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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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Rainey's Harley: 1922

Rainey's Harley: 1922

At the White House gates. "M.A. Rainey, October 5, 1922." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Phantom Fife

I think Deputy Barney Fife was also reprimanded for his "wild west tactics" by Sheriff Taylor during his stint as a motorcycle cop in Mayberry.

Maurice A. Rainey

Maurice A. Rainey (ca. 1891 - Oct.9, 1952). Son of Robert B. and Catherine B. Rainey. A veteran of WWI, he is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

Washington Post, Oct 2, 1921

Praises Officer Rainey.

Park Policeman M.A. Rainey, who was reprimanded by Judge Mattingly in the Police court early in the week for alleged "wild west tactics" in bringing a speeding motorist to a halt, was yesterday commended for his work by Col. C.O. Sherrill, superintendent of public buildings and grounds.

Col. Sherrill conducted an investigation into the incident, and after a hearing in his office yesterday stated that Rainey's "actions were beyond criticism and were most admirable." He expressed his appreciation of the aid given Rainey in making the arrest by Serg. F. Wilson, Gen. Pershing's chauffeur, and Park Policemen C.D. Fortner and O.E. Morgan.

Washington Post, Feb 28, 1922

Wrecked in Liquor Race

An exciting chase between Park Policeman Maurice A. Rainey, stationed on the speedway, and an alleged bootleg automobile through the streets of the northwestern section, early Sunday, resulted in the machine crashing into a tree at Twenty-sixth street and New York avenue northwest, wrecking it. The alleged bootleggers escaped. The bootleggers threw a quantity of Scotch whisky, Rainey declared, from the the speeding machine. The wrecked car was confiscated by the police and revenue agents. When the bootleggers jumped from the machine Rainey abandoned his motorcycle and gave chase on foot, but was outdistanced by the negroes.

Washington Post, Jun 28, 1931

Park Policeman Hurt; Motorist is Released

Park Policeman M.A. Rainey was injured yesterday morning when he was knocked from his motorcycle by an automobile driven by James H. Harper, 23, of Mount Rainier, MD., at Ellipse Road.

Rainey was treated at Emergency Hospital for a broken leg and bruises. Harper was held at the Third Precinct until the extent of the policeman's injuries were determined. No charges were placed against him and he was later released.

Washington Post, May 13, 1933

Buddies of the Lost Battalion Meet Here after 15 years

A shadowy line advanced across a French battlefield. It as 1918, the Lost Battalion was hemmed in by enemy forces and the First Gas Brigade was attempting to cut an escape passage through for their beleaguered comrades.

There was a burst of machine gun fire. Many of the advancing line fell in their tracks. One was Pvt. M.A. Rainey. His sergeant, Edward McDade, stopped a moment: "Can I do anything, Rainey," he said. "Go ahead," said Rainey. "I'll get by somehow."

Sgt. McDade went ahead. After an interminable wait, stretcher bearers got Rainey back to a base hospital.

Night before last Private M.A. Rainey, of the United States Park police, was assigned with the detail to move the bonus marchers from Seaton Park. Rainey was strolling through the milling veterans when a hand was laid on his arm. It was his old sergeant, "the best sergeant a guy ever had," said Rainey.

And the two men had a reunion right there. It was the first time they had met since Rainey fell with five machine gun slugs in his body. Rainey finally recovered in the base hospital and for fourteen years has been connected with the Park Police. McDade, who comes from Michigan, rode here on a freight train to ask for his bonus.


The speedometer is the round gauge nearest us with the wrapped cable coming out of it. The other gauge (with the light) maybe a tach, I'm not sure. The metal box is for tools. I also love the cop spotlight. I need one for my sidehack rig.

Sidehacks Rule!

What a great photo of new (then) Harley and sidecar. In those days, Harley sold more motorcycles with sidecars than without. Harley was in competition with the Model T Fords for the family transportation market. These days, Harley is the only motorcycle manufacturer that makes their own sidecars.


Mr. Rainey couldn't hear over the sound of how awesome he was on his Harley.

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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