SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
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Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

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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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Two Thanksgiving maskers circa 1911. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

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I wonder if this tradition is related to "souling" in England. Kids went house to house asking for soul cakes. Remember the Peter, Paul and Mary song -- "an apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry, anything good to make us all merry." I was born in the Midwest in 1950 and never heard of this tradition. My mother however perpetuated the tradition of St. Nicholas night, Dec. 12, where we were to leave a small plate on the floor by our bed to find an orange, gum and candy the next morning. I never understood why! Wonder how many other odds-and-ends traditions are lurking out there in America.

The masks!

Those masks are absolutely terrifying! Much scarier than anything we have for Halloween nowadays!


I wonder if this is related to the tradition of mummery.

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Never ever knew such a tradition existed, interesting. And I like that you are not afraid in this politically correct world to let these photographs and history just speak for themselves, good or bad.

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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