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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Payday on the Levee: 1906

Payday on the Levee: 1906

New Orleans circa 1906. "Payday on the levee." Don't spend it all in one place. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Waits patiently by the Worcestershire.


They'll probably spend a large portion of their pay on whiskey and women, and waste the rest.

Being Green

I take it they recycle their rainwater?

[Cisterns were big back then. - Dave]

Dirty Dancing and the nun's ruler

Anyone who has ever been to a teen dance at a parochial school in the 50's will remember that dancing partners had to dance far enough apart for the chaperone/nun to fit a 12-inch ruler between the couples' chests, lest anyone get evil thoughts. The nun in this photo does not seem concerned about that even though this line of anxious money recipients would be considered dirty dancing or 'grinding' which is totally forbidden at most school dances today. I'm puzzled by the nun in this picture but this is another stellar example from Shorpy of the inspiration their photos provide for fiction writers. Thanks Dave for this great picture. I'm lovin' it.

Close Quarters

Obviously these men waiting to get paid have no fear of pickpockets, since they are probably penniless temporarily.

Why wait.

Didn't these guys ever hear of direct deposit?

No Cutting in That Line

Curious why the people in line feel the need to hang onto each other.

[It might have something to do with the photographer, and the size of this photograph. - Dave]

Something for the palate

Lee & Perrins? Makers of the Worcestershire Sauce I use on my steaks? Interesting and tasty too!

Payday II

An alternate version. The nun has moved! Also note little girl. Click to enlarge.

Union Station, NOLA

This would be Union Station in New Orleans that serviced the Southern Pacific railway (opened on June 1, 1892). it was demolished in 1954 and replaced by the current New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal.


I would guess that a substantial portion of the funds disbursed here will be divided between dice and the bottle, that counts as more than one place.

That's an eager looking line.

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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