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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

Detroit is the largest city in Michigan state. In the 20th century, Detroit boomed with an industrial powerhouse and automobile industry. Its population grew immensely, and in 1910 it became the 9th largest city in the United States. The “Great Migration brought large numbers of black Southerners into Detroit. The black population multiplied from 5700 in 1910 to 40,800 in the 1920s. Some other industries, including metal crafts, railcars, stove works, paints, iron, brass, and copper, progressed by leaps and bounds. Henry Ford built an assembly line at his Highland Park Plant in 1910. Later that decade, when World War I broke out, Detroiters fought valiantly.

Here below are some stunning historical photos that show Detroit city in the early 20th century from 1900 to 1910.

#1 Penobscot Building and State Savings Bank, Fort and Shelby Streets, Detroit, 1907

Penobscot Building and State Savings Bank, Fort and Shelby Streets, Detroit, 1907

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#2 North Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 1905

North Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 1905

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#3 The normally prosaic Detroit Publishing caption writers got creative on this one, , Detroit, 1907

The normally prosaic Detroit Publishing caption writers got creative on this one, , Detroit, 1907

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#4 Crowd at Belle Isle Park casino, Detroit, 1908

Crowd at Belle Isle Park casino, Detroit, 1908

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#5 Majestic Building and Campus Martius, Detroit, 1910

Majestic Building and Campus Martius, Detroit, 1910

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#6 Launching of the Detroit (Detroit Yacht Club), 1905

Launching of the Detroit (Detroit Yacht Club), 1905

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#7 Wayne Hotel pavilion, Third Street, Detroit River, Detroit, 1910

Wayne Hotel pavilion, Third Street, Detroit River, Detroit, 1910

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#8 Woburn, Mass, circa 1906

Woburn, Mass, circa 1906

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#9 Residences on East Grand Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan, 1902

Residences on East Grand Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan, 1902

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#10 Approach to the Detroit River tunnel, Detroit, 1910

Approach to the Detroit River tunnel, Detroit, 1910

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#11 Michigan Central R.R. — Electric engine, Detroit River tunnel, Detroit, 1909

Michigan Central R.R. -- Electric engine, Detroit River tunnel, Detroit, 1909

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#12 Municipal Building, Washington Avenue and Mulberry Street, 1901

Municipal Building, Washington Avenue and Mulberry Street, 1901

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#13 The Detroit River, 1910

The Detroit River, 1910

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#14 Cadillac Square, Soldiers and Sailors at Monument and Hotel Pontchartrain, Detroit, 1907

Cadillac Square, Soldiers and Sailors at Monument and Hotel Pontchartrain, Detroit, 1907

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#15 Hotel Pontchartrain under construction, , Detroit, 1907

Hotel Pontchartrain under construction, , Detroit, 1907

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#16 Corner of Grand Circus Park, Detroit, 1908

Corner of Grand Circus Park, Detroit, 1908

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#17 Alexander Macomb monument, Washington Boulevard Park. Adolph Weinman’s statue of the War of 1812 hero, flanked by the Lincoln and Cadillac hotels, Detroit, 1909

Alexander Macomb monument, Washington Boulevard Park. Adolph Weinman's statue of the War of 1812 hero, flanked by the Lincoln and Cadillac hotels, Detroit, 1909

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#18 Woodward Avenue looking north from Opera House corner, Detroit, 1909

Woodward Avenue looking north from Opera House corner, Detroit, 1909

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#19 Steamer Sappho at Belle Isle Ferry dock, Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 1905

Steamer Sappho at Belle Isle Ferry dock, Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 1905

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#20 Launching party, freighter Benjamin Noble, Wyandotte, 1909

Launching party, freighter Benjamin Noble, Wyandotte, 1909

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#21 Woodward Avenue at the Campus Martius showing Bagley Fountain, Detroit, 1901

Woodward Avenue at the Campus Martius showing Bagley Fountain, Detroit, 1901

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#22 Union Depot, Fort and Third Streets, Detroit, 1909

Union Depot, Fort and Third Streets, Detroit, 1909

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#23 Looking up Woodward Avenue from the Campus Martius, Detroit, 1907

Looking up Woodward Avenue from the Campus Martius, Detroit, 1907

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#24 Morgan residence, St. Clair Flats, 1910

Morgan residence, St. Clair Flats, 1910

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#25 Ice fountain on Washington Boulevard, Detroit, 1906

Ice fountain on Washington Boulevard, Detroit, 1906

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#26 Gas office, first floor, looking back; cashier windows at right, Detroit, 1908

Gas office, first floor, looking back; cashier windows at right, Detroit, 1908

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#27 Detroit City Gas Co. building, Washington Boulevard and Clifford Street, 1908

Detroit City Gas Co. building, Washington Boulevard and Clifford Street, 1908

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#28 Wayne Hotel pavilion, Third Street, Detroit River, Detroit, 1910

Wayne Hotel pavilion, Third Street, Detroit River, Detroit, 1910

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#29 East Grand Boulevard, Detroit, 1910

