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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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Postal Boys: 1911

Postal Boys: 1911

June 1911. Norfolk, Virginia. "A typical group of Postal Messengers. Smallest on left end, Wilmore Johnson, been there one year. Works days only. The Postal boys are not nearly so young in Norfolk and also in other Virginia cities as are the Western Union boys." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Adams Etc

Adams Express, American Express, Southern Express and a few others were merged into the Railway Express Company (REA) in 1917. The Feds needed to control the railways for the WW1 emergency. It was accomplished by the United States Railway Administration (USRA) to assure that that the Rail Systems operated efficiently during wartime. Railway Express was with us until 1975 when it went out of business. The Interstate Highway System became their downfall when UPS et al went into the over the road delivery business.

The kid on the left

The look on his face tells me that the bike frame just might be causing him a wee bit of discomfort.

Perhaps he is telling Hines to "Hurry up and take the picture.....this is killing me!"

A grand old name

Adams Express continues in business today. Like other express companies of past centuries, such as American Express and Wells Fargo, their principle business became financial services.

recycled board racers?

Except for the center bike with the auto horn and spring seat, these bikes look like they had earlier been board track racers.
Bare bones frame with serrated metal pedals, smooth tires, sans chain guard and rigid racing seats. Just reset the handlebars downward to racing position. Tuck in, and ride like the wind.

Real fixies without brakes?

Although the coaster brake was invented a little more than ten years before this picture was taken, they weren't ubiquitous yet, but the second bike from the right does appear to have some kind of band on the left rear stay, possibly to secure a torque arm...

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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