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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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Acting Chairman: 1917

Acting Chairman: 1917

1917. "J. Reynolds, performing acrobatic and balancing acts on high cornice above 9th Street N.W." Our second look at this aerial act. View full size.

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"Jug" Reynolds

Try It On the Roof

Mr. Reynolds seems to be going by "Jug" at this time -- I can't imagine that there would be two "J. Reynolds" crazy enough to do this stuff. (Click on image for larger version)


Popular Science Monthly, December, 1919


Does anyone know how the fellow eventually met his maker?

For Vernon

How many Shorpians does it take to change a light bulb?

One to prepare and operate the camera, one to stack the chairs, another to respond to press inquiries....

No hat or jacket...

But he has a tie on. See it fluttering in the breeze?

He's excused.

Too windy.

Worth It?

Of course it was worth the danger. Mr. Reynolds probably made a good living at this daredevil stuff, and we get to see a great photograph.

Scared of heights

I don't even like standing on a chair to change a light bulb.

I'm with Vic on this one

Photos like these make me feel ill. So much can go wrong in a split second that the gamble Mr. Reynolds has taken isn't worth it. I'd guess that getting up there was the easy part; its the getting down that's the trick. I'd have felt better seeing a rope tied around his waist and held by one of his assistants. Also, who holds liability if something goes wrong? Reynolds may well have gotten down safely but one of those chairs could have fallen to the sidewalk and impaled someone. All in all, I like it here on the ground - at sea level. Life is full of random, unfortunate events so why tempt fate?


That guy is nucking futz!

What, no hat???

The truly astounding thing about this picture is that he's scandalously removed his hat and suit jacket!

Natural History

That's the Smithsonian Natural History Building in the background, finished in 1909.

I looked for an obituary where Mr. Reynolds ("it's not the fall, it's the sudden deceleration") was transformed into road pizza, but was unable to find it.

I get nauseous

just looking at that photo. Crazier than anything I've seen Harold Lloyd do.


"Tabling the Motion"

Mr. Chairman

Federal Reserve Chairman Reynolds talking to ranking members of the Congressional Banking Subcommittee in his 9th Street office. "The national economy is rock-solid and quite safe; we are forecasting at least 100 years of prosperity to come."

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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