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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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Photo Op: 1921

Photo Op: 1921

Washington, D.C., 1921. "Harding Cabinet group." Warren Harding, Vice President Calvin Coolidge and members of the new president's Cabinet at the White House. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

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What no snipers on the roof ? Windows open and a breeze blowing through.

What A Group!

This is a pretty exceptional photo when you consider there are two future presidents, a former supreme court justice and the father of a future vice-president...not to mention the future head of the motion picture censorship board.

Wholesome Will Hays

Standing second from the left is the very recognizable Will H. Hays, President Harding's first choice for Postmaster General. Less than a year after his appointment, Mr. Hays resigned that position to become the President of the new Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPDDA), at an annual salary of $100,000 (President Harding's salary was only $75,000). Hays was so well paid because the leading motion picture industry moguls hoped that he could blunt the chaotic and costly impact of individual state-run censorship offices founded in the wake of the ironically fraudulent sex-crime prosecution of Hollywood comedian Fatty Arbuckle. The Hays Office, as it was known, was largely successful in calming national outrage by its management of the film industry's new vehicle of self censorship, the Production Code.

Lots of stories in both rows

I'll take Standing (l to r): Albert Fall, Secretary of the Interior, architect of the Teapot Dome scandal; William Hays, Postmaster General, future architect of the motion picture industry's Hays Code; Harry M. Daugherty, Attorney General, ringleader of Harding's "Ohio Gang" sub-Cabinet; Henry C. Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture, father of FDR's Vice President, Secretary of Agriculture, and Secretary of Commerce Henry A. Wallace; Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Commerce, and future President who oversaw the Crash of 1929 and the start of the Great Depression; and James Davis, who served as Secretary of Labor under three presidents and established the U.S. Border Patrol and immigration restrictions (he himself was an immigrant from Wales, so who would know better about such things?).


It requires a certain amount of skill to sit (or stand) for a successful portrait -- the Pres and VP are, as we can see, accomplished pros. Coolidge would gamely endure thousands of such shots during his administration; Herbert Hoover, standing behind him, seems somewhat less practiced.

Da Boys

Seated L-R: John Weeks, Andrew Mellon, Charles Evans Hughes Sr., Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Edwin Denby

Standing: Albert Fall, William H. Hays, Harry M. Daugherty, Henry Cantwell Wallace, Herbert Hoover, James Davis.

Okay class, details on the above.

You there in the back

For heaven's sake, stand still. A hundred years from now, no one will be able to make out your face.

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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