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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Unclaimed Baggage: 1919

Unclaimed Baggage: 1919

New York or New Jersey circa 1919. "Soldiers' bags astray." View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress.

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This is worse than baggage claim at the Denver airport!

I remember another time

I remember seeing a picture of piled luggage left behind from GIs returning from Nam, I think in both cases the GIs just wanted to get on with their lives and forget the past.

Doing his duty

The owners of the bags did return to the US because the bags are at the port in NY or NJ. These are the bags actually carried by the soldiers while aboard ship; the rest of their personal gear and uniforms would be in another bag in stowage. In 1919 I suspect a number of returning Doughboys did not care if they ever saw these bags again.

My sympathy is with the poor captain who is assigned duty as Officer-in-Charge, Stray Baggage.

Just Curious

Wouldn't you like to sit down with one of these bags and explore the contents. I know that I would!


1918 flu?? Simply horrible. Hey Shorpy guy, my husband and I love this site. It is one of my faves.

Historical Baggage

That is a lot of bags. One can't help but wonder about the solders they belong too. Did they have to go without? Or did the solders even ever come home?
What I would give to be able to learn more about the individuals that the bags belonged to and what was inside. Guess that is why I love Shorpy so much.

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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