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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Special Agent: 1943

Special Agent: 1943

May 1943. Chicago. "Special agent making his rounds at night at the South Water Street freight terminal of the Illinois Central Railroad." Medium-format negative by Jack Delano 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!

Shorpy RR

Really like the Shorpy watermark on the box car.

Detective Story

The agent's silhouette could very well be the logo of a detective story series, it's such a suggestive image! Wonderful image!

Channeling Shorpy

He would have loved this tribute, God rest his soul. Great choice of type by the way. Nicely done

Long time exposure plus flash

I do believe that this, in a way, is a self portrait. At least, in the style of the Renaissance painters who would include a likeness of themselves as one of the background crowd.

Based on the two bright streaks in the sky, likely planets rather than stars, this appears to be a rather long exposure as would be necessary to get a decent exposure of the buildings while using a moderately small aperture to get adequate depth of field. At some point during the exposure the person in the lower right (Delano probably) manually triggered a flash, lighting the rail cars and leaving themselves as a silhouette. Great technique (except the slight bump to the camera seen as a wiggle in the trails of the planets.

[The caption identifies the person in the lower right. It isn't Delano. -tterrace]

nice job

Great job of placing the "Shorpy" in this photo. I'd bet Mr. Delano would've had a chuckle over of it like I did.

You guys can be slick putting your "Shorpy" logo on that IC reefer in a nearly-matching font.

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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