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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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Keeping Fit: 1920

Keeping Fit: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "U.S. Public Health Service." On the left we have Abe Lincoln, who "kept himself fit by working in the open air." By the time we get to the right side of the exhibit, there's a diagram with a caption about "the youth who achieves self-control." Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

20 miles

Dates back to Roman times--20 mile marches with pack was how their legions trained for legendary endurance. And I like the "can you run 100 yards in 12 seconds" one as well--they didn't know what slow and fast twitch muscle fibers were, but they saw their expression as a sign of fitness.


Undoubtedly Masters of their Domain.

No driving the basket in those days

That basketball goal is flat against the wall so I guess driving the basket was unheard of in those days. A 20 foot underhanded shot was probably more popular.

Can you run 20 miles?

Acknowledging that obesity is a problem among some of America's youth, I can tell you all that the problem does not exist among the youths with whom I associate: I am a track&field official and spend a lot of time with NCAA athletes. Their time and efforts are tightly structured as they are both students and athletes. And yes, they can run 20 miles. Not much call for working in a field these days. BTW, I'm 62 and I can still run 20 miles, thank you.

[The question was "Can you walk 20 miles in a day," which probably had more to do with the requirements of life in 1920. - Dave]

Do not spill

those Precious Bodily Fluids. Retain them and be fit and strong.

High School Cadet Corps

A few of these boys are wearing the uniform of the High School Cadet Corps. Their tunics can be seen here.

Not an ounce of fat

What slender handsome young men! Can you run 20 miles?
Can you work in the fields for 8 hours? I'll bet these guys could!

"Keeping Fit"

The entire exhibit can be seen online here.

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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