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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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Pole Position: 1923

Pole Position: 1923

Washington, D.C., 1923. "A.W. Leonard." National Photo Company lensman "Artie" Leonard chasing a shot. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Wifi up here?

Looking at the thumbnail, I thought he was seeking signal with his laptop...
Would like to see what he was shooting!

Hang on Tight....

I don't see anything that looks like a lineman's safety belt. Without that he has to be holding on to the pole and the camera at the same time. At least the pole is equipped with foot spikes.

I bet climbing up and down even with the pole's foot spikes would have been an adventure while carrying the camera. Manipulating the film holder and dark slides would have been interesting to watch.

Speed Graphic

Looks like an early 5x7 Speed Graphic. Those are fairly rare these days and still fetch good money, several hundred $ at least. Far less common than the typical 4x5 Speed Graphic.

First attempt at using a monopod?

First attempt at using a monopod? How do you fold it up?

Occupational hazards

This photographer really went to extremes to get a "money shot". Is there any clue as to what he was photographing?


Don't try this at home.

The use of box cameras can be extremely dangerous.

Steel toed saddle shoes?

I see he is equipped with all the safety gear of the day-none!

I cant help but wonder what his lens subject might be? Perhaps a lineman on another pole in some publicity shoot for a power company, or Ma Bell?

Or maybe he is just getting as close to eye level of a new wall sign or something?

Dave, might there be another pic in a series to go along with this one that might tell us more about what he is aiming at, or is it a solo shot of Artie?

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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