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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Detective Shanley: 1937

Detective Shanley: 1937

New York City detective Mary Agnes Shanley pulls a pistol out of her handbag. Shanley shows what awaits a pickpocket. She had more than a thousand career arrests. From the New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, 1937. View full size.

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Pistol Packin Mama

This picture is perfectly indicative of why I love Shorpy so much.

Mary Shanley

Found this picture of a newspaper page with this photo
that shows the picture flipped the other way (right-handed)... but the site also shows the Shorpy "lefty" picture.


I tried zooming in on the revolver. IF I am seeing what I think I am seeing (the cylinder release latch), then I would say the the picture wasn't "flopped" since most US revolvers have the cylinder latch on the left side of the frame.

Love the site. Great work.

And quite deliberately so

Often criminals seek out female victims who they believe to be less attractive. They assume that bystanders will be less likely to respond to calls for help from a less attractive woman. In the case of a sexual attack, they often suspect that an unattractive woman will be written off as hysterical, stupid, or lying.

Mme. Shanley

Not exactly my idea of glamour.


Are you sure about that, Dave? Women's clothes button right-over-left, and men's clothes button left-over-right. Her dress buttons left-over-right... either it was homemade and someone made a mistake, or the image has been flipped.

[This image is identical in orientation to the 60-year-old print it was scanned from, which has writing in the upper right corner. The negative may have been flipped (or, in newsphoto parlance, "flopped") before the print was made to have the subject facing in the desired direction for the layout of the newspaper page this picture appeared on. - Dave]

Even better!

that makes her even more special!


is she really a lefty or is the negative flipped?

[Not flipped. - Dave]

Reminds me...

of the old song "Pistol packing mama" (lay that pistol down). It was a big hit back when...

Cagney and Lacey

Reminds me of Cagney!

If I'd meet someone like

If I'd meet someone like that today, I'd have two things to say:
"Get yer finger out of that trigger guard"
"Don't carry in a purse that can be forgotten or snatched".
Ok, *three* things to say.
"you rock, shooterchickie"

the notorious Chinatown Charlie

She had 1000 career arrests including "Chinatown Charlie"
I dont know who he is but he sounds like a tough guy, good work Mary

SHORPY OLD 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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