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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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1st Division Mechanics: 1864

1st Division Mechanics: 1864

October 1864. Petersburg, Virginia. "Mechanics of 1st Division, 9th Army Corps." Wet plate glass negative, photographer unknown. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


At least two of the men are farriers or blacksmiths. One holds a horseshoe, the other a horseshoe and what may be a hoof trimmer. Given the background, others were doing duty as wheelwrights although again, the actual job description may have been "blacksmith." (Blacksmiths were generalists, expected to shoe horses or mules and oxen as well as repair just about anything that came to hand.)

Civil War Army Mechanics

I too was going to comment on the pipes and also the beards. I am enthralled at the quality of the photography in this era. The men on the outside seem to be a bit blurry, but so much detail is captured directly in front of the camera. This is truly a great photo.

Army Mechanics

Interesting how many are holding the tools of their trade--the smith/metal worker on the right, painter with brush and paint bucket near the center--can't identify the tool the man on the left is holding, appears to be a similar one on the ground on the right. Fascinating.

Next Stop, Dakota Territory

They look like they emigrated to Deadwood after the war, and took up residence in the Gem Saloon. Fascinating.

11 Pipes, One Cigar

On 19 men that's what I counted. And yet you don't see all the hands. Having your picture taken you had to relax and look cool. Needless to say, this is a great photography.

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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