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Nightline: 1920

"Election night crowd at White House, November 1920." The chosen one was Warren Harding. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.

"Election night crowd at White House, November 1920." The chosen one was Warren Harding. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.


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The high resolution/quality really makes me appreciate the content on this one. It would be impossible to make out all these disgruntled faces on a picture half the size. One of the things I've always admired about Shorpy is not only the interesting subject matter, but the high quality of the images themselves. This is a shining example.

Hey Copper

I love the look of the cop on the left, nightstick ready for those who may step out of line. Didn't they carry guns back then?


At what age was it customary for boys to stop wearing knickers and put on their "big boy pants" like their fathers? The boys in this photo look to be in their teens.

Pipe the swell

What in the hell does pipe the swell mean?

[Pipe = slang for "look at." - Dave]

Not a slob in the entire crowd

As a previous poster mentioned, every single person in attendance is presentable, indicating respect for the occasion. Psychologists believe that well-dressed people also behave better and usually obey the law more conscientiously. (Tell that to Bernie Madoff and all the other white collar crooks who have absconded with our retirement accounts).

Criminal Mastermind?

Pipe the swell on the far right, gazing levelly at the camera. Oh, he's a cool one, all right.

Jeepers Creepers

Startled looks on some of them, indeed, Tipster. The Charles Boyerish fellow fourth from the left, in particular, has a whole lot of eyeball going on.

Holy cow!

Just about everybody in this alarming photo looks as if they'd "fit the profile" by today's tense standards. Were they all arrested just minutes later?

Top That

Not a hatless head in the entire crowd. And no man without a necktie. Wow.

Deer in the Headlights

It's surprising just how many people in this crowd are looking straight at the lens, and if startled to attention by the photographer, and just in time to lose their night vision for a few minutes to a burst of flash powder. I wonder what he said, or if he fired a track pistol.

Ia! Ia! Shub-Niggurath!

It's the so-called "Innsmouth look". I hear it's all the rage this year in Arkham, Massachusetts.

Patiently waiting for the black or white smoke

Patiently waiting for the black smoke or white smoke. Incredible resolution, is it a 8 x 10 plate?

[6 x 8, seen here at one-quarter resolution in the "full size" view. - Dave]


Check out the fourth guy from the left and his bulging eyes. Must have been a tense night.

Mrs. Wethen

The very indignant lady at the far left takes a wonderful picture! Mother of the loser?

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