SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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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Fight Night: 1897

Fight Night: 1897

Aboard the U.S.S. Oregon circa 1897. "Waiting for the gong." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative by Edward H. Hart, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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These guys seem Russian!

Amazing pic. In my mind, I use to picture the past like a tale, all contaminated with crappy unrealistic hollywood images. But this site gave me a chance to SEE what the past was like. Pretty much like today. And yet, I get fascinated when I look at it.

No place to hide!

Pretty small ring they have there -- no running away in this fight!

I love this series of shots of real life of sailors on board these pre-WWI ships.

These matches were called "Smokers"

Very popular up until last 25 years. A Smoker would be held as part of a day off where the best boxer would be discovered on the crew, who in turn would represent the boat in inter-ship smokers.


I see the guy on the right has beer bottle for his 'water'. There seems to be an awful lot of blood on the floor and half the crowd are in the ring. Great photo!

What are you lookin at?

What a great shot, with these two glaring at each other just waiting for the bell. The guy on the right seems like he might have a height and reach advantage, but my money's on the guy on the left, who seems like he's got the Mike Tyson-like advantage.

This Could Get Ugly

One of the fighters and one at least of the spectators seems to have been drinking -- this was before all US Navy ships became "dry" in June 1914. I should hope there are several Chief Petty Officers in the front row to keep the spectators under control in this very crowded "ring."

I was wondering where on board a turn of the century battleship there could possibly be a two deck high room with a partial "mezzanine" when, looking more carefully, I realized that the objects at the top center are the keels of lifeboats! The space is outdoors, on one side of the superstructure at main deck level, and the stairway leads up to the 01 level, or "boat deck".

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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