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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • JOIN THE NAVY, 1917

Two Kazoos: 1920

Two Kazoos: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Characters" is all they wrote on the label of this National Photo glass negative. Library of Congress annotation: "Photograph shows two African American men sitting on bales of hay and playing instruments outside a barn or stable. One man plays guitar and the other plays a bowed instrument similar to a cello; both men simultaneously play kazoos." View full size.

 
On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

DID PC Strikes Shorpy?

It's pretty unlikely that the gentlemen in the photo would have been referred to as "... two African American men ...", African American being a late 20th century construct. The original most likely referred to them as "... two Negro men ...".

[It's a direct quote of the Library of Congress description. -tterrace]

What the heck?

Intriguing photo!

That appears to be a 1920s Regal parlor guitar, but I hope someone more knowledgeable than I am can identify whatever the apparatus on the soundhole and the treble-side knob are.

Seems an early date for an amplified guitar.

The other instrument is, I believe, a home-made diddley bow, but I'm no expert, though I did hear and meet Bo Diddley in 1972!

 
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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