Pittsburgh was home to 676,806 people in 1950, which leads us to believe the city was a crowded place. And noisy, with all those steel mills and trolleys and railroads rattling residents day and night.
But as these pictures show, people here were able to find moments of quiet and solitude amidst the din.
We found the images in a folder labeled “Pittsburgh Album.”
The “Album,” we discovered, was a weekly feature published in The Pittsburgh Press Roto magazine several decades ago. The feature was simple — usually a picture and a brief caption.
Sometimes the photographs highlighted the city’s quirky side. In one, a gardener holds a tomato that looks like it has a full set of oversized teeth — an oddity of nature. Another depicts a cabinet maker standing proudly next to his creation: a stainless steel rocket, propped up in his backyard.
We chose to post these pictures because they challenge our perceptions of what life in Pittsburgh was like in the 50s and 60s, when our city was home to twice as many people as now and the Renaissance was in full swing.
Most of the images are uncredited. But we’re thankful for the work of the largely unknown photographers who allow us to travel briefly back in time to experience the city in unexpected ways.