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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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Soldier-boy, WWII

Soldier-boy, WWII

I believe that this was taken in Ottawa or Montreal just after my (step) Dad signed up with the Canadian Army. The doctor who did his physical was going to fail him on his eyesight but my dad talked him into letting him pass. He bought a book of exercises for your eyes and managed to improve his eyesight enough to pass muster. He said he didn't need his glasses again until years later.

Judging from his physique here and in the other photo, I am sure this is before he saw combat.

Dad was in the Engineers so built bridges and buried bodies and blew things up. He saw combat in the worst battles of the war, in Italy and Sicily. He had lots of stories when I was younger but I was terrified of war and couldn't listen to them. Eventually, when I wanted to hear the stories, he didn't want to tell them. View full size.

His mother kept buying him commissions in the Indian Army and he didn't want a desk job any more than he wanted to be within 10,000 miles of his mother so he made friends with the company clerks. He would get them to warn him if his papers came in, get them to bury them, and then put in for a transfer. He managed to stay one step ahead of his mother for the entire war. Having met her, I completely understood his reasons.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Yes: Montreal for sure!

Lyle Green has nailed it totally!

Those are Montreal streetcars when St Catherine Street was still two ways.

Also, the Montreal Tramways had the fortunate habit of saving various of their rolling stock, like streetcars, for posterity.

The entire collection was donated to the Canadian Railway Museum in Delson, Quebec, when Montreal abandoned its rail system, around 1960, for buses.


Thanks for that ID. I was inclined for Montreal. It resembles an area of Ottawa but not closely enough.


This is definitely in Montreal. The building across the street is the old Simpson's department store. Gone now, although the building survives. The one just above his head and to his right is, I believe, the old Capitol Theatre which closed in 1973. Neat photo.

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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