Dispatches from a Small Business
The thumbnail does not look like much, but the detail is incredible. I can't remember a photo this old that one could zoom down so far in and look around. Click to see the full version, via Shorpy
As an amateur photographer I am very impressed not only with the detail also the sharpness at different distances and no blurring due to motion of the waves. If you think about the way photographs were taken years ago, the size of the film or glass plates was very large, often as big as 8x10". (Now a days 35mm or a little over under an inch and a half is considered large.) The large plate size give great detail but it reduces your depth of field. This They also used very small lenses relative to the size of the plates so I suspect with a shot like this on a very sunny day they could use a small appeture and get that kind of depth of field while still making the exposure quick enough to stop the motion.
Thinking on this a little more, there was another trick you could use on the old days to improve your depth of field. In modern cameras, the orientation of the plane of the lenses to the sensor is always parallel. However with old bellows cameras, you could tilt the lens relative to the plate and this would likely improve the depth of field substantially on a seascape photo such as this. That would allow you to use a wider appature (so a fast shutter speed) and still get good focus in depth.
It's sad that these quaint and elegant buildings were torn down to build soulless modern casino hotels.