SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

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]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

122½: 1899

122½: 1899

The E.J. Crane, watchmaker and jewelry store in Richmond, Virginia in 1899. Displayed as part of the American Negro exhibit at the Paris Exposition of 1900. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

122 1/2 W, Broad St.

The watchmaker shop operated by Elijah J. Crane was located at 122 1/2 West Broad Street. Source: 1901 Hill city directory for Richmond, VA

E.J. Crane

I've gone through and in 1890, 122 1/2 (I ran that number alone for the whole city) the only business that came up was for John W. Willis, a shoemaker on Broad St. (W). As you can see in the front window, the man checking watches is white and I believe this is E.J. Crane who originally resided in Indiana (his wife was from Virginia). But, within one year, the new owner of this site, the shoemaker, is black and is John W. Willis.

Hope this helps a little.


Can anyone help a Richmonder out and pinpoint where this photo was taken in the city. Was it somewhere on Grace Street? Broad Street?

A Shrewd Business Ploy

This is one of the oldest tricks in any business. Passers by on the street will notice that the sign is either upside down or backwards, enter the shop to tell someone, and then figure that as long as they are inside, they might as well check out the merchandise.


It's not upside down and backward, it's just upside down. The window seems to have been rotated 180 degrees. Maybe to keep the letters from overlapping the writing on the sign behind the glass.


No idea. But if sunlight were shining through the window, wouldn't the shadow of the letters cause his name to be properly spelled out/displayed on his workbench? It'd be a neat effect.


This has probably already been explained elsewhere, but could someone tell me why the writing on the window -- E. J. CRANE -- is upside down and backwards? What purpose did that serve?

Watch Store Memories

My great-grandfather, who used to work in a watch store in New-York, said that oftentimes when they unpacked a shipment of timepieces from Switzerland, there would be a few tarantulas in the crate!

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.