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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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We Eight: 1905

We Eight: 1905

New Zealand circa 1905. "Group of unidentified young women outdoors, probably Christchurch district." An interesting variety of countenances and coifs. Glass negative by Adam Maclay, Alexander Turnbull Library. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Puff, Puff

Stripey girl on the far left wins the most points for puffiness--biggest sleeves and biggest hair.

Age of Aquarius?

All the remarks about parting their hair in the middle; have you forgotten the 1970's already?

All together now!

Strange how a group of women living together somehow manage to get their hairdos in sync.

Thousand-yard stare

The practice of random individuals gazing off-camera, so common in Civil War-era photos here in the US, was likely an attempt to animate and render somewhat less formal the effects of the long exposures necessitated by the plates of that era. Apparently, that affectation survived such technical limitations, at least in New Zealand, however the subjects there have learned to smile, an expression that few apart from Lincoln seemed to be able to hold for the requisite period during Matthew Brady's epoch.

[Ahem. Mathew, not "Matthew," Brady. -Dave]


I wonder if these girls came up with this hair parted down the middle in front and the rest put up like the fashion dictated at the time, or if there was some Kiwi fashion icon that wore it first. Except for the little blond in front on the left, I can see why it didn't catch on!


The young lady on the right in the second row, along with her distinctive taste in dresses, has a wonderful expression; she looks like she's up for just about anything.

Meanwhile, the pretty blonde on the lower left offers a fine (early?) example of a "Just take the darn picture already" face.

Lovely picture.

Fashion Directive

All hair will be parted in the MIDDLE !

Troy Polamalu


SHORPY OLD 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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