SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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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Top Drawer: 1920

Top Drawer: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Herbert E. French, photographer, in office." The proprietor of the National Photo Company, stylishly coordinated with a natty three-button desk. 8x6 inch glass negative, National Photo Co. View full size.

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Dapper Dan

This nattily dressed man sits in what for the time was a very smart office. I just don't understand the large, utilitarian bin so close to his desk. Was this to dispose of photographic materials? It seems out of keeping with the rest of the office.

[I believe that's what's called a waste paper basket. -tterrace]

Buttons, labeled.

Top Button: Call in Miss Willoughby to take a steno
Middle Button: Alert security to intruder
Bottom Button: Open hidden desk drawer containing revolver and bottle of whiskey when top two buttons don't work.

We had a very close copy of that desk

It was easily movable once the two drawer segments were separated from the top.


Both Presidents Roosevelt wore them.

My desk!

That's like the desk I'm sitting at right now! We got it at auction years ago (with everything in it) for a song - too heavy for anyone else to want.

A photographer

... but not a single photographic item to be seen.

The Pince-Nez Glasses

often had a small cord attached to the loop on the right with the other end fastened into the lapel.


Electronics was a lot simpler back then.

General relativity was already in the wings but it hadn't hit the button market yet.

Desk Dirge

I had the roll top version of this desk in the office of my shop for 45 years. It had been handed down (palmed off) for several generations. When I retired and closed the business we tried to move it and it came apart. We loaded in my truck and took it to a field at my Dads farm and gave it a dry land Viking funeral, thus depriving many generations of termites their family home.

I have this

I have the same kind of desk in my classroom. I teach in a school that was built in 1921, and I have this same style of desk that is original to the school. It has the same desk arm surface extensions (that can be pulled out from above both side drawers) and even the same style drawer handles. It is a monster of a desk and takes about 4 people to lift it. Solid oak.

Phunky physics or Photoshop?

Due to occupation (I'm outdoors most often) and a bent nose, I am constantly pushing my glasses back into place. I see no ear hooks, how does this work? It looks like maybe a small cheek rest?

[It's called a pince-nez. -tterrace]

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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