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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Percy Neville: 1913

Percy Neville: 1913

November 1913. Shreveport, Louisiana. "Percy Neville, 11 years old. Messenger boy #6 for Mackay Telegraph Company. He has been messenger for different companies for four years. Goes to the Reservation [red light district] every day." View full size. Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

Handlebars

This style handlebar is actually hinged in the center so you can adjust the angle.

When you see bars dropped down really low, the bikes were called "scorchers" -- really popular before WWI (possibly later too). There are a lot of bicycle photos on Shorpy showing this.

I love this photo.

Urgent business

The standard comment about these messenger boys is, "Has been to the Reservation." Can someone please tell me who is sending telegrams to cathouses and why?

[If the cathouse doesn't have a telephone, you send a telegram by messenger. - Dave]

Handlebars

Interesting; I don't believe I've seen exactly this "gull-wing" style before. These mustache bars are a modern recreation of an early 20th-century style.

Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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