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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A Real Life Saver: 1913

A Real Life Saver: 1913

May 24, 1913. Joseph N. Callahan modeling "Coxey's Life Saver and Water Wings." View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.



Our intrepid model, Mr. Callahan, is clearly in need of "Coxey's Atomic Wedgie Preventer."


If he clenched any tighter he'd pop those water wings!!

Cold Water

In the Titanic's case the lifejackets were not the problem - everyone had one. The problem was that they all froze to death.

Hot item

Considering this is dated just over a year after the Titanic's horrific human toll, this was probably one of many similar products rushed to market.....just as after 9/11 many feared flying, I can imagine many people were afraid to go aboard ship without guaranteed personal flotation devices.

Extreme modeling

Yikes, I hope a frontal view doesn't exist.

[Just you wait. - Dave]


That's enough for some of us to hope for a return of the lovely Grace Valentine!

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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