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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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Double-Decker: 1921

Double-Decker: 1921

"Garfield Hospital Christmas tree." Nurses at the Washington, D.C., hospital circa 1921. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

From the Second Floor

In the days when hospital patients were less mobile, being able to see the tree from the second floor was probably very cheering for the patients up there.

I wonder why the second-floor nurses look more jovial? Maybe they got to put the star on top.

Don't you know?

They took the roof off to get that tree in! It had hinges for just this sort of thing.

More miserable

I don't know which looks the more miserable - the tree or the women in front of it.

Someone forgot to say "Cheese!"

The nurses below deck seem pretty solemn, but perhaps like many nurses today they were overworked, underpaid, underappreciated - not much to be cheerful about in a place nobody chooses to be in at Christmas, or any time of the year. At least quite an effort has been made to add some festive decor.

This photo is one of those instances when it is hard to claim that "black and white is so much more dramatic!"; color was a generation away but it would have added considerable charm to this scene.

[Color photography goes back to the late 19th century. Kodachrome, the first mass-market color film, was 14 years away when this picture was taken. - Dave]

Rats Nest

In plain, flat black and white, that Xmas tree looks like a creepy, dirty rats nest - although it was very probably beautiful in real life. It's a wonder, given it's size, that they even got it in the door!

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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