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

Class Clowns: 1920

Class Clowns: 1920

June 3, 1920. New York. "Columbia University Class of 1909." Congrats to all you grads out there! 5x7 glass negative, Bain News Service. 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!


I recognize the balustrade that skirts the main campus, but having a hard time placing this exact building/location despite my Zaprudering. Any sharp-eyed Shorpies know which this is?

Back to the future

I thought the hula-hoop was invented in the 1950's. Shorpy corrects again.

[Those are rolling hoops. -tterrace]

Re: Senior Class

I had the same initial reaction that the clowns looked awfully old for 21-22 year-olds, However, the photo was taken in 1920, 11 years post-graduation of the class of 1909.

Where's the telephone booth

Might be a tight fit.

Varsity clowns

Being university types, they lack the terrifying edge of true clowns.


C'mon everybody. It's a conga line!

Senior Class

Unless we're mistakenly seeing the Clown College Faculty... why does the class of '09 look like a pack of 40-year-olds? Can't really claim this is youthful hijinks...

Shorpy never ceases to amaze!

If somebody had described this photo to me, I would have said ”No way”!

What's your major?

I had no idea that Columbia was a clown college. We do learn something new every day.

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.