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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Fountain of Youths: 1942

Fountain of Youths: 1942

September 1942. "New York. Drinking fountain in Central Park on Sunday." Photo by Marjory Collins for the Office of War Information. 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!

Re: Knickers

Ahh - but they look like they're buckled *below the knee* to me! Clearly a trouble maker.

A Bubbling Cup

Clearly this drinking fountain provides the "Kiss of Life" versus the dreaded "Cup of Death", as so graphically described in an earlier Shorpy post.


I didn't realize that knickerbockers were still in fashion in 1942, except maybe for pro golfers. And the specimen sported by the young man to the right look too good for hand-me-downs.

Maybe a bit of the curse of many a good son and decent child - a well-meaning mother preferring nice, decent, old-fashioned clothing and making it stick?

These fountains

were a big public health improvement over the faucets and cups used previously!

Germs? What Germs?

Every park in NYC had these concrete drinking fountains. As a kid in the 1950s, I remember lining up with my friends to take a drink on a hot summer day. The water was warm as there was no way to chill it, and no one ever gave a thought to catching anything from the kid who drank before you. Us bigger kids would lift up the smaller ones so they could drink; scraping your knees on the concrete base was no fun!

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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