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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Waiting to Inhale: 1931

Waiting to Inhale: 1931

Washington, D.C., 1931. The caption for this one is NO CAPTION. What's going on here? Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

I'm Confused

Wait a minute- isn't this the Flood Mansion??


They are really catching on since this first stab at it.

License and Registration, please

This was the Breathalyzer Beta.

Iron Man

Great observation on the tank filled with water!
I'm thinking possibly a movie clip for a 1930's version of "Iron Man". All kidding aside, these men were "Iron Men" signing up for submarine duty. Happy Easter, everyone.

Sleep with the fishes

Maybe a submariner with sleep apnea.

Escape device

I believe it's a breathing device to let you escape from submarines.
The rope guides you to the surface.


Submarine school escape training using the Momsen lung to practice escaping from a sunken submarine, probably in New London, Conn.

[We know from the caption that we're not in Connecticut. - Dave]

In 1931 there was only one submarine escape training tower and it was located in New London, CT. The Washington by-line provably relates to where the Navy Departments release of the picture

Ludovico technique

The early years.

Momsen lung

Appears to be a submariner wearing a Momsen lung -- a device used in escaping from a sub, while underwater.


Legacy of "Swede" Momsen

Probably training for using a Momsen Lung -- breathing device for escaping from a submarine. Hard to tell but, based on the floating appearance of the lung and the individual's hair, the tank appears to be filled with water.

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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