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

Boy Scout Fire Drill: 1916

Boy Scout Fire Drill: 1916

Washington, D.C., circa 1916. "Boy Scouts fire drill." Hey Chief, can I ring the bell? Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
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!

Fire Engine #

Can you read the Engine # on the hood?

[Looks like 20. - tterrace]

Oh Wow!

The man on the left with the plaid newsboy hat is a dead ringer for Steve Carell from The Office!

[Uncanny. - Dave]

Safety Last

Reminds me of letting the Cub Scouts in my son's pack ride a few blocks (illegally in California) in the back of a pickup truck coming back from a long walk doing a food drive. They were all in the bed safely sitting, well behaved, and thought it was the greatest fun they had all month. Gotta have some old-timey fun once in awhile.

Each boy seems to be thinking:

"Yeah, ladies. I'm the manliest man in Mantown, D.C."

Not just a utility vehicle

The style and ornament lavished on a fire truck at this time is directly related to its importance to the community, the investment it represents, the pride it inspired, and surely the excitement it generated. Its steam predecessors were even more incredible - industrial goods as high art, as were the early railroad engines up into the 1860s. The ornament quickly fell away on the railroad (except perhaps in pullman and dining car interiors) as brute speed, pulling strength and efficiency became the focus of a mammoth business enterprise, more exciting for its awesome power than for its style. Fire engines have somehow never lost their hold on the imagination or their excitement, or surprisingly, their great style. While they are in service they are polished and more enshrined than garaged. I would put this old beauty in my garage - if I had one big enough!


How'd that kid at the top with the sweater-jacket get in there? He looks a little worried.

Goggle Boy

Have we seen that boy with the goggles before? Now I'll have to scroll back through all 500 pages of Shorpy photos!

Safety First!

This crew hopes to make up in numbers what it lacks in equipment, but there will be some attrition if they take any corners at high speed. Notice the kid hanging off of the kid hanging off of the back end.


Beautiful old American LaFrance.

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.