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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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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Little Boy Blue: 1900

Little Boy Blue: 1900

From New England circa 1900 comes a young fellow who looks like he'd rather be somewhere else, wearing anything but this ridiculous getup Aunt Polly made him put on. Good thing they haven't invented the Internet yet, kid. 5x8 inch glass negative, probably an estate-sale find. View full size.

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This circa-1900 Photo Batch you're sharing with us are extremely captivating! Thank You!

Just You Wait

Cap-Boy is plotting revenge.

Been There

My brother and I would get the same look at Easter during the '50s when my mom would make us wear a suit. We would make sure we voiced our objections, too. Continually. Poor woman.

Beating the bounds

It might be that these lads are dressed in costume to "beat the bounds" of the parish on Ascension Day. It's been done in parts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts since Colonial times, and before that in old England since at least Anglo-Saxon times.

        In former times when maps were rare it was usual to make a formal perambulation of the parish boundaries on Ascension Day or during Rogation week. Knowledge of the limits of each parish needed to be handed down so that such matters as liability to contribute to the repair of the church, and the right to be buried within the churchyard were not disputed. The priest of the parish with the churchwardens and the parochial officials headed a crowd of boys who, armed with green boughs, usually birch or willow, beat the parish boundary markers with them. Sometimes the boys were themselves whipped or even violently bumped on the boundary-stones to make them remember. The object of taking boys along is supposed to ensure that witnesses to the boundaries should survive as long as possible.

Low Talking Aunt Polly

Aunt Polly must have been a low talker to get these 3 boys to wear puffy shirts on national internet.

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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