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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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Man of Action: 1917

Man of Action: 1917

1917. Washington, D.C. "Edgar Rickard, executive assistant, U.S. Food Administration." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Hello Great Grandaddy!

Reportedly a lot of fun and a genuine man of action. His daughter did model fur coats at Saks between marriages. Maybe the clothes bug came from him....


My first impression agrees with the earlier comment. It looks like a doll in a miniature office diorama. Stiff, somewhat shiny and various out of focus elements in the foreground and background. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the charts on the wall rotated around to reveal a televideo screen announcing "Thunderbirds are go!"

Man of action indeed

Edgar Rickard (1874-1951) was a capable engineer and government official who was a lifelong confidant of Herbert Hoover.

Here, at age 43, strong eyebrows frame his challenging gaze. Much more than the ancestral metrosexual I took him for at first glance.

Very handsome guy

I suspect the ladies had vapors over this one.

Mannequin Man

Honestly, he looks like he would be right at home modeling button-down shirts or hoodies on a stand along the main aisle at Sears.

I'll take the Black Sox by 3

U.S. Food Administration? Hmmmm, two telephones, notepad, envelopes, an open safe; hey, this guy is making book! (Note: The pistol is in the right-hand drawer)

A man to be trusted

Wish he were running the FDA today. I doubt if he would have put up with the lack of oversight which has caused our peanut problem today.

Besides, I think he's delish!

Oh the pain, the pain ...

Do I see a hint of Dr. Smith of "Lost in Space" in those eyes?

Stuffed shirt?

I don't think so. Very distinctive face, should have been in films. As I said in another comment, we need to consider the context in which these older photos were taken when we're trying to read posture and facial expressions. It's obvious this guy had a certain elegance, but I'd imagine most people back then would automatically go into a rather stiff getting-your-photo-taken stance, particularly in a more formal setting such as an office and when the camera was a big tripod-mounted affair, as opposed to a box Brownie at a picnic. But you can't control everything, and here I note the raised eyebrow and ever-so-slight hint of a wry grin. All in all, a face that seems to reveal much more than the superficially rigid posture.


I love the shirt and the collar. The hair and the tie, not so much.

Mr. Manikin

When I first saw this photo in the Shorpy e-mail, I thought it was a manikin. It looks the same full size. Even the hands look rigid, poking out of a perfectly arranged shirt. I wonder if his personality was equally stiff.

Oh, man, look at that shirt.

I just come here for fashion tips, actually.

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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