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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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The Unknown Toddler: 1910

The Unknown Toddler: 1910

"Child." An enigmatic urchin in Xmasy attire circa 1910 in Washington. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative, Library of Congress. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Oh my

This one just maxed out the Cute-O-Meter. What a darling child with such a wonderful expression.

The Missing Mitten

It appears that she is eating something. My guess is it's the last inch of a stick of hard candy. Her mother has likely made her take of the mitten in order to avoid a sticky situation.

Fur collar...

and muff. Hanging around her neck is a muff (for putting your hands into to keep them warm), not a purse.

As for the coat style, my mother and brother are wearing a similar style (minus the fur collar) in a photo circa 1910. Their coats had wide cloth collars.

I had a bunny fur muff as a child in the late 1930s.

The Child

Just haunting. She's missing one mitten and I have never seen a coat like that. This is one I would like to see in color. The doll and her hair, hat and bow are fascinating in detail.

Tiny Tot

What a dear little girl. I hope she had a happy life.


The aging and imperfections lend a painterly tone, as if loose brushwork were at play.

[In a way, it is. Emulsion was applied to the earlier glass negatives with a brush. When they deteriorate, you can see the strokes. - Dave]

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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