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Office Xmas Party: 1925
...         It's two Fridays before Christmas, time for a hallowed holiday tradition here at Shorpy: The Office ... assert that there was flash. Who knows, maybe there's a window somewhere. That Office Girl I find her the most intriguing face ... 
Posted by Dave - 12/15/2023 - 3:04pm -

        It's two Fridays before Christmas, time for a hallowed holiday tradition here at Shorpy: The Office Xmas Party! Which has been going on for 98 years now. Will Clarence in Sales ever get up the nerve to ask out Hermione from Accounting? Is there gin in that oilcan? Ask the bear.
December 1925. "Washington, D.C. -- Western Electric Co. group." There are enough little dramas playing out here to keep the forensic partyologists busy until Groundhog Day. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.
Leer Kings"That Guy" looks like he could be the son of the older leering man directly to the right of him. I shall call them Denis Leery Jr. and Denis Leery Sr. The two men with them are obviously Christopher Walken as The Continental, and a young Franz Mesmer.
Just a little creepy....Some of the looks on their faces, wouldn't you love to know what they were thinking!
Debauchery 2.0Four years after behaving scandalously at the Krazy Kat, our bohemian friends find themselves slogging away at desk jobs in the boring adult world.  Just WAIT until the Christmas party, though!
The oil canOf course the bear and the cabin weren't mentioned -- everyone knows the best part of the party is getting well-oiled!
Thank you. I'll be here all week. And don't forget to tip your server.
H.P. Lovecraft?Could it be? Standing in front of the "Go Go" guy, half hidden? Maybe Franz Kafka, instead? This would be the guy who takes an extra-long time in the lav in order to scratch unseemly things onto the stall partitions. Every office has one of these guys and in this office, its either him or else its the nearly invisible guy standing across from him on the other side of the tree. Also, the girl on the far left, standing in front of the door, is unforgivably cute. I'll bet she's told a lot of these guys "NO" and that's why she's way over there.
The Power Bloc ...Have you happened to notice how Big Boss Man - the guy holding that little stubby cigar - is surrounded by thugly-type guys? This is the power bloc for this office. The guys up on the top left are all from a different Department and are wary of Big Boss Man's thugs. There is a little bit of cross-pollenation, however. The first guy standing on the table at the right is shooting a bemused glance in the direction of his bud in that other Department. He's the shorter, unjacketed guy with the full frontal grin and the eyebrows in serious need of plucking. To them, this is all a goof. They hang out together and keep each other informed as to who says what about whom, which of the girls are doable and what the scuttlebutt is coming down from the top. There's more here but I don't want to get censored.
A Story in every faceThis photo can inspire everyone to write a novel because there is indeed a colorful character with his own personal bio in every set of eyes.  The bald guy with the candle on his head particularly stands out as one who has a complex persona but so does everybody else in the picture.   Some appear depressed, some look beat up, some seem desperate.  Make up your own scenarios.  Personally, I used to look forward to the office parties when the most unexpected facets of co-workers' personalities would be revealed, giving us the rest of the year to talk about that until the next one.  Stuffy old lady accountants and spinsters turned out to shock us the most when relaxed by a "touch of the grape". Lots of fun, too bad they have mostly been eliminated. Thank you for this blast from the past.
[That's a "GO-GO" traffic signal on Mr. Complex Persona's noggin. - Dave]

WiredCould it be that they tapped the power for the Christmas tree lights from the ceiling fixture?
What a mod hairdo!The brunette peeking from behind the desk (right above the black purse) has such a 1960's hairstyle!
Fat ChanceThe corpulent boss, stogie in hand, actually thinks that removing his glasses improves his appearance. He also seems to be playing footsie with the marcel-waved cutie who inexplicably has an oil can in front of her.
A KnockoutThe woman with the pearl necklace sitting at the very corner of the desk is a knockout! She looks like a present-day actress whose name escapes me. The guy standing up and glaring into the lens at the extreme top right of the photo may very well be the Antichrist. His stare gives me chills. The guy behind him looks like an "evil character" straight out of Central Casting. This is a great photo.
Thought BubblesIt would take me all day to write out thought bubbles for what I imagine is going through all those heads, but the lady at dead center seems to be thinking, "What was IN that punch? Did they repeal Prohibition and nobody told me?"
The "dark lady" downstage right is thinking, "I hope they snap that picture before I freeze to death down here on the bare floorboards. You would think the electric company would have better heaters in its own offices, but old man Pennyfarthing won't even spring for a rug to keep the draft out."
