SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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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Forever Young: 1908

Forever Young: 1908

Detroit circa 1908. "Waders at Belle Isle Park." Fourteen kids who'll never grow up. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Cannot imagine

Cannot imagine the water on Belle Isle being clean enough to wade in. A different time, indeed!

Safety Grip

That little girl on the right knee-deep in the water is having her shoulders gripped by a girl who can only be her older sister. I recognize the clench that only an older sister can do to her baby sister or brother.


To see girls with short hair. Would there be a reason for that?

Tresses and dresses

Are those two with short hair and what looks to be dresses boys or girls? I know some swimming outfits could possibly look that way, but they look like boys except for the the dresses. Maybe they are girls and had to have their hair cut for some reason, like a previous high fever. I've read that was done sometimes. Just can't get enough of looking at this picture!

Sucked in

I am really drawn into this picture. Wonder whatever became of these children. I would love to see a picture of the same spot today.

The Journey

This picture reminds me of a previous Shorpy picture showing the participants of an office Christmas party. I was amazed at what life stories that seemed to be coming out of that picture and I feel the same way here. Each of the 14 seems to radiate an individual life energy that causes me to wonder what eventually did happen in their lives. Were they happy? Were they fulfilled? Were they doctors, lawyers, mothers, fathers, factory workers, craftsmen, politicians - even criminals? And when I think they if they lived a full life, they saw WW1, the Depression, the industrialization of the U.S., WW2, the Korean war, the idealistic 50's, the turbulent 60's, the polyester 70's and perhaps even the "takeover, Junk Bond" 80's that also heralded the start of the Computer generation. Wow, that's quite a journey!

A&F Spring '08

The kid on the right looks a mite peeved about something.

Never grow up

Was that a Peter Pan reference, or is there something in the water they should know about?

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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