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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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Daddy's Back: 1919

Daddy's Back: 1919

1919. "U.S. Army. Return of Washington, D.C., soldiers." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Hits Home!

My husband deployed when our son was just a few months old, and this homecoming reminds me of ours. The baby had no clue who Daddy was, and as a wife, you fight the urge to jump all over them, because after a long absence they almost feel like strangers!

Welcome home!

This picture was taken around a year after my grandfather was born. About how old that baby looks to be. The man smoking in the window on the far left is pretty awesome.

Military bands

Military personnel were not permitted to wear wedding rings or jewellery with the exception of necklaces with religious symbols, and wristwatches. Rings pose a very real danger when becoming snagged and ripping fingers off.

Coming Home

This great photo makes me wonder what it was like for my grandfather when he came back home to his tiny town in Oklahoma after WW I. He was in the 36th Infantry Division, the 131st Machine Gun battalion, and participated in the Argonne Forest and St. Mihiel campaigns. What an education for a boy fresh off the farm! He recalled Pershing reviewing his division in Paris! He would never discuss the war...and later developed symptoms of what we know today as PTSD, from which he recovered.

Enigmatic wife

She's a beauty, but she's keeping her distance and looking noncommittal.

The exotic beauty

looks a lot like a young Sophia Loren.


Hmm. "Daddy" is not wearing a ring. I don't think he's the father of this tyke. Might have just been a photo-op with a newly returned soldier. That would explain the impatient look on the mother's face.

[Just because a guy isn't wearing a wedding band doesn't mean he's not married. And vice versa. Generally speaking, when it comes to historical photos, the presence or absence of a ring on a man or woman is an unreliable indicator of trothedeness. - Dave]

Great photo!

Such a happy occasion caught on film [glass] for history. Baby has mother's chin and daddy's eyes. The mother is absolutely stunning! No wonder the dad is so happy to see her again.

Double Take

I did a double take when I saw this photograph because the lovely lady on the right looks so much like my mother in her youth. Interesting that we can only see her in profile, and yet we can tell she is beautiful.

A Darling Babe

and a cute baby too. Careful, he bites!

Time for a change

The soldier's wristwatch, or "trench watch," was basically a pocket watch on a strap issued to servicemen during World War I. While wristwatches existed prior to the war, the act of giving so many to soldiers really helped hasten the demise of pocket watches.

Timeless moment

The happy occasion, the expressions on the faces, the composition and clarity of the whole shot make this a Shorpy masterpiece.

Thank you!

Lucky Soldier

That is one lucky soldier. He made it back home, he's got a healthy kid, and his adoring wife is a flippin' fox!

Interesting dynamics here

The stylish, attractive lady on the right -- presumably the wife and mother -- doesn't look very happy about the homecoming.

Heavenly Housewife

And I'm not taklin' about grandma on the left. Yeooza what a looker!

That's his kid alright!

They have exactly the same grimace on their faces.

Saturday Evening Post

This picture has it all. A moment in time for a group of people.

Dad doesn't know how to hold the baby but is obviously happy. Perhaps Grandma and a brother to the left. Happy too.
Random sailor who likes the scene. The guy upper left with the cigarette could care less but what a shot of him contemplating his world.

The best part, Mom. She's a beauty dressed to the nines surveying the scene with a diaper at the ready for anything that happens.

Norman Rockwell's America.

Love these 1919 photos

My dad was born in 1919 and mother 1918. The look of concern in mother's face can't hide that she is absolutely a classic beauty. I also wonder if the baby is being held by daddy or the uncle. Grandma was ahead of her time with those Harry Potter glasses.

Wow, what a picture

A lot going on here. I'm guessing the mature woman is the mother-in-law, and the man in the coat and tie is the brother-in-law, or maybe a peddler. Dad is a good-looking Doughboy, with a beautiful wife, and Baby doesn't yet know who Daddy is. This was taken the same year my mom was born, so they would be the same age now. A great picture of a proud poppa.

Beautiful wife

The doughboy's wife on the right is very beautiful and elegant. I hope that family made it through the coming Great Depression and had a good long life.

Welcome home and thank you

Welcome home and thank you for your service! Oh, and, you have a very handsome wife, sir. Very handsome.


The only unhappy person is the baby! Awesome watch on the solder, BTW. I wonder the make.

I'd be fussing too

if my dad put a choke hold on me like that!

Norman Rockwell

didn't depict real life situations? This photo would have been perfect source material of old Norm, with not too much revision either. Great joy and happiness on most everyone's face.


The wife is absolutely gorgeous.

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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