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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Grandfather's Workplace

Grandfather's Workplace

His name was William Cyngisser; he was a leather scyther, I believe in New York. Not completely sure where he is in photograph. View full size.


skiver, n
1. (Clothing, Personal Arts & Crafts / Tanning) the tanned outer layer split from a skin
2. (Clothing, Personal Arts & Crafts / Tanning) a person, tool, or machine that skives

The British or Scottish slang word means "a person who persistently avoids work or responsibility," and I'm willing to bet Grandfather didn't fit that!

I've got a couple skiving knives similar to this modern version among the leather tools from Dad's collection.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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