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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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Living Large: 1908

Living Large: 1908

"Giant." Big man enjoying a cigar and glass of beer in a New York tavern circa 1908. View full size. George Grantham Bain Collection.

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His Friend

The Big Man's friend appears to be Paul Giamatti!


Beer is very broad word. This looks like ale, a dark bitter beer. Light colored beers are lagers, as often found in the USA.

Not Irish Coffee

Considering that Irish Coffee wouldn't be invented for another 30 or 40 years (at Shannon Airport in Ireland to be exact) the idea that it's beer is probably accurate. If this were England or Ireland, you'd think Guinness Stout, and I imagine there were brewers in the US who made stout as well. Prohibition was the worst thing to happen to the US brewing industry as it drove out the small local companies and left you with Budweiser and Miller and the rest.

Dark Beer

In those days they drank "real" beer. It was dark. He's got a pitcher of it there next to him ... there's a good head on it since he's just finished pouring another glass. I don't think taverns of the day would have served woozy Irish coffee anyway.


The "giant" appears to be drinking an Irish coffe - he has good taste!


Great ceramic mosaic floor!

Any information on who the

Any information on who the Giant is?


It appears we see the photographer taking this shot: in the mirror, to the right of the the Giant's shoulder.

Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska

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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