SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Long Pine, Nebraska Shoeshop

Long Pine, Nebraska Shoeshop

This is my great-grandfather John Crabtree, last seen in the Bonesteel photo. After living in several locations, John and Ida moved to Long Pine, Nebraska, where John had an up-to-date shoe repair shop from about 1912 to 1921. He then moved his equipment to his home, also in Long Pine.

Great-Grandpa had polio when he was around six (1861) that left his right leg paralyzed. The story is that John learned shoemaking so he could make specialty shoes to fit himself and others. In Long Pine (according to his daughter Myrtie), John was known for how perfectly he made shoes. Workmen on the Railroad (including the conductor) brought him shoes to work on from all along the line, because he did such good work. View full size.

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Neat pairs

I love the way cobblers always keep shoes together in neat pairs (unless they're working on one or the other of the shoes, of course). Perhaps this would seem to be a no-brainer, since it's obvious the shoemaker would want to maintain order in his shop, but I still find it immensely comforting to see the shoes together and never all higgledy-piggledy the way you might find them in someone's foyer. Also, I can't help noticing the cracked plaster and exposed lath in the ceiling. There's a cool air that blows behind the lath, and my scaredy-cat imagination fears it as a portal to the creepy, hidden parts of a house. But I do understand that it would be difficult for a man with a paralyzed leg to fix something like that.

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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