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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

ER: 1900

ER: 1900

New York circa 1900. "Stewards and nurses, Brooklyn Navy Yard hospital." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Dogs of yesteryear

The two dogs in this pic -- a pit/Staffie and Newfoundland or Newfie cross - were apparently the most popular dogs around back then, along with certain terriers. I come across dogs that look like these over and over again in all my searches of pics of the past.

Old-school scowls

I love the confident body language, posture and facial expressions in old photos. People just don't stand around and scowl like this anymore.

Brute strength still needed

Just a few weeks ago my grown son had to have a big, deeply-rooted back tooth extracted and he was surprised to see that the dentist STILL had to brace himself for leverage and use his own muscle power (with no easy way) to yank that tooth. As for this fascinating photo, the two men with dogs in the front row, center, have GOT to be related, just look at those faces.

A Steady Hand

Given the amputation we recently viewed, and the nature of the instruments used in that procedure, it's clear that physical strength and skill with hand tools was of probably greater importance in surgery 110 years ago than it is now. The invention and implementation of power tools, both in surgery and in carpentry, has dramatically diminished the need for physical strength to succeed in both arenas. Therefore, if I needed an amputation 110 years ago, I'd appreciate seeing that my surgeon was a big, burly guy.

Pugnacity

There sure is a lot of it on display here. Sheesh! Apparently, the photographer shouted "Scowl!" rather than the (now) customary "Smile!".

But, then again, it is Brooklyn and it is (circa) 1900.

Confidentiality out the window

Apparently, they didn't need HIPAA to keep those medical records from falling out of the window.

Clipped

The toe clip on the bike caught me by surprise as I thought it was a more recent invention, but after looking it up apparently they've been around almost since the first bicycles.

Fat guys!

A Shorpy rarity.

The dog on the left

Is pit, one of the most kid-loving dogs around. When this picture was taken, they were one of the most popular dogs in America.

Cool Dogs

I think the one on the right is a Portuguese Water dog.

Be Afraid

"I'm here for your sponge bath ... "

What does the different headgear denote?

I'm guessing the guys in the derby hats were the ones you didn't want attending to you.

Sawbones

That'll be the surgeon then, on the right in the overalls.

In the cusp of change

This motley crew shows the rapidly changing looks and appearance of urban men during this period.

Caps, hats, and bare-headed; turned-up collars, turned-down collars, no collars; vests with lapels, vests with no lapels, no vests; cravats, neckties, bow-ties, no ties; pant cuffs, no cuffs; mustaches & clean-shaven.

Might even be a belt or two underneath those vests and suspenders.

Triage

If you can get past this crowd, the rest of your stay should be smooth sailing.

Happy to see

those two doggies, especially the one on the right. The pups likely did more to comfort the sick than some of those grim customers around them - except for the kid holding the curly dog.

Missing

Where are the women nurses?

Medicine

It was not then (nor is it now) for the squeamish or the weak of heart.

Therapists

I'd be afraid not to get well.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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