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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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Ol Sparkplug

Ol Sparkplug

My aunt and my dad as kids (obviously) running around the front yard pretending to be a horse. Since this takes coordination of two people, I imagine they didn't play too much in this.

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Sparkplug & Barney

Another view of Sparkplug here.


Sparkplug, as any dedicated comic strip reader can tell you, was Barney Google's horse. According to one source, "Barney was one of nature's victims -- the man everyone picked on." Sparkplug preferred to race in his patched blanket, which "did not affect his performance."

The strip "enriched" the language with phrases like "heebie-jeebies" and "yardbird." In later years, Barney met up with Snuffy Smith and his folk in hillbilly country.

Pantomime horse

My guess is that Ol' Sparkplug was for some school play or pageant, or maybe a parade? Also, a nice view of a classic 1940s housing development. Where is this? UPDATE: That question got answered in your other photo. I was going to guess Southern California.

SHORPY OLD 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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