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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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Payday: 1905

Payday: 1905

Circa 1905. "Payday at the shipyard -- Newport News, Virginia." Where do I sign up for direct deposit? 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Bigger than a lot of towns in Virginia

When I first moved to Newport News (1976)The shipyard employed 36,000 workers on three shifts. The majority worked days, of course and the rest were split between swing and graveyard shifts.

If you were downtown for some reason, other than working at the shipyard, You made sure that you were either on your way home before 4PM (when the yard let out) or had a good reason to stay till around 5 PM. Traffic West on Warwick Blvd and Jefferson Ave. was bumper to bumper for a good 45 minutes.

Orderly chaos

Upon closer inspection, things may be a little less chaotic than they first appear. There are multiple pay stations, and the signs at each station seem to indicate which positions get paid there (e.g. fitters, carpenters, drillers, etc.) and during what hours. So, if you were a Power House worker, you'd show up at Pay Station 3 at the designated time and your pay would be waiting; the folks in the Repair Department would have to wait until later to pick up their pay at that same window. (I wonder what happened if you showed up after your pay session ended?)


There weren't this many people in my home town.

Okay you mugs

line up alphabetically!

Back In the Day

Payment in hard cash. Seems like there would have been a better way, but of course the company doesn't care, these guys are off the clock!

[I think they all felt better getting cold, hard cash. - tterrace]

Question of the Day

Is this the end of the line?

You can tell who's got their pay

They're the ones walking purposefully away from the crowd. Off to the pub!

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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