SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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]

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The New Recruit: 1917

The New Recruit: 1917

1917. "U.S. Army physical examination." Harris & Ewing. View full size.

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!

Hunky for 1917

Actually, this young man seems in much better shape than other men of similar age seen shirtless in the published photos from this era. Most look scrawny by late 20th century standards, unless they were athletes like those in the famous Yale rowers picture seen some years back on Shorpy. This fella looks like he has filled out nicely from adolescence, making me think he may have been a manual laborer.


Whenever I see photos of these healthy, hopeful young men I always wonder if they returned home in the same condition - with limbs and sanity intact.

A Lot More!!!

Would have to agree with Mal Fuller about how much of me they checked when I enlisted in the Navy in 60s. Something about turn your head and cough!!!

Contemporary Standards

Starting from the top.

Breasts: small, undeveloped.
Abdominals: poorly defined.
Ankles: scrawny, birdlike.



Did Doc put his legs on backward? Or is he a bird?

Rid 'em Doc

I love this site. Doc's spurs are a nice note from the past. A bit like Col. Potter's on M*A*S*H.

They got nosier

When I went in the military in the 1960s, they checked more of me than that!

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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