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

Coke on the Water: 1942

Coke on the Water: 1942

July 1942. Washington, D.C. (vicinity). "Canoes and rowboats tied up at small refreshment barge on the west bank of the Potomac." Medium format negative by John Ferrell 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!


The location of this "coke" oasis is just above Key Bridge opposite Roosevelt Island. It is a short walk to the C & O Canal. The canoe rental was in Foggy Bottom, in Washington, DC. By the way, "coke" is known as "dope" in Appalachia and other places in the South.


The walking beam is a wooden mock-up that has been attached to the roof. The smokestack and whistle have been likewise simulated.

Sidewheeler barge?

That device on top looks like a walking beam propulsion system, a very light basic one, next to the steam boiler stack. I wonder if anyone is familiar with whether that was a standard way to propel a small river barge in those days?

Deep Slurple

What about the "Hires in the sky"?

"Refreshment Barge"

A term not many people living out in the prairies would be familiar with.

Those weren't the good old days

Today's news anchors show more skin than these gals.

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.