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On the Mend: 1900

On the Mend: 1900

New York circa 1900. "Group of patients, Brooklyn Navy Yard hospital." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Represented Vessels

U.S.S. Vesuvius was a dynamite cruiser, a not very successful experiment.

The Dry Look

Not any greased-up or plastered down hair in this group. The hair styles look very close to what most men are wearing today.

The Hulk

The fellow standing on the far right looks like someone no one would want to mess with.

Where is swee'pea?

I yam what I yam, and that's all I yam.

It's a real wonder

How they kept those flatboard hats on their heads! Checkout the guy in the center, that a real "old salt."

Big Bluejacket on the right

There was a guy on my ship who looked a lot like him. We called him the Abominable Seaman.

Guy far right

is sitting on the next guy's knee!

See also: Sick Bay 1900

We saw at least a couple of these guys here. In particular, you can't miss the guy with the bandage around his head.

Cuff Piping

Three rows of piping was standardized on the blue collar in 1876..

Cuff piping was used to identify rank until 1947. Three rows identified Petty Officers, along with their "Crow"

Uniform Variation

The wide variety of uniforms and uniform items is notable. The three stripes at the end of the sleeve denote seaman first class, two denote second class. The shoulder watch mark on the seated SN - fifth from left in whites - reveals that he is assigned to the port watch.

Those lanyards may be knife lanyards.

Early versions of the dixie cup cover sometimes lacked sufficient stitching to stay in place - hence the floppy appearance.

Pasted In?

It looks like the face of the young man in the white jacket, center second row, has been physically pasted in, note the distinct ring around the head.

[That's a bandage. Next question! - Dave]

13 Button Trousers

Looks like these guys were no more fastidious about doing up all the buttons than I was when I used to wear them. The ships USS New Orleans and USS Newport were involved in the recent conflict with Spain.

Comic Relief

Check out the ventriloquist act on the right.

House Detective

Darkman lurking under stairwell.

Looks like a ventriloquist

on the right side of the photo!


I was in the Brooklyn Navy Yard about 10 years ago as a software rep servicing a client. The place was a vast ghost town of many different and unusual decaying buildings, and apparently a haven for crime. They wouldn't let me walk around alone and I had to check my car from the window every hour or so. Some of the remaining buildings that were in passable shape were being used for small businesses. If the walls could talk that place would still have my ear.


I suddenly have an overwhelming craving for Crackerjack.

Represented vessels

So far I've been able to make out the U.S.S. Newport, the New Orleans (front row seated rt. of center), and the Yankee (second row far right) and what I think is the Cincinnati (back row center). Front row seated third from left and second row fourth from right are sailors on which ships?

[U.S.S. Vesuvius. - Dave]

The Newport was a gunboat, the New Orleans was a cruiser, the Yankee was an auxiliary cruiser.

50 years before my time but

The blue uniforms are about the same with piping and 13 button pants. Several are probably boatswain mates because of their pipe lanyards. One may be a marine and another an officer. The guy in blue on the right gets the respect of everybody. And a couple may have have been in the Civil War.

New York Observer

Fellow in white at the top of the stairs.

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