SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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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Summer Games: 1938

Summer Games: 1938

Summer 1938. "New York street scene -- boys playing." Photo by Jack Allison for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Kings County

Brownstones with large elaborate stoops like these are more characteristic of Brooklyn than of Manhattan. There's a good chance that the picture is from one of the older Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Park Slope, Prospect Heights or Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Those shoes!

3 of the 4 visible boys appear to be wearing Frye athletic shoes. Founded in 1863, Frye's was the oldest shoe company in America, and one of the most popular. A pair of Frye athletic shoes like the ones these boys are wearing, now cost about $150. The other lad appears to be wearing plain toe dress Oxfords, which also never seem to go out of style.


I grew up in the Bronx in the 50's. Skully was a common summer pastime. We used to draw the box with old plaster we found in the vacant lots and true to the name of the game we would put a skull in the center box which was # 13.

More to the picture

One of the most-fascinating things about Shorpy pictures is that there's always something more to so many scenes than we first visualize.

For instance, I wonder why the center youngster has an eye patch over his left eye? I doubt they treated many kids in this neighborhood for "lazy eye" in 1938. Maybe he suffered an injury.

Plus, the ornateness of the porch stair bannisters shows a true artist's touch. Today, they're molded in a factory and placed, with darn little creativity.

Killer Diller

Those boys are playing Skully or Skelly. A great game. "I am the killer diller of this game!"

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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