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Lensmen: 1919

Lensmen: 1919

Washington, D.C., circa 1919. "Two photographers." On the left, A.W. "Artie" Leonard of National Photo. Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.


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Those cameras look too big to be 4x5, the press cameras of my youth.

[They are probably 5x7. - Dave]

An "Artie" photo and much more

A lengthy and interesting collection of old photo mag pages, showing one of Artie's photos - Pres Wilson addressing Congress, a pic of the recently Shorpy-featured Annette Kellerman, instructions on how to develop and print, and lots more.

More Artie

There are more pics of Artie Leonard around. One, with him up a utility pole with camera in hand. Another, with him seated alongside his boss in the boss's snazzy car.

Hope we get to see them here, or any others. Artie seems like a real interesting character, like the Indiana Jones of photography.

[We've already seen Artie here. - Dave]

Hello, Porkpie Hat

Sharp toppers! Especially the fellow on the right.

Hold It!

Even professionals seem unable to remain motionless for the duration of these lengthy exposures.


A couple of smartly dressed dudes obviously proud of their equipment and profession. I just love those hats; so sad that smart headgear like that has gone out of fashion.

Classical Glass

Those old cameras might be "primitive" but as Shorpy demonstrates day after day, they captured an amazing amount of detail. There's a lot of information on those old plates!

More like this

Dapper!! C'mon, gentlemen, give us girls a break! More of the hats and vests if you please.

Snappy Dudes

Those are two snappy dudes with some honking point-and-shoots. I wonder if they have optical stabilization in the bodies or the lenses?

Sharp Threads

I love the suite of the guy on the viewer's right. He looks younger so maybe that is why his suite looks sharper. Check out the pants legs and that well defined crease. This was in the days before permanent press and synthetics. Love his hipster hat and wider tie.

[How suite it is. - Dave]


Hey, guys. If that photography deal doesn't work out, you could strap on those things and maybe get a gig with a polka band. We are so spoiled with today's cameras and lenses. Hats off to the pioneers along the way.

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