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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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Men Overboard: 1917

Men Overboard: 1917

New York, 1917. "Aboard the Recruit." Our first glimpse of life on the "landship" U.S.S. Recruit, a wooden destroyer set up in Union Square as a Navy recruiting station. For our marooned sailors there was a phonograph, dancing and a pet goat. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

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The Flags

They are semaphore flags, and he's holding two of them. These days we almost always see the red triangle type, but there were also ones like those you see here.

The dancing maybe I can see.

The goat?


Don't ask, don't baaa?

Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash indeed!

What more needs saying?

This would explain the goat

I love sailors of any era - this motley bunch looks like fun, haha.

Signal Flag

The guy in the background seems to be holding up a signal flag. If the colors are blue background with white square, it's the letter P or Papa used when the ship is ready to get under way. It is also nicknamed "The Blue Peter."

rdt USCG

My daily surreal quota has been met

Wow. I'm flabbergasted at the weirdness, and coolness, of this photo. Epically awesome as usual, Shorpy.

"Funny, but this is exactly what the Army recruiter told me in 1978 that life in the Navy would be like."

Hilarious. Nicely played.

"Bill" the goat

In the Naveeee.

Funny, but this is exactly what the Army recruiter told me in 1978 that life in the Navy would be like.

Hello Sailor

Great find and post Shorpy! I wonder how the dance came about? The uniforms include the trousers with the broadfall fronts featuring 13 buttons... or 13 chances to say 'no' as the 'hygene' films of WWII called them.

Anyway, goats were not unheard of mascots on ships and "Bill" the goat, mascot of the Naval Academy, was well established by this date.

jnc (USNA Alum)

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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