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

Desk Job: 1942

Desk Job: 1942

            " -- and where do you see yourself in five years?"

1942. "Salvage. Stacking chips in the game of war. Even better, if possible, than the individual citizen, American industry has learned to waste nothing. With every ounce of steel and steel scrap vital to the war, this employee of the Boston & Maine Railroad has been assigned the job of sorting steel washers. Here, as in all industry today, anything reusable is put back into service; the remainder becomes scrap to feed the nation's insatiable steel mills." 4x5 inch nitrate negative by Albert Freeman 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!

Ah, memories

I remember doing this as a kid, and to this day, I can generally recognize the difference between a 4-40 and a 6-32 screw by sight. I also have drawers (alas, only partially sorted) of washers, screws, bolts, nuts, and miscellaneous electrical parts that my grandfather collected prior to his death 54 years ago. The scary thing is how often I find something that I need in those drawers! Especially handy are the box wrenches that Chevy and Ford used to provide for owners to tune their vehicles--they will go places that a standard one won't.

His favorite toy in Preschool

Was the Stacking rings.

Tower of Hanoi

Stack N smaller on larger washers and you can move the stack to another peg, one washer at a time, never putting a larger on a smaller washer, in one less than 2 to the Nth power moves.

I spotted an error in stacking 101

4th row from the right. And after the stacking is completed. Short course in the mundane job of railroad spike straightening will be offered.


Think I will print this out and post on my office wall for when I am having a rough day. "Well, you could be THIS guy."

Job Security

My guess is that the war ended before he completed that task.

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.