SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
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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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BRB LOL: 1940

BRB LOL: 1940

June 1940. Washington, D.C. "Direct postal telegraph wire at a truck service station on U.S. 1 (New York Avenue)." So the place was something of an Internet cafe, without the lattes or wifi. 35mm negative by Jack Delano. View full size.

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Before cell phones and texting

My one cousin is mostly deaf and had something similar hooked up to their phone while he was growing up from the phone company I believe. I'm sure the operator had a fair amount of amusement from his conversations being the go-between.


Both of my parents were deaf. Growing up in the (pre texting and Skype) 70's my parents and most deaf folks used government surplus teletype machines communicate with friends and family on the phone. I didn't know of anyone in my parents circle who didn't have one. Every one knew of someone who squirreled away parts for these loud, rumbly and gigantic beasts who repaired them in the basement . Are these things the same machines? They look much smaller than i remember.

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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