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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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Frolic on the Potomac: 1924

Frolic on the Potomac: 1924

July 10, 1924. "Pushball at Tidal Basin." National Photo Co. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


How in the heck does that shower work? Must be some sort of foot pump to operate it...?

[They work the same way the shower in your house works. - Dave]

As viewed from?

I'm guessing this is close to the site where construction began 15 years later on the Jefferson Memorial.

The Background

I live quite near Washington DC. That's absolutely the Lincoln Memorial in the background!

Pushball reincarnated

Pushball never quite caught on, but no one has commented that it was reincarnated, in a version that was both anarchistic and socially responsible, as Earthball. Of course, Earthball didn't catch on either.

Sanctioned Pushball

Notice the two officials. "OK, you hooligans. Take it easy or someone might lose an eye."

So many details!

There are so many interesting details in these photos that it's always a treat examining them! For example, there's a shower right in the middle of the river, to the left of the image. Like someone pointed out in another picture, the swimming suits look like they were made of some sort of natural fiber (wool), since they do have a tendency to climb and stick when wet. And this jolly scene takes place in a makeshift playpen of sorts, made with what look like stakes in the shallow part of the river. How different of today's hectic world!

I'm curious; in the background you can see a building. Is it the Lincoln memorial?


Is it not ineffably sad that so few girls are part of the frolic? One girl is separated from the fun, metaphorically enjoying the roughhousing joy--but from a distance.

I'm pretty juvenile

To me, "Pushball at Tidal Basin" sounds like a euphemism, for, you know, something else.

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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