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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Hybrid: 1918

Hybrid: 1918

Washington, D.C., circa 1918. "Woman on motorized bicycle." What won't they think of next! Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


Impressive action shot

...for a plate camera. She's obviously moving or accelerating quite quickly (see the upward curve in the lower side of the drive chain). Wonder what sort of shutter time was needed?

My how times change.

Today she would have a dozen tatoos and be wearing skin tight blue jeans.

Cleveland motorcycle

That "bicycle" is actually a lightweight and popular Cleveland motorcycle. It had a two stroke engine and was a good motorcycle. I would love to have one today.

Sherman Monument

Took me a while to figure out which District of Columbia equestrian statue is shown in the background. It's clearly not the prancing horse of Nate Green. Nor the steed of George Henry Thomas, John Logan, George Washington or Phillip Sheridan. Lacking a clear view of the rider, the details of the pedestal were key. The statue is the General William Tecumseh Sherman Monument. The photo is taken looking east from East Executive Ave. None of the buildings in the background remain.

Unmitigated elegance

Even under such demanding circumstances, m’lady demonstrates real elegance and poise. She’s lovely!

The motorcycle reminds me of our neighbors Whizzer back in the early 50s.

Did I say the driver is lovely?

It's going to get a whole lot more interesting...

when that dress gets caught in that chain!

Nice helmet

I wonder if more people would wear them if they still looked like that.

Her dress is covering up the most interesting...

part of the Motorcycle.

A truism?

Girls on motorcycles, fantastic in any era!

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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