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

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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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Colorado: c.1900

Colorado: c.1900

Scanned from the original 4x5 inch glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


This photo should be the reason for some talented author to write a book. His face could launch a thousand pages of dialogue. Amazing.

Nice Photo!

This poor old guy had a hard row to hoe during his lifetime. I would like to hear his stories.

Re: Highlights

I stand corrected and I just learned something. That's always a good thing. Thanks Dave and "Anonymous Tipster"!

Re: Highlights

It looks to have been retouched with something. Your glass plate might be a copy negative. The vogue then was for very soft-focus prints. The white lines we see here on the positive image above and in all those retouched Harris & Ewing portraits would manifest themselves as somewhat blurry highlights.

Click to enlarge.

re: Highlights

I looked at the negative with a loupe under a bright light and no matter how I angled it could see no signs of highlighting on either side. A black pencil or brush stroke would have stuck out like a sore thumb. I've attached a scan so you can see that the density of the lines and his whiskers are the same. It's not the best proof but it's all I can do over the internet. Nice catch though. Thanks for looking.


The negative was retouched with a pencil or ink pen to add highlights (the white lines) to the face.

Remarkable portrait

I would like to sit down and listen to this man tell his life story.


How did you happen to find this? Beautiful.

The eyes have it

So much in those eyes! As weatherbeaten and aged as the face might be, the eyes are full of life!


There are times when a monochrome photo looks more lifelike and real than anything a color photo could capture. This is one of them. What a great photo.

re: OMG

Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's funny you should mention that it should be on display. Along with the negative I also have the original 9.5x13.5 inch matted professional print so it may have already been on display somewhere a long, long time ago. Unfortunately there's nothing written on the back of the print or the mat so we'll never know any more about him or the photographer.


This is an absolutely stunning photo. Any chance of posting a link to a higher resolution version so I could print one up for myself?


Surely one of the most brilliant, uuterly astounding portraits ever to grace these fascinating pages!

IMHO, this should be produced on a large-scale hand-processed print, and be displayed where folks can have a chance to sit and just soak in it for a while.

I'm in awe, and since professional and commercial photography is something I've made a living with from time to time, I'm not generally moved by photos.

But this... the light, the tone, the composition, the soft revelation of one man's complex life...

O. M. G.

Thank you so very much D_Chad!

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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