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

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© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

 
 
NEW FROM THE VINTAGRAPH VAULTS • CRUISE THE GREAT LAKES, 1930s

Thompson Street: 1912

Thompson Street: 1912

February 1912. "Rear view of tenement, 134½ Thompson Street, New York City. Makers of artificial flowers live and work here." Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Elizabeth Street: 1912

Elizabeth Street: 1912

March 1912. "Row of tenements, 260 to 268 Elizabeth St., New York, in which a great deal of finishing of clothes is carried on." View full size. 268 Elizabeth Street, in Little Italy, is now a "luxe sweater bar" called Sample; 258 (Kips Bay) is a handbag boutique called Token. Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

Cartoners, Eastport: 1911

Cartoners, Eastport: 1911

Some of the cartoners, not the youngest, at Seacoast Canning Co., Factory #2, Eastport, Maine. August 1911. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Thomas Burgess

Thomas Burgess

In 1911 Thomas W. Burgess was the second man to swim the English Channel. It took him 22 hours and 35 minutes. It's not clear if this photo is from that event, but he's definitely not dressed for recreational swimming. Burgess also swam for Great Britain in the 1900 Summer Olympics. George Grantham Bain Collection.

 

Dave: 1910

Dave: 1910

Dave, a young "pusher" at Bessie Mine. Jefferson County, Alabama. December 1910. View full size. Photograph and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.

 

Bleach Room Boys: 1910

Bleach Room Boys: 1910

Bleach room boys, Pacific Mills. Lawrence, Massachusetts. December 1910. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. View full size.

 

Shorpy and His Friends

Shorpy and His Friends

December 1910. "Shorpy Higginbotham, an oiler on the tipple at Bessie Mine" -- near Birmingham in Jefferson County, Alabama. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. Entire uncropped image.

 

Shorpy at Work: 1910

Shorpy at Work: 1910

"A greaser in a Coal Mine. Location: Bessie Mine, Alabama." November 1910. View full size image or view Shorpy even bigger (cropped). This is, as far as we can tell, the first of only four photographs Lewis Wickes Hine took of Shorpy on his visit to the Bessie Mine late in 1910. (The others are here and here and here.) Almost 100 years after being taken, they retain a strange and startling immediacy even though their subject is almost certainly dead. Who were you, Shorpy Higginbotham, and whatever became of you?

What became of Shorpy? Here's a summary of what we think we know, based on research using census and death records, contributed by visitors to this site: Shorpy -- Henry Sharpe Higginbotham -- was born Nov. 23, 1896, in Jefferson County, Alabama, to Phelix Milton Higginbotham and the former Mary Jane Graham. He served in the armed forces during World War I. On Nov. 19, 1927, he married Flora Belle Quinton. On Jan. 25 of the following year he died in a mine accident at the age of 31, crushed by a rock, and was buried in Jefferson County. He became a father, posthumously, when his widow bore his child in the summer of 1928. The writer Joe Manning says he has spoken with Shorpy's son but that he didn't want to talk. You can read more about Joe's report on his Web site.
 
 
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SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE
Shorpy.com | 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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