SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

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]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

The Fortune: 1905

The Fortune: 1905

Circa 1905. "St. Mary's Canal celebration -- excursion steamer Fortune in Weitzel Lock, Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan." 8x10 glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

50th Anniversary Celebration

This celebration was for the 50th anniversary of the first lock in the Soo opened in 1855. Even the Vice President of the United States was there along with a small flotilla of Navy ships . Note that safety and security were completely absent then. No fences or barriers to keep the kids out of the drink!


My guess on the "whatzit" is a fly whisk. Back then it may have been considered common to brush flies away with your hands.

Could it be?

A souvenir. A bent bamboo cane with a ribbon to commemorate the occasion.


There appears to be a bit of cloth folded umbrella-style on the end, so my guess is a small parasol with a long handle.

Steamship Fortune

The wooden hull steamship Fortune was launched in 1875 by the Detroit Dry Dock Company (hull number 29). Operated by the Algoma Central Railroad, at the time of the St. Mary's Canal celebration, she was captained by H.A. Pocock with F.W. Cornish serving as chief engineer. Sold in 1910, and later converted to a coastal tug rechristened as the Bawating. She sank February 1, 1920, off Jekyll Island, Georgia with 13 lives lost.


The lady, just to the right of center and standing next to the tree in the foreground, appears to be holding a stick-like something. A golf club? An apparatus for herding small children? A compact fishing pole? Two or three other "sticks" are wielded by other folks in this picture, one of note is the sitting young man in the foreground.

Weitzel Lock

Built in 1881, 515 feet long, 80 wide, 17 deep. Replaced by the MacArthur Lock in 1943 (800' x 80' x 30').


That's the year I want to visit!

My maternal grandfather, born in 1900, might have been the age of this young boy in the foreground. Clothing was beautiful, men all dapper and women dressed in their finest frilly apparel. Imagine how relaxing it was traveling by steamer compared to our stressful travel alternatives of today.

All we need is a Time Machine.

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.