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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Stop-Stop & Go-Go: 1919

Stop-Stop & Go-Go: 1919

Circa 1919. "Traffic officer at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue." Before stoplights in the District of Columbia, there was the "Go-Go" traffic sign equipped with umbrella and rearview mirror. The Willard Hotel and U.S. Treasury play supporting roles in this Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Wooden pallet

Standing on the wood will help his joints, especially if he has 8 hours of duty a day at that post.

[It would also keep his feet warm. The ground is a heat sink. - Dave]

Go-Go Boots

Apparently the fashion was started by men and required a 'platform' heel.


Somehow I think traffic might have flowed better with this guy at the intersection than it does today.

Prototype traffic signal controller

It's easy to see how the mirrored platform was the direct predecessor to early street embedded treadle actuated automated traffic light control systems. Subsequent developments however seem bent on removing any resemblance to the original, with things like ultrasonic, street imbedded induction loop, pedestrian demand button and who knows what other kind of sensor/actuators.

Origination of the Term

When one stands in one place too long one can become flat footed.

Early Selfie

"Looking good, my man, looking good."

Mirror, Mirror

on the pole, who's the fairest gendarme of them ole?


A hard working family man long since replaced by a few million electrons.

As seen previously on Shorpy

We've seen this same location (from other occasions, when the umbrella was up & the officer on duty had no ear coverings) previously on Shorpy here and here.

[This one has a new & improved sign, with mirror and bigger letters. - Dave]

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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