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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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Polesters: 1928

The Polesters: 1928

Washington, D.C., circa 1928. "Chesapeake & Potomac telephone school, Georgia Avenue." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.



I don't know how long it's been since I saw a telephone pole with spikes for climbing like that. These days you're more likely to see a man up in a bucket truck or occasionally with the spurs that attach to your boots and a belt.


I used to know my pair colours and binder groups colours by heart!

Buckle Up ... Or Out

Is the man on the pole wearing his belt buckle off to the side for safety reasons?

Leg wrap hold

Wonder if they used this technique or taught it in recent years. It sure looks like he has no safety belt or harness on the pole.

Blue orange green brown

And keep those pairs twisted!

Top Student

My parents definitely sent me to the wrong school. I would have been a much happier student climbing poles than trying to sit at a desk all day.

Dressed For Success

My cable guy never wears a shirt and tie!

Calling Mr. Haney

The picture reminds me of Oliver Douglas climbing the pole in "Green Acres," except that Oliver was even better-dressed.

Safety harness, schmafety harness

Just free climb up the pole, throw a leg over the ladder peg, and go about your business.

Oh, and do it in a necktie.

One ringy dingy

In our next lesson we turn on the fan to hurricane force and ask where you left your safety harness.

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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