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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

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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

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

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

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

Rolling Roadblock: 1953
... It's a beautiful ride in fall, particularly on a bike. Much of the time the Mississippi and its traffic is visible as well. ... 
 
Posted by mpcdsp - 10/12/2013 - 7:22pm -

Rolling Roadblock: 1953

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

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

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

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

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

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

Motorcycle Mama: 1937
... stupid when I rode my Harley... I'd love to have her bike now. Crash Guards By the looks of the crash guard, it had been laid ... her Indian in 1932. Same style duds, but when not on the bike add a gunbelt. Instead of a helmet, add a rakish cap (think Brando). ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 04/06/2013 - 1:51pm -

Motorcycle Mama: 1937

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

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

White Castle: 1910
... parked that way today, and one is right next to an unused bike rack on the sidewalk. Hometown Bias I wonder if they only had an ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 10/17/2013 - 1:44pm -

White Castle: 1910

Anacostia: 1918
... details. I love the wee bicycle rack and the self-service bike pump on the sidewalk to the left. Re: Anacostia Square How ... As a bicyclist I love the air pump next to the bike rack. Nice to see when you're away from home. I'll take... the ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:48pm -

Anacostia: 1918

The Passion of Pola: 1921
... He looks up to something. Also, behind the boy with the bike is a motion-blurred kerfuffle. It's probably a gesticulating ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:50pm -

The Passion of Pola: 1921

Toledo: 1899
... lady rider. A bit less than 15 years earlier, the "safety" bike with two low wheels, chain, and most of the trappings of the modern bike had been invented. By 1899, about a million bicycles a year were being ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:42pm -

Toledo: 1899

We Are the Champions: 1920
... same park policeman visiting the circle every day on his bike. We never called him Officer, but Mister Whatever. When I was growing ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 6:06pm -

We Are the Champions: 1920

Shine: 1936
... Bennie's ride It's a Columbia. Great classic bike. Questions In 1936, a telephone was a total luxury. Why did ... get calls for pickup and delivery? That would explain the bike. If he was into running numbers or some other gambling enterprise he might ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 6:10pm -

Shine: 1936

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

All Nite: 1941
... is an Elgin bicycle. I learned to ride on an identical bike, circa 1965. It was a hand-me-down. The sea shell ornaments were not ... for Sears, but it had some resemblence to an Iver Johnson bike I once saw. The two curved bars going from the base of the steering ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:30pm -

All Nite: 1941

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

La Dolce Vespa: 1955
... a naked D along with the Benelli, the MV and the mystery bike at the end MV Agusta The bike with the tag numbered 4951 appears to be a 1955 MV Agusta 125 cc TR. Power ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 10/10/2013 - 9:44am -

La Dolce Vespa: 1955

Iowa City in the Snow: 1940
... winter day in Iowa. Also, what's that hanging from the bike's handlebars? Some kind of tail ornament? Cool! Same block as the last ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:35pm -

Iowa City in the Snow: 1940

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

Welcome to Detroit: 1900
... I could just step into the scene and walk or ride my bike amongst them. I love these pedestrian/scenic pictures. Sure glad somebody ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:50pm -

Welcome to Detroit: 1900

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

Speedy Cyclists: 1913
... An old acquaintance owns a couple of large and successful bike shops in Maryland. On his web site [bike123.com] he has a quote from his daughter: "Laurel's famous quote as a toddler was "bike rides are where you see more people in Lycra that shouldn't be!" Given ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/23/2013 - 9:36pm -

Speedy Cyclists: 1913

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
 
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