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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Sidewalk Symposium: 1941

Sidewalk Symposium: 1941

October 1941. "After school. Amsterdam, New York." See you at the soda shop. Medium-format nitrate negative by John Collier. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Ed Grimley's Dad?

Given the age of the "G" man, it's pleasing to think that he made it through the war, came back and raised a family which resulted in Ed Grimley's appearance in the 80s.

Amsterdam High's athletic schedule suggests

... that "G" stands for Gloversville, a bit to the northwest.


Is there no one in the viewing audience that could tell us what school our intrepid bowler attended?

Thanks, knew I could count on the Shorpy gang!

Before the ruins of renewal

It is nice to see Amsterdam again, before the urban renewal made all the streets one way, and then the building of a shopping mall right across the main drag. They managed to ruin the city with all the help they gave it.

The army will see to that

All three of these fellows were probably wearing uniforms in a year or two after the picture was taken. The guy in the leather jacket may even have gotten a pair of pants actually long enough for him.

Frisbee Bowling

Nah. You kept your bowling ball at the home alley unless you were going to an away tournament. The bus would stop at the alley on the way, you would pick up your ball, then drop it off after. The bag will contain shoes, team shirt, socks and usually a rag for cleaning the ball and drying the hands. Later on the alleys put in the had dryers you now find common. Generally the bowling alley was the sponsor of the school team. Yeah, I know that I know way too much about this.

Love the Flag

The boys look so athletic and fit. @HistoryLover his hands and head do look larger than his body. Then again, his hands look like "man hands" and his body is a boy body. I wonder what sport they were involved with? Those bags look too flat to be bowling ball bags. I love how the American Flag is behind them... I wonder if they enlisted in December?

Fads, etc.

Just as "sagging" remains a popular way to wear your pants, back in the 40s the high waisted look was so cool, as evidenced by "Mr. Letterman." It appears that he had even accentuated the look by rolling up the bottom of his letter sweater. Also, is it my imagination, or does the guy in the leather jacket have an abnormally large head and hands for his body? I'm an artist, and I notice these type of things!

Must be Frisbee Bowling...

I too thought they looked like bowling bags, but they are kind of flat. Must be for Frisbee bowling similar to Frisbee golf.

Spectators are coming back

And my daughter has the same saddle shoes as part of her current school uniform.


Shoes on the guy with the G on his sweater. I don't think you even see those on geezers at the golf course any more.

[Also, the girl has your shoes. - tterrace]

Letterman's sweater

I didn't know you could letter in Geek.

Not the soda shop

The two young men in the middle are carrying bowling ball bags. Probably on the school team, which was common at least until the 1960's and is now coming back.

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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