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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Goes to Moving Picture Shows

Goes to Moving Picture Shows

May 1910. Wilmington, Delaware. "William Gross, 516 Tatnall Street. Newsboy, 15 years of age. Selling papers 5 years. Average earnings 50 cents per week. Father, carpenter, $18 week. Selling newspapers own choice, to get money to go to moving picture shows. Visits saloons. Smokes sometimes. "Serves papers" to prostitutes. On May 25 William gave to investigator a list of houses of prostitution written in his own handwriting, to which he serves papers. He also tells a story of occasionally guiding strangers to these houses, for which he receives from 15 cents to a quarter." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Not too bright

Imagine, snitching on some of your best customers, plus tips, for a lousy 50c a week job? There must have been a substantial reward for turning in prostitutes in those days to do something that stupid. Today he could have built up a promising career in Washington.

[I suspect the reason was more self-preservation than any lack of smarts - Dave]

The faces, part 2

Quote: Maybe a little more hardship would do us some good.

Can't say I agree with that part of the previous post. "Today's youth" may have problems, like everyone else, but no 15 year old boy should look that sad and exhausted with life.

On the other hand, I do agree that the faces are mesmerizing.

The faces

I have just been mezmerized by the faces of the children presented in the photos on this fantastic site. Every face tells a different story. These faces seem so different from those of kids today -- so much more hardship witnessed and parteken of.
We Americans have become so soft and live lives of such luxury compared with the average person even 60 years ago. Maybe a little more hardship would do us some good.

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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