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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 

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A tall bike for a short kid, 1895
... back is Jim Smiley. Jay and Jim must have been out for a bike ride in Shelby, Ohio, where the picture was taken. The year is around ... 
 
Posted by Dana - 07/21/2009 - 3:40am -

A tall bike for a short kid, 1895

Up Worthy: 1910
... can hold a finger in front of your ear if you're riding a bike or in a convertible, and the wind noise will decrease dramatically. As ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 02/23/2014 - 9:11pm -

Up Worthy: 1910

Bike and Sidecar
Jack Riley and friend in Centennial Park, Paddington. View full size. (ShorpyBlog, Member Gallery) ... 
 
Posted by KJ - 08/22/2011 - 3:31pm -

Bike and Sidecar

Suburban Cowboy: 1963
... are all things I remember. The easy days of riding your bike up and down the neighborhood with your friends, not a care in the world. ... 
 
Posted by tterrace - 09/20/2011 - 11:24pm -

Suburban Cowboy: 1963

Provincetown Summer: 1937
... this photo alot, and I keep thinking how the girl on the bike would fit right in with the students at Appalachian university here in ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:35pm -

Provincetown Summer: 1937

Little Miss on a Big Bike: 1929
My mother tries out my grandfather's bicycle for size, around 1929. The photo was at my mother's insistence. My grandfather sports the popular mustache of the day, "The Toothbrush". Heaven knows why it was so popular. Mother appears to have alread ... 
 
Posted by Mudhooks - 01/28/2010 - 10:59am -

Little Miss on a Big Bike: 1929

Dad's Indian: 1950s
... I bet the aviator's cap didn't hurt either. Nice bike! That's a nice Indian and your dad must have been popular with the ... 
 
Posted by niceleyj - 11/09/2008 - 1:47am -

Dad's Indian: 1950s

Board Track: 1925
... discovered he couldn't remove his foot from the peg of his bike and found that a large splinter had pierced the leather of his boot and wedged itself between parts of the bike. Fortunately it somehow missed his foot. It was all insanely dangerous ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 09/04/2012 - 6:56pm -

Board Track: 1925

No Parking: 1906
... It's over by the curb to the right of the kid on the bike. +102 (Memphis) Below is the same view (looking west on Madison ... some massive perception problems? The kid on the bike Seems to be the only one who knows his picture is being taken. ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/14/2012 - 1:45pm -

No Parking: 1906

Nighthawk: 1943
... with an office girlfriend, and going to dances or on long bike rides around San Diego on their one day off. She was 18 and shy and had ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 07/18/2012 - 12:24am -

Nighthawk: 1943

Pittsburgh: 1940
... well as unusual challenges for pedestrians, joggers, the bike police, and especially pizza delivery. . . ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/03/2012 - 3:42pm -

Pittsburgh: 1940

Harley-Davidson: 1925
... to work. I want me a Harley-Davidson fifteen speed road bike! [Actually they would pedal to work and peddle at work. - Dave] ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 04/06/2013 - 1:56pm -

Harley-Davidson: 1925

Century Road Club: 1913
... brake anchor lever that clamps to the frame on the one bike. It was never much fun as a kid when that lever came loose and you hit ... you will note the toe clips. I did some 100 miles per day bike trips in my salad days and toe clips made it a lot easier by locking your ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:25pm -

Century Road Club: 1913

Teeth Without Plates: 1905
... store next door. Oh? This reminds me of my first bike which was too big for me. I finally grew a bit, as I'm sure he did. ... and/or everyone is looking further to the right. The bike isn't brakeless: it has a 'coaster brake' inside the rear hub. A slight ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:35pm -

Teeth Without Plates: 1905

Playtime: 1943
... Additionally, I knew my neighbors and was allowed to bike all over the town. Now I live in an urban center where I still walk to ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 09/13/2011 - 4:17pm -

