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.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

To love him is to like him. Our goal: 100k "likes":

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

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]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Telco Garage: 1919

Telco Garage: 1919

Washington, D.C., circa 1919. "Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. garage." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


One off the best pics on Shorpy to date. I'm there.

Belt Driven Machinery

I worked in a machine shop in the mid 80's. We several machines including a lathe with a 100 inch swing that had been belt driven originally. Who cares? It's a lathe .. or .. a mill .. a drill press. Just a machine. That 100 year old lathe was much cheaper then a new one the same size but does the exact same job a newer one would do.


Were they using conduit like this in 1919? It looks pretty contemporary for 1919. I figured all wiring in that time frame would have been knob and tube. I'm thinking more like the 1930's here.

[Take a close look at the license plate. - tterrace]

Slicker than....

Please wipe your feet before leaving garage.

What a Revoltin' Development

To the left, we have Chester A. Riley, long before his stint at Cunningham Aircraft, performing a tuneup on the ol" flivver.

I've seen this Prison Movie!

The guy with the Boring Bar is upset because "Pretty Boy" is always front and center in all the pictures, well he'll just have to do something about that, something involving an "accident" with a Chain Hoist! Bwahahaha..

Re: Modern shop

Nixiebunny, I think the first stationary electric powered tools date from the late 1880s, so I think at least some would have been available in 1919. However, I think you're right that these were intended to be driven by belts from a line shaft and were converted to individual motors. For a currently working wrought iron and blacksmith shop set up to run from a line shaft powered by a 15 hp 1898 Reid, see and follow the "Studio" link. I think it's absolutely amazing.

For anyone in southern California who hasn't seen an old shop like this in person and wants to, the Carlsbad Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum has a running wood shop with everything running off of a line shaft that's powered by a big stationary steam engine. Lots of other fascinating stuff there, also.

Modern shop

All the machine tools (lathe, grinder etc.) are belt-driven units that have been fitted with individual electric motors. It may not have been possible to buy motor-driven machine tools at that time.

catch the tube

I wonder if the logo on the guy's cap refers to this?

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.