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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Woodpile Rat: 1948

Woodpile Rat: 1948

An interesting bit of family history underlies the stack of logs the two-year-old me is plopped before. A few months earlier, these were some of the trunks of several huge acacia trees that shaded the front portion of our yard. A particularly violent winter storm sent them all a-tumbling down, luckily missing the house entirely. We had a tree service clear and cut them; some went into the fireplace and the rest my father used as fill to enlarge this terrace for his cut flower garden. Not the best idea, because twelve years later in another winter storm the rotted remains gave way. In its place, Father erected a nice, sturdy redwood bulkhead. The exact nature of the thing I'm holding has been the subject of speculation; my sister, who took the shot (scanned from the original 120 negative), can't remember its precise origin. There are some suggestive clues in the shapes of the pieces, however.

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The Thing

Turned 90 degrees.

tt's gizmo

I honestly don't know what it is for sure. Interestingly, pjd47's first impression, that it was a toy ax, had been my supposition until I gave it a closer look right before posting, but it's obviously not. JohansenNewman's observation that it appears to be home-made comports with my sister's speculation that it was something my godmother's husband made. A clever person has made a good case for the flat part at the right being a foot, one of two on which the complete construction would rest on the floor. In that scenario, the thing is part of a small drying rack. Where's Abe Cohen when we need him?

Please Elucidate

C'mon, tterrace, spill! What is it you're holding?


I'm guessing a partially completed whirligig; kinda looks like a squirrel body, but that's partly due to tt's shoe looking like a tail, in the small image!

I'll take a guess

Because of the long wooden dowel and what I can see of the top, you might be holding a clothespin bag holder. The dowel is pushed into the ground and the bag of pins hangs from the that shape at the top. Do you have another shot showing a clothesline nearby? I have one of these from years ago. They were often made by Dads in home workshops of yesteryear and today are a nice form of folk art to collect.

Ooh! I know!

tterrace and his first camera tripod (he's not finished assembling it yet).

Weather Vane

Is that a weather vane toddler t terrace is holding?

Holding in your hands perhaps

Some sort of woodworking (or cutting) gauge.

Stick Hobby Horse?

At first glance (before reading the detailed caption) I thought that you had an axe there! Then the impression of a minimalist wooden stick hobby horse struck me.


Here's just one of those acacias, actually a two-for-one kind of deal.

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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