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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • JOIN THE NAVY, 1917

Pontoons on the Potomac: 1925

Pontoons on the Potomac: 1925

April 29, 1925. "Girls from Keith's [vaudeville theater] at Arlington Beach." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 
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Keith's was Polite and High Class

B.F. Keith was the reigning king of vaudeville in the eastern U.S. in the 20s operating some 30 different theaters and having an estimated net worth of $50 million. Keith had begun in Boston offering only clean entertainment that would appeal to middle-class sensibilities and eschewing the bawdiness of burlesque houses. With the help of his ruthless manager E.F. Albee, he became wildly successful. His theaters all reportedly posted backstage the following warning for performers:

"Don't say ‘slob’ or ‘son of a gun’ or ‘hully gee’ on the stage unless you want to be canceled peremptorily. Do not address anyone in the audience in any manner. If you do not have the ability to entertain Mr. Keith's audience without risk of offending them, do the best you can. Lack of talent will be less open to censure than would be an insult to a patron. If you are in doubt as to the character of your act consult the local manager before you go on stage, for if you are guilty of uttering anything sacrilegious or even suggestive you will be immediately closed and will never again be allowed in a theatre where Mr. Keith is in authority."

Nice interior pictures here:
http://www.streetsofwashington.com/2010/05/vaudeville-and-other-high-dra...

 
SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE
Shorpy.com | 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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