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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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Spring Break: 1890

Spring Break: 1890

St. Augustine, Florida, circa 1890. "On the roof of the Ponce de Leon Hotel." Then back down to the room, and into our T's and Victorian flip-flops. Dry plate glass negative by William Henry Jackson. Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

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The Strange Ladder

... gave access to the water tanks on the roof. They still use ladders for access today but the tanks have been replaced with loudspeakers for fake bells.


A massive concrete building. Note the tile roof. Built for the ages and now Flagler College. The clientele 1890 were the top of society. Those in the picture are dressed accordingly.

Re. Pant-Yanking Stereotypes

In defense of the older man: the reason that "older guys in Florida yank their pants up to their ribs" is that the male body changes shape after about the age of forty and the natural waistline migrates upward (also, a gut usually develops about this time). It happens regardless of how hard you work out. The change is slow and imperceptible at first, but by the time you're in your sixties it is just more comfortable to wear one's trousers hiked way up. Don't worry younguns, it'll happen to you too *evil laugh*!


It's a beanbag. Haven't played with one of those in years.
We used to make them from a couple of squares of cloth sewn together, filled with dried beans. See how easily amused we were?

It was a hot, hot time

I am so grateful I live in an era that allows me to wear, light, comfortable and loose fitting clothing. I'll bet the females are wearing woolen stockings. On a roof. In St. Augustine, Florida. Ugh!

[Remember that "the season" in Florida was winter and spring. So probably not so hot. - Dave]

Sartorial Stereotype

Now we see the origin of the stereotype that older guys in Florida yank their pants up to their ribs.


It looks like the man on the far right is playing a game of catch with the little girl with whatever item he has in his hand. They seem to be much more "footloose and fancy-free" than the two in the middle. Great shot!


The ladder on the wall must be there in case of fire.

Veiled thread

OBVIOUSLY just a blur .. Thanks.

My chills have subsided.

Strange face covering

Should have checked the comments first but I'm wondering what the strange hood is covering the little girl sitting with her mom. I can only guess covering a medical condition that in those times this was the normal way of keeping it a bit private in a formal setting, such as down syndrome or hemangenomas hemangiomas (port wine syndrome).

[Netting on hats was nothing unusual, especially in a buggy climate. But what we have here looks more like motion blur. Check out the Ghost Shoe. - Dave]

I Can't Imagine

Wearing all those heavy clothes!


I would love to be able to see the Working Drawings for this building!!


"My card, Sir! I should like to talk to you about land opportunities in South Florida that come but once in a lifetime."

The Overlook

Creepy little girl with the veil, reminds me of "The Shining"!

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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