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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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Turn Here: 1910

Turn Here: 1910

"N.Y. playground." Human tetherballs frolicking in East Side Manhattan circa 1910. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

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Nit hebreish

Nit hebreish, 'siz yidish. [It's not Hebrew, it's Yiddish.]


I love reading the comments under the pictures. Others see things that I would never have noticed.

Junior Strike

In the Fifties in Texas they were called Junior Strikes, I have no idea why. It may have been the name of the manufacturer.

Hay Wagon

We're talking 1910 here. There were a heck of a lot more stables than garages in the city at the time.

Maypole Memories

That maypole sort of playground staple with the chain and ring attached to the end was still around in the late 70's when I was in grade school. Oh my the fun I had on that thing and still think about it to this day!


I wonder when a load of hay that size was delivered anywhere in Manhattan recently other than perhaps the Central Park Zoo.

Giant Stride

I also know this as a Maypole, but there was also a larger version called the Giant Stride. If you can find a photo of one you'll see why they're all gone. They were huge and truly dangerous looking ... but no doubt fun!

I Want My Maypole

My school had one of these on the playground in the early '60s. Ours had chains with metal rings attached at the end. We always called it the maypole. As I recall, no one stayed on it too long -- your arms did get tired. I haven't seen one of these for years. Wonder why they went out of style?


Must have been a Jewish neighborhood. You can see the Hebrew on the Friedman Brothers signs and awnings store in the background. Also, the boy on the right side of the rings is wearing a yarmulke. Looks like fun, but I bet your arms get tired after about four spins!

[Or do you mean on the left. Neither one of these is a yarmulke. - Dave]

The little fellow ...

on the wrong side of the fence seems mesmerized, and perhaps a bit forlorn, by the gaily skipping girls - as well he should be! It must be a warm day judging by the position of the windows in the buildings - maximum ventilation is the goal, but flies must have loved it.

RE: Technical Name


At least that's what we always called the one in our town park in PA, circa 1960.

The Rings

When I was in elementary school, it was called "the rings" simply because the rope and knots had been replaced by chains with rings at the end. The man on the haywagon and the little boy outside the fence both look like they would like to have a turn at the rings too. Why is it that we get too grown up to have playground equipment?

Glass Negative speed

In this photo, the kids are well frozen in time with no blurring of the exposure. I thought glass negatives were slow but an improvement over the Civil War era by a long shot. Still, there are plenty of "ghosts" in teen and 20s photos on Shorpy.

Any technical input you could give Dave? Thanks again, I love the site.

[It's a sunny day. Shutter speeds on circa 1910 view cameras could be set for thousandths of a second. Whether a picture was made on glass or film doesn't have much to do with exposure time. It's the emulsion, media size and I suppose aperture and lens size, that matter. - Dave]

Hay man

Look at the precarious position of the fellow driving the haywagon. One drink too many, a bit of fever, a seizure, a rear-end collision--and under the wheels he goes....

Kind of

like a (then) modern, slightly hazardous Maypole.

[What is the technical name for this thing, I wonder. - Dave]

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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