SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

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]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

The Typist: 1917

The Typist: 1917

January 24, 1917. "Ethel Selansky, 15 years old. Typist for Standard Neckwear Co., 91 Essex Street, Boston." Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Quick finger

I wonder if that is a 'qwerty' or alphabetic keyboard. Qwerty's were made specifically to slow down typists on the old mechanical machines so they wouldn't jam the letter rods together. Anyone who's ever used an old Royal knows how annoying it is to have to keep reaching up to untangle them because you hit two or more keys at once.

Four-in-hand tie

The "fad" was likely the four-in-hand tie itself, which at this point in time was being marketed to the working classes at a price they could afford. These might have even been clip-on or pre-knotted for men who didn't know how to tie one.

She probably does her hair herself. Her mother would have been able to start the curls higher, and, although there were falls and hairpieces available at the time at a price even a poor girl could afford, those curls are imperfect enough to be natural and the hair is obviously of the same texture as hers - which isn't easy even now.

I bet her back was sore after a day of typing. We had an old typewriter at home of about the same provenance; the amount of force you had to apply to each key and the hunched-over stance you had to take to use it meant that your shoulder muscles would be screaming at the end of three or four hours, let alone nine or ten.

The Latest Fad

Has anyone figured out what "Latest Fad" is on the placard behind the young lady's typewriter?

[Neckwear-related. Something about four-in-hands. - Dave]

Etta Selansky, 1910

1910 census for Boston shows an Etta Selansky living on Dalrymple Street in Boston. Parents are Russian immigrants.


I wonder how many nights she (or her mother or sister) spent wrapping her hair in rags so she would look like this the next morning. We used to call them Shirley Temple curls.

Mystified by "office equipment"

Any idea what the metal frame on the grate above the desk does? Is it for papers, or part of "Neckwear" manufacturing?

The Girl with the Curls

I wonder how many Saturday afternoons young Ethel spent in the picture palace watching Mary Pickford and figuring out how to perfect her hairstyle.

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.