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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.

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Texters, LOL: 1864

Texters, LOL: 1864

August 1864. "Petersburg, Virginia. Army of the Potomac. Two youthful military telegraph operators at headquarters." Habitues of the Victorian Internet. Wet plate negative, half of stereograph pair, by Timothy H. O'Sullivan. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Internet revolution

The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century's On-Line Pioneers, by Standage, in fact does suggest the revolutionary nature of the wire telegraph in the 19th century. A good read and reinforced my notion that we are very much like the folks who came before us.

Prestigious occupation.

Though you couldn't tell from their wardrobe, these men were initiates in a fairly restricted and quite glamorous occupation, able to communicate across great distances at nearly the speed of light. They commanded cutting-edge technology beyond the comprehension of the vast majority of their fellows. They fought their war in relative comfort, yet made signal contributions (pun probably intended) to that war effort. From among their number came inventive geniuses like Edison. Let us now praise unknown technicians!

An adept master of communication

Dave - I have to log in to say that your command of the English language keeps me learning (yes, an old dog can learn). I thought I had a decent vocabulary, however, you keep me stepping and I've added to my favorites list right below Shorpy. I had no idea that we were "habitués" of BTW - I always check these Civil War photos, hoping to find one of my GGG or GGGG grandfathers who were in the 114th Pennsylvania Collis' Zouaves until Fredericksburg, where my GGGG was killed just before Christmas 1862. Fortunately, his son made it through the battle, so that I could write about it just over 150 years later on

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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