself were all born and treated there by Dr. Fred and Dr. Tom. We thought the framed picture would be something she would get great joy from and probably stir a few memories. It is a beautiful artwork and looking forward to seeing her face when she gets this gift on Christmas. Thanks for the Great GIFT!!
I just dropped it off at the framing shop on Friday and had a look at it…. it’s absolutely beautiful. I purchased it to replace a painting of Paris and to be honest the way that you have captured Dublin on the river at night makes it look more beautiful than Paris. Beautiful photo, you are very talented.
I just concluded my ordering of 11 metal prints of your Atlanta images.
Thanks for your help and artistic talents!
It was my father’s birthday present. Thank you Mark. It brought back wonderful memories for him.
I got my print today, thank-you so much.
I love it!
I love my “Toomers Drugstore” and “Auburn Supper Club” prints from Mark. He does an amazing job and every painting has detail and awesome colors. His Auburn prints are a must have for fans that love Auburn as much as I do!
The print is absolutely breathtaking! I immediately went and had it framed, I just couldn’t wait to display it.
I’m excited to show off your work to my friends and family. You are one of the most talented photographers I’ve seen and it’s a pleasure to own your work.
It’s simply beautiful! The colors are so vibrant and powerful.
Love it… the print arrived today and looks awesome!!
Now I just need to get a suitable frame and get it up where it can be enjoyed.
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I’m Mark Tisdale, a Georgia artist whose journey started with a love of travel and a desire to capture the beautiful places I saw. It’s a path that has changed my life in ways I never would have imagined. I feel quite fortunate to spend my days doing something I love. I have been working as an artist for over a decade and I have supported myself as a full time artist for eight years and counting.
If you have any questions about my artwork or if you’re looking for a specific print, please send me a message with your questions, art requests, or comments.
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