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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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Play Date: 1903

Play Date: 1903

Detroit circa 1903. "Children's playground at Belle Isle Park." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Littering, etc.

@Fixit - "Yet another photo with trash. Why doesn't the photographer clean up the stage before the shoot?"

Well, it *was* a windy day - note blurred leaves versus sharp persons/furniture.
The big wheels on those old baby carriages made them much easier to push than the tiny wheels on most modern strollers. Why is it only the expensive strollers, etc. today have larger wheels. Sigh - Progress!

Litter a little?

With so many kids around it's no surprise there's litter on the lawn. Like so many other things where little ones are involved, someone will get around to it (priorities, priorities).

Police the Area

I think the modern attitude toward litter didn't take hold until WWII and afterward. Perhaps having so many people in the military, where high standards were applied, bled over into the society. Growing up in the Fifties, I remember both "Don't Litter" advertising campaigns and the use of the word "trashy" as a synonym for "barbarian".

Not everybody in the world followed suit. Still, today, if you go to Mexico or South America, public-use spaces look more like this than what we're familiar with.

Cape Flattery

Stan Laurel? I think she looks more like Ma Kettle.

It's Hard!

The woman on the bench at the far right has just said to her friends "It's hard raising a child, but it's even harder with a bucket of fruit on your head!"

Baby stroller or wheelchair?

On the left side of the lady standing behind the bench. Has some kind of seatbelt affair.

Sanitation Department, please

Yet another photo with trash. Why doesn't the photographer clean up the stage before the shoot?

Littering in 1905

Just wondering how people treated the landscape in the early part of the century. Did they leave behind garbage (like some people do today) or did they pick up after themselves? It appears that there is some trash lying in the grass here.

[A man in a white uniform carrying a stick with a nail in the end of it comes around. Poke, poke, poke. Trash goes into a big bag or wheeled cart. - Dave]

Nice coil-spring suspension

But no rubber baby buggy bumpers. And that young fellow up front second from the left seems to have a future awaiting him once Prohibition kicks in.

Kind of Obvious

That littering laws had not come into play yet. Does the seated woman look a bit like Stan Laurel?

Hey Little Mister!

You better take Old Glory off your head or I'm gonna make you clean up all this litter on the grounds.

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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