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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • LE BALLON: 1883

Next Stop: 2007

Next Stop: 2007

September 15, 1922. Clarence Sherrill, son of the Washington, D.C., superintendent of public buildings. National Photo Co. View full size.

 

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Irony in Action

I wonder if he ever recalled this scene during the 50 years of his career as an insurance agent in Cincinnati.

Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, on August 15, 1911, he lived part of his youth in the Philippines where his father was stationed by the U.S. Army. Although he earned an engineering degree, he appears to never have practiced that profession. After working in downtown Cincinnati most of his career, he closed his business and retired at the age of 75 in 1986. He died at the age of 82 on December 24, 1993, and he was buried next to his wife in Glendale, Ohio's Oak Hill Cemetery.

His father, an engineering officer, eventually became a Brigadier General, and he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His younger sister was still living when this photo was originally published on Shorpy in 2007.

[We have more about Clarence here. - Dave]

Necktie

Was it Sunday? Or did he dress up for the picture? It is hard to imagine him wearing it every day.

[September 15 that year was a Friday. There was a lot more tie-wearing back then. - Dave]

Skate-a-mobile

When I was a kid in the 40s and 50s, we used to make two versions of a thing we called a "skate-a-mobile". These were made from clamp-on roller skates. One skate was pulled apart so that one half became the front wheels and the other half the back.

The upright version was like a scooter. It had a footboard with wheels attached, and an upright at the front with a crosspiece nailed to it for handlebars.

The flat version had only the footboard, but with "handlebars" at the front. It was rather like a skateboard but we never used it that way. It was used in the manner that this picture shows, or headfirst if you were daring.

Helmet, what helmet?

Let's not forget those hollow metal two-piece wheels from hell. On asphalt they would spark like flint and slide like skates...till they split in half and almost kill you.

The Inventor Of Street Luging?

Not really, but if you've ever seen that crazy X-Games style sport you'd recognize the way Clarence is lying on whatever wheeled contraption he's lying on as a classic luger's posture. Of course these days he'd be wearing a helmet.

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