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

Mr. Hi-Fi of 1955

Mr. Hi-Fi of 1955

April 1955. "Duke Ellington and band members playing baseball in front of their segregated motel while touring in Florida." Who'll be first to locate the Astor? From photos by Charlotte Brooks (who died this month at age 95) for the Look magazine assignment "A Living Legend Swings On." 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!

The Bus

I believe this is a model PD3751 General Motors "Silversides" highway bus, or a close relative to it. These were built in the post World War II era, and more information can be found here.

Church visible in top right corner.

Hep Cat

On the left in the blazer is William "Cat" Anderson, the Ellington band's trumpet player renowned for being able to hit the high notes.

Colorful sign

I'm now suddenly struck with the thought that many old motel signs I've seen that seem to advertise COLOR TV excessively prominently ( though no doubt that was a nice amenity when it first appeared) may have been advertising color of a different sort a few years previously and were simply saving money on the cost of sign alterations.

The Duke and The President

It seems Mr. Ellington had a childhood love of the game. From Wikipedia:, "Though Ellington took piano lessons, he was more interested in baseball. "President Roosevelt (Teddy) would come by on his horse sometimes, and stop and watch us play", he recalled. Ellington went to Armstrong Technical High School in Washington, D.C. He got his first job selling peanuts at Washington Senators baseball games.

It don't mean a thing

if it ain't got that swing.

1954 Pontiac

To me,that looks to be a 54 Pontiac rear fender/bumper. If it is not a '54, it will be a '53.

[The answer is neither. It's a 1951 or 1952 Pontiac. - Dave]

1111 Cleveland

The hotel's ad in the 1956 Green Book puts it at "US 1 and US 23 North" in Jacksonville. The street address appears to have been 1111 Cleveland.


This is an ad for the Astor from the 1956 The Negro Travelers' Green Book.

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.