SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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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Billy McClain: 1903

Billy McClain: 1903

Circa 1903. "Billy McClain." American entertainer and impresario (1866-1950) who started out in minstrelsy and whose interests eventually came to encompass boxing promotion and motion pictures. 5x7 glass negative (broken off at the top) from the C.M. Bell portrait studio in Washington, D.C. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Depth of field

Nose - out of focus.
Ears - out of focus.
Eyes - very much in focus.

I don't know if I'd be able to replicate this shot.

Quite the career

From cornet player, to trapeze artist, to actor and producer, and his writing credits are very impressive as well.

Seems he got around too. Billy did his thing in many cities, even into Canada.

Just an incredible resume coming from a segregated period of history.

He saw it coming

Looks like you could add clairvoyant to Billy's list of interests.

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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