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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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Island Swingers: 1905

Island Swingers: 1905

St. Paul, Minnesota, circa 1905. "Girls' playground, Harriet Island." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. 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!

Liability schmiability

Could you imagine that playground in this day and age of protecting our precious snowflakes?

I so thank God I didn't grow up in today's sterile world. Of all the rights we've gotten over the years it's the right to skin a knee that's sorely missing, by me at least.

Colorizing software

Lilandorth, try googling "Akvis Coloriage" and you'll be led to software that will do the job for you. Good luck, and don't neglect sharing your creations with us!

Victimizer or Victim?

The girl with the bows puts me in the mind of Wednesday Addams, or one of Edward Gorey's ill-fated tots. Either way, the playground population is about to decrease by one.

Lovely photo

This is has to be one of my favorite Shorpy photos (though I say that at least once a week.} I love the details of the clothes, the hats (What kid wears a hat other than a baseball cap these days) and the facial expressions and awareness of the camera.

I think this pic would be very interesting colorized. What software is recommended to colorize b&w pics? I often admire the work of posters who contribute colored versions of photos on this site, would like to learn to do it myself, and would appreciate any advice or recommendations of software. Thanks.

Doubles as a Guillotine?

I wonder if the ladder type monkey bars were adjusted during competitions or if the kids could pull the rope to change the angle any time they wanted. I've never seen one whose angle could be changed like that.

Teachable moment

Harriet Island was named after Harriet Bishop, Minnesota's first public school teacher. The island had a bathhouse, beaches, playground, and a rowing club. It is still used as a recreation area today.

Red Rover, Red Rover

This has got to be one of the most darling photos on Shorpy. The children are just PRECIOUS! I think a few boys sneaked in!


Reminds me of a horrible gym class I once was tortured at.

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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