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It Pays to Flirt: 1918

It Pays to Flirt: 1918

Washington, D.C., April 1918. "Downtown construction." Excavation with a theatrical backdrop. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Steam shovels and rollers

As one who also still calls those big pavement-flattening jobbers "steam" rollers, I find it indescribably gratifying to know that people salvage, restore, collect and exhibit such things. Thinking about the logistics involved in such a hobby is mind-boggling, though.

The truck

What kind is it?

[Service Motor Truck Co. of Wabash, Indiana. - Dave]

Sidewalk Superintendent

Progress never stops but men always do, like the one on the fence, to watch a construction project.

Thew in action

At least one Thew steam shovel survives and operates:

Typical City Job

Two working and nine watching.

Clifton Webb

I was surprised to see Clifton Webb -- but it turns out he was already about 30 at this point.

Thew Shovel Co.

Founded in 1899 by Richard Thew, a Lake Erie freighter captain interested in the problems of handling iron ore and coal. He invented a new kind of shovel that revolved 360 degrees and could dig and deliver material from any position. More here.


My four-year-old never gets tired of Mike Mullligan and his steam shovel Mary-Anne. I had never seen the real thing before. Thanks for posting this!

Cute shovels

They're straight out of Mike Mulligan. I suppose they only held one or two yards of dirt in those tiny buckets. Still, they were at least an order of magnitude faster than people with shovels.

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