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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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3/4 Novelty Grahams: 1910

3/4 Novelty Grahams: 1910

This picture shows the "Four Novelty Grahams" acrobatic performers at the Victoria Theatre, Philadelphia. The father is 23 years of age. Willie Graham is 5 years of age, and Herbert Graham is 3 years of age. At 9 P.M. on June 10th, 1910, these children were performing on the stage. Four times daily they do a turn which lasts from 12 to 14 minutes. Herbert Graham, the youngest, was said by the father to have commenced performing on the stage as an acrobat when he was 10 months of age. Willie, now 5, is said to be the youngest acrobat in the world. The mother of these boys was formerly a school teacher, and is now performing with this trio on the stage. The children are bright and strong, but have a playfulness about them which shows them to have forgotten the best years of childhood. Photo by Lewis W. Hine, 1910. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

The Aristocrats

Wasn't there a Mom in this act as well?

playfulness = forgotten childhood?

Does this sentence make sense to anyone else?
"The children are bright and strong, but have a playfulness about them which shows them to have forgotten the best years of childhood."

Lake Wobegon!

Ah, I think the gentleman is Garrison Keillor's grandpa....

I'm very impressed, I dont

I'm very impressed, I don't like boxing but love Max Schmeling (look up his story as well) and through him I am now brought back to this fantastic story.
If only Willie hadn't died so young, can you imagine how amazing his biography would have been had he lived long enough to write it?

More about Willie

Where's Mom?

Unfortunately there's only the one picture in the Lewis Hine collection in the Library of Congress.

Little Willie, as it turns out, grew up to be a heavyweight boxer. He lost in a title bout against German fighter Max Schmeling in 1931. His real name was William Lawrence "Young" Stribling Jr.

As part of the "Novelty Grahams" act Willie and Herbert would put on over-sized gloves and fight each other while Dad acted as referee. Eventually Willie would take on audience members. He had his first professional fight at age 16.

Stribling died in 1933 at the age of 28 in a motorcycle accident while traveling to visit his wife and baby son in a Macon hospital.

More here and here.

The family that plays

The family that plays together, stays together.
I'd love to see more pictures of them!

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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