SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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En Route: 1936

En Route: 1936

May 1936. "Steam shovels on flatcars. Cherokee County, Kansas." Medium-format nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the FSA. View full size.

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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!

Dr. Seuss WAS NOT my mother

It was by P.D Eastman. I remember that because that was one of my favorite books when young and still fondly remember it. He also wrote Go, Dog, Go among others. I always liked him better than Dr. Seuss.

Cloud Cover.

Forget the steam shovels -- I'm in love with that SKY!


Sombody must have stolen number 262

Are You My Mother?

It seems fitting to share this photo on Mother's Day. Surely, you remember the Dr. Seuss classic. The "hero" was the steam shovel-- just like of these-- that scooped up the baby bird and plopped it back into its nest.

Steam shovels

We had that type of shovel when I worked at the GM&O railroad. They were called "ditchers" and traveled on a set of rails on the flat cars so they could clean out the drainage ditches beside the track.

Mary Ann

Which one is Mary Ann and where's Mike Mulligan?


These are maintenance-of-way shovels of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, used to clean along the tracks. Instead of caterpillar treads they have small wheels that allow them to run on rails placed on the flatcars so that they could move about while working.

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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