SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
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Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Marilyn: 1921

Marilyn: 1921

New York circa 1921. "Miller." Stage actress Marilyn Miller in the driver's seat. 5x7 inch dry plate glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

The car

I think you'll find this is the very same car Marilyn's first husband, Frank Carter, killed himself in. I couldn't believe it when a friend and I pieced it all together. If you look in the lower right of the image, just below the start of the vertical lines on the glass plate, you can make out an overpainted "MM&", the very same monogram visible in a larger version of the attached image which was taken outside of the Packard offices in Detroit.

It's a "1920 Packard Twin Six 4-passenger Special Touring by Fleetwood (3-35)" ordered for the princely sum of $10,000 at the Chicago Auto Fair in early 1920.

See here for what I've been able to piece together...

Colorized version of Marilyn

I couldn't resist. Here is the small view. Hopefully the larger version will be here soon.

Very famous gal in her day

MM had quite the life; lots of successes, marriages and divorces (no kids) and an early death at 37; too sadly typical for Hollywood starlets.

[It was sinus surgery that did her in. - Dave]


There is something so engaging about this photograph. The dark background, contrasting with every pintuck and frill on her collar and cuffs, the slight untidiness of her hair as a breeze lifted it - action arrested, a Real Person doing Real Things. (Well, pretending to, at least.) I love how huge those steering wheels were.

Amazing "print" quality

Kudos on such stunning tonal reproduction. I'm certain there was never a paper print made from that piece of film which had such superb detail and such full dynamic range gradation. Wow.

[Strictly speaking, there's no film here. This is a glass plate. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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