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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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Mr. Bureaucrat: 1923

Mr. Bureaucrat: 1923

Washington, D.C., 1923. "John F. Keeley, Department of Commerce." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


Our astonishing civil servants

Its easy to mock the people that created the Civil Service in the Federal Government. They are odd ducks in many ways. But, we had the best and the brightest government employees in the world, bar none. Now. Not so much. My hat is off to these guys. They helped to build America into the leading nation in the world.

Thank goodness styles evolve

Ill-fitting is the adjective that comes to mind.

But I've seen other men in similar time period photos wearing suits that were---shall we say---snug. Now that I think about it, I have a customer who's 80 and all his clothes fit like this. He's very short, with a slight build. Makes me wonder if somehow it wasn't considered showing off what God gave ya. Kinda like some young guys wear muscle shirts. . .

Protector of Commerce

Caption for different photo but possibly taken the same day (no glasses but tie looks similar). Apparently he protected the "business men" but business women were on their own.

Washington Post, Aug 29, 1923

In charge of the task of stopping the theft of merchandise in transit. John F. Keeley, of the Department of Commerce, is saving business men hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Nobody ever thinks about stuff like what Harry Potter will look like when he gets old.

Great Scott, er Gatsby!

The eyes of T.J. Eckleburg!

Soon to be a major motion picture

John Francis Keeley, author of:

"Packing for Foreign Markets" (1924, U.S. Govt. Printing Office, Washington)

Department of Commerce. Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. Julius Klein, director. "Prepared at the suggestion of the Committee on the Merchant Marine and Fisheries, House of Representatives, Sixty-sixth Congress. Foreign port facilities and equipment."

His tie

is quite saucy, for such an otherwise staid appearance.

That deer in the headlights stare

Would not be so bad if it were not accented by those headlight glasses.


That is a hard stare, or those glasses were made from the bottoms of coke bottles.


I think I just sat on my slide rule.

Those eyes

His eyes remind me of a lemur's.

After 5

Maybe the tie gets loosened. And if that top button is unbuttoned (or pops off), watch out. Par-tay Animal is on the prowl!


This suit fit me in college ...

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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