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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Trinity Bootblacks: 1924

Trinity Bootblacks: 1924

July 25, 1924. "Some of the young bootblacks working around Trinity Church, New York City." View full size. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

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Close Cropped Kids

When my son was growing up in the 70's-80's, he liked his hair cut this way. My dad always wore a crewcut, he preferred it to longer hair. I think I have a picture of my grandfather taken when he was a teenager around 1913 with a haircut like this. I just think it is an easy way to maintain a boy's hair. They seem to like it because they don't have to do anything to it but wash it. Kinda like a lot of men shaving their heads now.


Keeping hair cut short at that time probably kept the head lice problem at a minimum. At least, if an infestation were to occur on a boy, it could be seen faster and treated with the 1920s era medicines.

Hair length more a health matter than a style matter, I'm a thinkin'

Close Cropped Kids

I know that when you join the army or the marines, regulation hair is either bald, butch, or a crewcut, but I was not aware that this was evidently also mandatory for shoeshine boys. The title of this would indicate that they are somehow affiliated with the church, whereas the caption implies that they all merely work in its vicinity. Which is it?

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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