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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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While We're Young: 1915

While We're Young: 1915

Washington, D.C., 1915. "Klassy Kamp group." A summer camp on the banks of the Potomac. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Once you notice it, the face of the girl seated second on the left is arresting. Talk about a Mona Lisa smile!

My wandering eye

I have spent many minutes drinking in this photo. My eye always strays back to the girl on the far left. Talk about a timeless beauty.

Modern impressions of a bygone era

I am continually fascinated by the insights / impressions / speculations of a 2009 audience to snapshots in time of a past society. It is interesting to see how we impress our experiences and social programming onto an individual's look, pose, or stance - captured in an instant in time so long ago.

I wonder how much we understand the social mores of a society long since faded into our past. It would be an interesting exercise to see what that past society's impressions on our present society (us) would be. I would love to sit down with any of the individuals in these photos and have a simple discussion for an hour.

Shorpy does us all a great service!


The woman in the 2nd row, fourth from the left, is absolutely gorgeous.

Oh, be still, my beating heart!

The gorgeous face of the young lady seated, hands in lap, extreme right. I'm in love with a 114-year-old beauty!

Affluence on parade

"Biff! Todd! So nice to see you!"
"Muffy, dahling! It's been positively ages!"

While we're at it

Among all the appreciative comments on the young ladies, the third guy from the right in the front row, holding his oar in that strange grip, is a total hottie.

And the chaperone at the far right looks like she's had about enough of this nonsense, thank you very much.

The Graduates

Man, upper right: "I want to say one word to you. Just one word."
Enthralled young adults: "Yes, sir."
Man: "Are you listening?"
Squirming young adults, in unison: "Yes, we are."
Man: "Radio."
Befuddled young adults: "Just how do you mean that, sir?"

Hot Stuff

The girl in front between the oars -- she's the Bomb!

Where to begin ...

This is a great picture despite being posed - and it's filled with so many obvious symbols of sexual yearning and, if those three chaperons at the top have anything to say about it, repression, that it would be hard to believe that most of them weren't in on the joke.

If the five turgid guitar and mandolin necks weren't enough, we also have the oars positioned as sort of a gateway to the girl with the dreamy and far-away look in her eyes who also happens to be holding a -- what would you call it -- large, turgid "candle"?

Which one of them, do you think, will light that wick? I'll put my money on the guy up on the deck, in the back, with the "pipe" in his mouth. He'd be the one with the matches in his pocket.

Aside from all that, the quality of this picture is terrific! What a nice find it would be for a genealogist.

White upper crust

It was hard not to notice that the slightly darker skins belong to the musicians and how nice and white everyone's clothing is.

[Possibly Upper Diplomatic (Spanish Legation) crust. - Dave]

Concert on the Potomac

The improvised youth orchestra prepares for an evening of classical music. The opening feature is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's overture in E flat major, Op. 49 (1812 Overture) to be played with two mandolins, two guitars, one ukulele, and featuring Maria Nobel on bass percussion and pyrotechnics.


I'm partial to Victrola girl, but sadly resemble married freckly-jughead guy. Leaning skinny-tie guy gives me the willies.


I am mesmerised by the faces in this photo. It looks idyllic, but it's on the cusp of WW-1 for the USA. The girl on the far left has me spellbound ...I wonder what her life story is. Thanks for posting this great photo.

Summer whites

I am constantly amazed by how people seemed much more inclined to wear white in whatever circumstance. This snazzy group is amazingly well turned out for camp; I love the casual hammock and pipe and ...ties. And is that a balalaika on the front row!? Sure beats the banjos at MY summer camp.

Explosive Beauty

I think I'll keep my distance from the young lady with the huge firecracker. The expression on her face says she is thinking of new things to blow up.

Couples Retreat

See the two guys at the front on the left, one with the mandolin, the other with the oar? I don't think that could be more homoerotic if you planned it.


Hat girl standing in the back row takes my breath away. Have her bathed and sent to my tent.

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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