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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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Alpha Females: 1942

Alpha Females: 1942

May 1942. "Southington, Connecticut. Schoolchildren staging a patriotic demonstration." Which includes Synchronized Stationary Bikes. Photo by Fenno Jacobs for the Office of War Information. View full size.

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Those nifty bikes were probably purchased just one block down the road at the Western Auto store, right across the street from the movie theatre where I worked as a projectionist.

Love that Style

I like how many of the design elements on the girls bicycles echo those of the car in the background.

Also, saddle shoes in '42? I thought that was a '50s thing. I guess they had a good long run.

[Saddle shoes (and bobby-soxers) were a Forties phenomenon that had its genesis in the Thirties. - Dave]

Gearhead in training

That boy in the striped shirt is the only person looking directly at the three riding beaus, but is he looking at the riders or their machines?

Nice Pair

Of fully loaded "pre-war" Elgin bikes. Skip tooth chain and rear mount dropouts. Racks, lights, skirt guards, rear drop stands & tanks.

Eat Your Heart Out Pee Wee Herman

The fancy Elgin bicycles the sisters have can be found in a 1938 Sears catalog for $30.95.


The two girls have very similar facial features. I think they may be sisters. I would love to have those bikes!

I want a bike like that

... thought the little girl to herself with the patriotic flag blowing in the soft Summer breeze.

Skirt guards

I love the skirt guards on those bikes. I know a gal that wears dresses on her bike that has clear skirt guards lashed to her rear fender (mud guard). Biking is not just a sporting event in Minneapolis.

Now that's a chainguard

One like that would have kept me from going over the handler bars more then a few times on my old Schwinn in the 50's

Déjà View

I thought this scene looked vaguely familiar. From a different angle. And in color (even the car with the distinctive chrome on its fenders (a 1942 Buick as identified by Zcarstvnz) can be seen in both shots) -

Minus bobbysox


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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