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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Extra Firm: 1905

Extra Firm: 1905

Circa 1905, location not specified. "Please go 'way and let me sleep." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


That was me last Friday.


The poor fella must be totally exhausted. And the shoes? Maybe the pair at the foot of his bed would fit him. They seem to be in better condition. Great picture, Dave. Thanks.

A little rest.

My father worked for Con Edison in Brooklyn. When they worked on a site a tool trailer was dropped off, the workers reported direct, Dad got to wherever he had to be that day by trolley, bus and/or train.

One day after lunch he told his partner that he was going to close his eyes for ten minutes, and to wake him up at 12:30. He sat down with his back against a utility pole.

About 2:30, he woke up to find his partner laid out fast to sleep on the little grass strip between sidewalk and street.

They had some catching up to do, but didn't get caught.

40 winks?

That'll B50.

C&O Railroad Bridge

This is the C&O Railroad Bridge in Cincinnati at the very northernmost end. The picture would be looking east, or upriver. If the picture were broader to the right you would be able to see the Roebling Suspension Bridge about a quarter mile upstream. The C&O Bridge was built in the late 1880's.

His Sleep Number ...

is B50. Notice the wooden stob protruding from the piling. Did they not use metal rebar back then?

Cat nap

I appreciate Old Buck's view of what is going on here. When I first looked at it, I thought this was a homeless man, and very sad, but it makes more sense that he would be a "blue collar" employee just taking a cat nap before going back to work. My grandfather, who was a sugar-beet farmer, would always lie down for twenty minutes, after dinner (the noon meal). Thankfully, Grandpa had a comfortable couch to lie down on, though!

His Sleep Number

is B50.


He's the first to demonstrate the "Lying Down Game" where 105 years later people amuse themselves by assuming a stiff horizontal position in random places and then post it for everyone else's amusement.

Barlow Boye Co.

If we could locate the Barlow Boyle Co. (see sign on the building behind the bridge, we might have a location).

Nothing came up on Google or Ancestry.

[The sign says Barron Boyle -- a maker of paints and varnishes in Cincinnati. - Dave]

Thanks Dave, for the correction. Now I see it. I was also thinking "Barton," but your eyes are sharper. A. S. Boyle established a paint and glass company first located on West Court Street and then 428 Main Street. The advertising sign, however, may have been on any building in Cincinnati.

Don't laugh; this could be you

I've seen railroaders curl up and doze in some pretty incredible situations. (I never was much good at that.) But that was in the modern era.

A typical work schedule for any "blue collar" employee (not "worker", a Bolshevik term) in the early 20th century was 10 or 12 hours Monday-Friday, and half day on Saturday. They gave you Sundays off and the two holidays were Christmas and July 4 with holiday pay optional. Also, in 1905 mechanical aids in work were just starting to show up on some jobs. Muscles were cheaper than machines.

This fellow worked a lot harder than most of us could do today. Spend a day with our friend here, and you could crash right along side of him.

A look at the shadow indicates midday, and no one is around but the "suit." This guy's sleeping through lunch break.

He must have drifted off quickly

A fetal tuck would have been a better position on that pier. He will wake up with sore kneecaps.

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