Playtime: 1943

Rambler Biclorama: 1902
... built for two, or maybe three? interesting, the first bike has the more modern low set handlebars one associates with racing bikes. I ... if the first has some digestive problems. The second bike however has the step-through frame more commonly associated with ladies' ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:31pm -

Rambler Biclorama: 1902

Inaugural Umbrellas: 1901
... the same font for its masthead. America's Choice Bike Shop Anyone have any idea what the name of the bike shop with the awning is? I would love to know if there was once a ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 09/13/2011 - 2:22pm -

Inaugural Umbrellas: 1901

American National: 1918
... look like that. Sidewalk sidecar Check out the bike with the cargo sidecar in front of the bank! And what are those brass cans ... took it with him while he was shopping. Motor Bike I'll be. It looks like a Smith Motor Wheel. They were usually mounted ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/23/2012 - 7:35pm -

American National: 1918

ER: 1900
... A Shorpy rarity. Clipped The toe clip on the bike caught me by surprise as I thought it was a more recent invention, but ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:44pm -

ER: 1900

Little Red Wagons: 1965
... taken. I think it has a lot to do with the sidewalks, "bike" ramps at the corners and, unfortunately, no trees. Not gorgeous, but ... 
 
Posted by tterrace - 06/24/2009 - 6:53pm -

Little Red Wagons: 1965

Fruit Market: 1908
... kid who would sell fresh Philly soft pretzels from his bike, they would yell "FERRRESH PERRRETZELS" Iske Furniture This photo ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 07/27/2012 - 11:28am -

Fruit Market: 1908

Speedway Racers: 1925
... helmets). Old School As far as I can tell every bike is single-speed and none had brakes. Track Bikes Track bikes are ... trap" pedals. I still use this style pedal on my mountain bike. Most riders use a clipless pedal today with matched biking shoes. ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:26pm -

Speedway Racers: 1925

The Simple Life: 1939
... hard work. I love this blog This is us! From the bike, cat, kids, bare feet on dirt and rustic looks - this could be my kids on ... great depression in my country 10 years ago, we sold our bike and ate the cat for dinner........am serious Save Up For just a few ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:31pm -

The Simple Life: 1939

Three Indians: 1915
... fantastic The one smart enough to put the light on his bike will win it for them. Gold mine The guys from "Pickers" must be ... fender, hand-grip clutch, an electric headlamp on the rear bike (as opposed to Prest-o-Lite [acetylene]), and "soft-tail" rear suspension. ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 04/06/2013 - 1:57pm -

Three Indians: 1915

Georgetown Branch Trestle
... It has since been converted to the Capital Crescent Hike/Bike Trail. Shorpyites may recognize the area immediately west of the GSA ... 
 
Posted by chrmer - 08/24/2012 - 11:47pm -

Georgetown Branch Trestle

Madame Boyle's: 1901
... going on in here. The dog, the horse, that guy on the bike, those two little kids in the background (especially the grin on that one ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:48pm -

Madame Boyle's: 1901

Marbles: 1940
... and that could be me on the bicycle. In fact, I had a bike and a jacket just like the boy on the right. And I did play marbles. ... I spent many hours playing marbles and riding my bike as a youngster. Didn't have to worry about some slug coming around trying ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 6:00pm -

Marbles: 1940

Harry's Villa: 1901
... the zonked out guy in the hammock. Carbide lamp The bike "horn" that one person noted is a headlight powered by carbide pellets and ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:45pm -

Harry's Villa: 1901

Parting Glances: 1920
... into a past long gone. Ahead of the times Like the bike propped against the building. Owner has his bars flipped and his seat laid ... housepainter that I did. Bicycle Brakes The bike leaning against the Murray/McGregor office shows no evidence of brakes, ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 04/06/2013 - 1:54pm -

Parting Glances: 1920

The Shopping Center: 1952
... missing when you returned. When you could leave your bike ouside a store without it being chained to anything, and finding it right ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 12/10/2013 - 1:17pm -

The Shopping Center: 1952
 
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