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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Cops Don't Stop Me: 1913

Cops Don't Stop Me: 1913

Houston, October 1913. Marion Davis, Messenger #21 for Bellevue Messenger Service. Fourteen years old. "Been messenger, off and on, for two years. Not supposed to go to the Reservation [Red Light] under sixteen years, but I do just the same. The boss don't care and the cops don't stop me." View full size. Photograph and caption by the indefatigable Lewis Wickes Hine.

Red light attraction??

I've seen several references these boys make to the red light district... some as young as 11. See Percy Neville at for example. Are these young kids really indulging at brothels? A 14-year-old, maybe.... but it's hard to imaging an 11-year-old really interested in that at such a young age.

[When Hine talks about these kids visiting the Red Light, he means in their capacity as messengers. Delivering packages, telegrams, etc. - Dave]

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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