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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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Law & Order: 1932

Law & Order: 1932

Washington, D.C., 1932. "Metropolitan police officer on motorcycle." Keeping the peace in the gashouse district. Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

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Harley Davidson

The bike is a V series Harley Davidson, a 74 cubic inch flathead. 1932 was the third year of production for the V

Mechanicals Plus

Foot clutch and hand shift AND a manual magneto advance on the left hand grip! Try taking off from a stop sign going up hill, or down shifting going downhill around a corner. Oh, and don't forget to retard the advance when you go to start it up. The kick pedal kicks you back!

The bike

It appears to be a flathead, but I don't know what make it is. The Harley and Indian of the day were V-Twins but this doesn't appear to be a V configuration.

Protector of the Bonus Army?

That looks like 1932 D.C. Police Chief, Pelham Glassford. Glassford was chief during the Bonus Army encampment in Washington. He was a friend of the veterans and things were generally peaceful when he was in control. Ultimately the army took over and MacArthur burned sent in tanks and burned the veterans out.

Here's Glassford on the sameame motorcycle driving through one of the Bonus Army camps,

From that same site, "Police Chief Pelham Glassford, himself a decorated WWI general, sympathized with his fellow vets. He toured the camp almost daily, organized medical care, provided building materials, solicited local merchants for food donations, and even contributed $773 out of his own pocket for provisions."


Foot clutch and hand shift. Today's bikers would have to learn all over.

This can't be

Wow, this looks like the same dude that gave me a ticket three years ago!

You looking at me?

What a great expression on that police officer.

SHORPY OLD 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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