SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

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]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

It Pays to Flirt: 1918

It Pays to Flirt: 1918

Washington, D.C., April 1918. "Downtown construction." Excavation with a theatrical backdrop. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Steam shovels and rollers

As one who also still calls those big pavement-flattening jobbers "steam" rollers, I find it indescribably gratifying to know that people salvage, restore, collect and exhibit such things. Thinking about the logistics involved in such a hobby is mind-boggling, though.

The truck

What kind is it?

[Service Motor Truck Co. of Wabash, Indiana. - Dave]

Sidewalk Superintendent

Progress never stops but men always do, like the one on the fence, to watch a construction project.

Thew in action

At least one Thew steam shovel survives and operates:

Typical City Job

Two working and nine watching.

Clifton Webb

I was surprised to see Clifton Webb -- but it turns out he was already about 30 at this point.

Thew Shovel Co.

Founded in 1899 by Richard Thew, a Lake Erie freighter captain interested in the problems of handling iron ore and coal. He invented a new kind of shovel that revolved 360 degrees and could dig and deliver material from any position. More here.


My four-year-old never gets tired of Mike Mullligan and his steam shovel Mary-Anne. I had never seen the real thing before. Thanks for posting this!

Cute shovels

They're straight out of Mike Mulligan. I suppose they only held one or two yards of dirt in those tiny buckets. Still, they were at least an order of magnitude faster than people with shovels.

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.