East Grand Boulevard, Detroit, 1910

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#30 Bath house at Belle Isle, Detroit, 1910

Bath house at Belle Isle, Detroit, 1910

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#31 Residences on Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, 1906

Residences on Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, 1906

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#32 Photochrom Company Building, front view, Detroit, 1909

Photochrom Company Building, front view, Detroit, 1909

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#33 Down Woodward Avenue from Peterboro Street, Detroit, 1900

Down Woodward Avenue from Peterboro Street, Detroit, 1900

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#34 Swimming pool at Belle Isle Park, Detroit, 1903

Swimming pool at Belle Isle Park, Detroit, 1903

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#35 Bastendorff block and G. & R. McMillan Co. store, Jefferson Avenue, , Detroit, 1910

Bastendorff block and G. & R. McMillan Co. store, Jefferson Avenue, , Detroit, 1910

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#36 Mather Block, Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 1908

Mather Block, Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 1908

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#37 Monroe Avenue and City Hall, Detroit, 1910

Monroe Avenue and City Hall, Detroit, 1910

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#38 Smith & Yendall, Grocers, Detroit, 1900

Smith & Yendall, Grocers, Detroit, 1900

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#39 Grosse Ile duck farm, Detroit, 1902

Grosse Ile duck farm, Detroit, 1902

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#40 Great Lake Engineering Works. Steamer Detroit, Michigan Central Transfer, stern quarter, 1904

Great Lake Engineering Works. Steamer Detroit, Michigan Central Transfer, stern quarter, 1904

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#41 Children’s Day, Playground at Belle Isle Park, Detroit, 1905

Children's Day, Playground at Belle Isle Park, Detroit, 1905

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#42 Lyceum Theatre, Detroit, 1904

Lyceum Theatre, Detroit, 1904

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#43 The new Y.M.C.A. building, Detroit, 1909

The new Y.M.C.A. building, Detroit, 1909

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#44 The Detroit River, 1906

The Detroit River, 1906

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#45 Reimers Loco winning five-miles event in 10:51 4-5, Grosse Pointe track, Detroit, 1902

Reimers Loco winning five-miles event in 10:51 4-5, Grosse Pointe track, Detroit, 1902

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#46 Screw ferry excursion steamer Pleasure at Belle Isle ferry dock, Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 1901

Screw ferry excursion steamer Pleasure at Belle Isle ferry dock, Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 1901

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#47 Lake Erie, 1900

Lake Erie, 1900

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#48 Hotel Ste. Claire, Randolph and Monroe streets, Detroit, 1906

Hotel Ste. Claire, Randolph and Monroe streets, Detroit, 1906

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#49 A Bed of “Snow-Ball” is the uncharacteristically fanciful title of this 1907 entry from the Detroit Publishing catalogue, showing Grand Circus Park and the Fine Arts Building.

A Bed of "Snow-Ball" is the uncharacteristically fanciful title of this 1907 entry from the Detroit Publishing catalogue, showing Grand Circus Park and the Fine Arts Building.

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#50 Windsor ferry dock, Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 1901

Windsor ferry dock, Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 1901

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#51 The Motor City and Detroit Opera House and Palmer Fountain, 1905

The Motor City and Detroit Opera House and Palmer Fountain, 1905

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#52 Detroit Iron and Steel Co. mill, 1903

Detroit Iron and Steel Co. mill, 1903

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#53 Chamber of Commerce, State and Griswold streets, Detroit, 1910

Chamber of Commerce, State and Griswold streets, Detroit, 1910

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#54 Excursion steamers Tashmoo and Idlewild at wharves, Detroit, 1901

Excursion steamers Tashmoo and Idlewild at wharves, Detroit, 1901

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#55 Children’s playground, Belle Isle Park, Detroit, 1903

Children's playground, Belle Isle Park, Detroit, 1903

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#56 Monroe Avenue, One of the nascent Motor City’s seedier (and moldier) districts, Detroit, 1909

Monroe Avenue, One of the nascent Motor City's seedier (and moldier) districts, Detroit, 1909

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#57 Griswold Street looking toward Ford Building, Detroit, 1910

Griswold Street looking toward Ford Building, Detroit, 1910

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#58 Walker Block, Griswold and Fort Streets, Detroit, 1908

Walker Block, Griswold and Fort Streets, Detroit, 1908

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#59 Detroit River Tunnel, 1910

Detroit River Tunnel, 1910

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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#60 Walker Block, Griswold and Fort Sts, Detroit, 1908

Walker Block, Griswold and Fort Sts, Detroit, 1908

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1900s Detroit: Stunning Historical Photos Show Old Detroit At The Beginning Of 20th Century

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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71 Comments

    • That’s such a weak statement. You used politics with zero facts. Detroits demise started from the very beginning with it being a one truck pony. Detroits biggest and most important industry IS and ALWAYS HAS BEEN the automotive industry. When the industry does well things are great and when it does bad everyone suffers. When the automotive industry started changing in the 1960’s-70’s Detroit started its decline.

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