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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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Cribs: 1913

Cribs: 1913

October 1913. San Antonio, Texas. "Sixteen-year-old messenger boy making delivery to 'crib' in Red Light." Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


I am a big fan of Lewis Hine and his documentary photographs. I really enjoy the snapshot quality he adds to the composition of his images. And the print quality is always great. He always manages to capture such a great moment on the faces of his subjects. Whether he manipulated and directed them or not, I don't think it matters. They still come across as natural and that is the important part.

How do you know

How do you know what this photo is about? I looks like anywhere 1900 USA.

[How do we know what any of these photos are about? Because the photographers captioned them. - Dave]

Good for her

You might have expected here, especially from Lewis Hine, a man for whom the camera was usually a weapon in a moral crusade, that the woman would be at least a little ashamed of being photographed like this: in flagrante, as it were. But look at her! She couldn't care less. That's such a wonderfully bold, amused, shameless look.

Call Me Madam

Love her mobcap -- soooo sexy.

The package in his pants

Is tucked into the waistband. Most of these messengers who frequented the "Red Light" were making deliveries from pharmacies to the working girls -- probably patent medicines containing cocaine or heroin, along with prophylactics. This boy is shown in another Hine photo entering a "crib."

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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