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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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The Old Hard Shoe: 1939

The Old Hard Shoe: 1939

June 1939. "Ruins of blacksmith shop. Virginia City, Madison County, Montana." Photo by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

It's a joke!

The town blacksmith was John P Uren, born England about 1850, died Montana 1928. Remove the periods and the two words become "Up Uren". John P. Uren would have made a nice Shorpyite.

The sign seems to have held up well in the 11 years since the owner’s death.

[Yes, it's a joker's hand. There's no doubt about it. -tterrace]

What a Bonanza!

I'll bet that Ben Cartwright used to hang around that place.

[The Ponderosa was big, but it was a far piece from Montana. -tterrace]

Child’s footprints

We used to make those on chalkboards. Make a fist and press the side with your pinkie on the chalk board and rub very slightly. The impression looks like a foot sole. Then take your finger and make the five toes. Looks just like a baby’s footprint. Although I think this jokester used paint?

U.P. Uren?

I should hope so!


I could tell from the first glance that there was a small gift hidden in this photograph. A few seconds later, there it was: the line of child's footprints across the board over the window. This vision of delicate absurdity breaks the paralyzing stillness of the old photograph like a cast stone breaks the stillness of a pond.

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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