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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]

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The Great Outdoors: 1904

The Great Outdoors: 1904

Shelter Island, New York, circa 1904. "Manhanset House. The Professor and his pupils." Vacationers alfresco, channeling Gorey and Petty. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Locust Tree

I recognized the tree near the center just from the bark! We had them in my back yard, Locusts. The compound leaf is also a giveaway.

Slytherin House Candidates

These children all look like they are just biding their time before they viciously rip someone apart and make their escape. Every single one of them looks like they could easily have rebelled against their parents, become juvenile delinquents and eventually career criminals.

The girl on the far right looks like a Bette Davis character with something devilishly wicked in mind.

They don't want to be there, and that's a fact.


Zoom in on the face of the girl farthest to the right, lying on the grass. Obviously a child of the devil.

Why they're bummed

They know by the time you see this photo, they'll be dead.

The Outdoors. It's Serious Business.

Hurry up and take the picture already! We're missing our chance to ride the ponies!


Now hear this ... now hear this ... all female personnel shall wear white bows in their hair while rusticating. That is all.

You are asking for it

After writing a caption with the words "professor" and "pupils" we are reminded of the cross-eyed professor who couldn't control his pupils, and the first time we heard that one, we laughed so hard we kicked the slats out of our crib. But seriously folks, these kids obviously do not like bugs, grass, sunshine, dirt, wind, fresh air or being exposed to the elements so who in this family had the bright idea of everyone getting dressed up in suits, dresses and hairbows and spending time getting down and dirty? Okay kids, we are in the great outdoors. Are we having fun yet?

The Von Trapp Family Nightmare

I don't think I've ever seen a gaggle of facial expressions that stands in such stark contrast to the idyllic setting. Both of the boys who are gazing directly at the camera look like they should have voice bubbles photoshopped over them that read, "What the hell are you staring at?"

The rest of them all appear to be looking off in the distance at some potential imaginary foe, while the teacher is saying something to the effect of "Mark my words children, they're coming to get us, and they'll be here soon."

If this were a depression era photo of people in tattered clothing, standing around a crumbling shack, the looks on their faces would be understandable and deserving of our sympathy. In this context however, they resemble characters in an ominous scene from some Gothic horror film in which either real or perceived demons are lurking in the woods.

The Surly Bunch

Here's the story
of an old professor
who was ed-u-ca-ting
seven lovely kids.

They were eight folks
living on the Island,
yet they were al-ways mad.

Where The Elite Meet

Their faces, manner of dress, poses, etc. leave no question about their social standing. Get them young and train them right. A shiver just ran down my spine.

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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