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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Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

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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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Whee. Yippee. Yahoo.

Whee. Yippee. Yahoo.

"Fall 1939." Little boy with what looks like a motorized Erector set. Another snapshot I found on eBay. View full size. Where are you now, kid?

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Toy Boy

He reminds me of my cousin who would spend HOURS zipping and unzipping our suitcases when we came to visit. He wanted to know how they worked. He's in engineering now.

Sailor Suit

When I was a kid, about 5 years younger, I had a sailor suit and a soldier's khaki uniform ... later I joined the Coast Guard

A. C. Gilbert

manufacturer of Erector Sets and American Flyer trains...

Wish I'd had this set!

The tower struts and flat strapping look very familiar but the angled struts at the top are different than the erector set I had. Must be unique to this set. Oh yeah, the sets had electric motor(s) included because I recall making a helicopter with rotating main and tail rotors. My fingers got sore from all those square nuts and my screwdriver kept slipping out of those slotted head bolts! An ever-popular creation was an elevator. I'd spread the leaves on Mom's kitchen table and that way it was a long lift from the floor. Did the same thing with tinkertoys.

I want my old toys back

Back in the good old days, if you wanted a Transformer you had to make one, and that was the fun of it. I think we were smarter for it.


..from some sort of engineering job, if I had a guess.

High Voltage!!!

This ain't no battery powered job, is it. An all metal toy assembled by an 8 year old and powered by a 120 volt DC motor. No wonder his hair is kind of standing on end!

Grand memories

I remember every piece on that Erector Set. I loved these sets as a kid and had many of them. Ahh... memories!

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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