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.

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Porch Ward: 1919

Porch Ward: 1919

        "We'll have you out of here in no time, one way or another!"

Washington, D.C., 1919. "Children's Hospital." One of the daybed pavilions characteristic of the contemporary vogue for "fresh air" treatment of tuberculosis. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. 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!

Fresh Air? What's that?

Washington, DC, has maybe 5 days a year of what we could call "fresh air." The rest of the time, locals in the time before air conditioning must breathe a damp, musty soup full of mold spores (including species found nowhere else). Note the ones that have settled on the negative. It's hard to imagine a worse environment for children suffering from TB than the "Great Outdoors" in that city.

My mother, who came there in 1942 to work for one of the agencies created to deal with World War II, didn't last through her first summer -- the environment triggered her hay fever to such an extent she couldn't stand it and had to return home.

Medical treatment has fortunately moved on since then.

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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