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.
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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Whirly Gig: 1942

Whirly Gig: 1942

"Ship launching in Portland, Maine. The men behind the launchings. High in the cab of a 'whirly crane,' these workers operate the derrick which raises the iron gates and releases water into the dock where ships are built. Eight vessels were put into service in a mass launching on August 16, 1942." 4x5 nitrate negative by Albert Freeman 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!

Personalized ID badge

Interesting the employee badge was a photo ID. It didn't occur to me they would have those back then. I guess really all you need would be a photograph and a button maker. Here is a similar one close up.

Armor-plated chair

Wow, that chair-back looks to have been roughly cut from a thick piece of steel - may have been made in-house?

War Production

Eight vessels put into service in one day! This goes to show you how fast the USA tooled up war production.

Clyde Whirly

Whirly was a trademark for a line of pedestal cranes built by Clyde Iron Works in Duluth Minnesota. Some of the buildings are still there but they've been converted into restaurants, a hockey rink and things like that.

They specialized in these pedestal cranes along with logging, construction, and shipbuilding hoists. You can see another of their cranes in the background in the picture.

As is typical of these companies in the USA, they closed for good in 1986 after building some of the largest of these types of cranes in the world, citing foreign competition. Two of their cranes are in a very prominent location right at home in the Port of Duluth.

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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