Western Electric (Shock Therapy)Great pic.  And I'm sure there are as many stories as people in this one.  But let's admit that the lady sitting on the floor on the left has to have the most interesting one. There is a haunted, post-experimental-therapy look to her that immediately reminded me of the psych-ward scenes in "Changeling."
Where's the copier?Ahhh, the days before every office had a copier, and every office had some joker trying to get the temp to sit on it!
Re: Fat ChanceWait -- so the oil can is worth noting, but not the bear statuette or the small house?
Western ElectricWestern Electric was the manufacturing and distribution arm of American Telephone and Telegraph. I suppose that this office in Washington was one of their distribution points. At any rate one interesting thing about the photo is the decided separation of men and women as though they might have come from different sections of the business. I also note that the ladies are sitting on a pretty rough floor, which is something I would have thought they would have avoided in those clothes. As to the glasses, I suspect that the photographer cautioned them that the flash might reflect from the lenses, assuming that I can assert that there was flash. Who knows, maybe there's a window somewhere.
That Office GirlI find her the most intriguing face in the picture. She looks almost out of place in this setting... her face is striking. Her expression says that she's part of a back story going on around the office that no one knows about.
Wow. I'm falling in love with a woman who's long long dead. How sad is that?
GiftedJudging by the peculiar items in the shot I'm thinking they exchanged white elephant gifts at the party. I got a big stuffed fish at our last party. I would have preferred the oil can.
This is so great!A bevy of attractive females here but I'm partial to the blond girl standing at the far left of the photo.  
Also, standing next to Boss Stogie on his left: ladies and gentlemen ... Mr. Joaquin Phoenix.
 The Black WidowQuick somebody, get the story on the raven-haired woman sitting in front of the desk.
She looks like she ate her young; perhaps she has a few "missing" husbands buried in her dirt-floor basement.
I get the very distinct impression that if you crossed her, you ended up joining the silent majority long before your time.
Dark LadyWell.....the woman at bottom left certainly catches the eye. Something of a femme fatale, I think. Not generally popular with the more strait-laced ladies, like the woman two to her right who's giving her a very frosty look. The younger woman though, above and slightly to the left, is more sympathetic.
Since it's not uncommon here on Shorpy for unflattering comments to be directed at the olden-days womenfolk, let me be the first to say what a grim bunch the men are. I'll make an exception for the guy under the tree.
Getting Oiled at the Office Xmas PartyThe oil can on the foreground floor is absolutely precious.  There can be no rational explanation for it.  Then again, one tends to get oiled at the office party.
The hot babe is standing, far left, if not the girl sitting left, in pearls by the purse on the desk corner.
The fat guy with the cigar has his conjoined twin growing out of his forehead.
Girls on one side, boys on the other?  Weird.
How dare these people all die off before telling us why that guy is holding the little horsey?
"Hey, Griselda.  Spin my copter.  If it says 'STOP - STOP', you are not mine.  If it says 'Go - GO', oh you kid!"
Most riveting photo ever.I've been a lurker on Shorpy for months, but this photo has prompted me to register and comment. I've been coming back to this picture every day since it was posted, showing it to everyone I know. 
What strikes me is that though there are several vintage-type characters here, there are also quite a few very contemporary looking people as well. This photograph represents such a vibrant living moment in the lives of these people. Some of them look like they could speak to you right from the picture. And, oh what a story they could tell!
This photo takes first place from my previous Shorpy favourite, They Shall Remain Nameless.
(But it's so close... check it out if you missed it.)
Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there ...
Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen,!  I think that's my favorite part of this picture.  There's such a great group of hairstyles among the women.  A few of those girls were pretty darn good with the curling iron, or whatever they used.  I wonder if they're more glammed up than usual for the big party.  For some reason, the hairstyles are more striking to me than in other pictures.  Anyway, fascinating as always.
P.S.  I think the guy that bdgbill thinks looks like the antichrist is actually kind of a hottie.  I'm going to go on the assumption that he didn't look that intense all the time.  If he did...well, I could see bdgbill's point then.
Now I KnowMy father worked for Western Electric. The money wasn't very good, so I never figured out why he stayed there. Guess this answers the question.
IN and OUTI noticed the IN basket on the desk to the far right, but where's the OUT basket?  I sometimes wonder why I have an OUT basket on my desk at work - it's always less full than the IN one.
The woman sitting on the floor to the far left bears a striking resemblance to the Italian actress Ana Magnani (The Rose Tattoo).
Dramatis PersonaeMona, the woman on floor, far left (one of the few without the Marcel wave), is probably a Suffragist or at least politically active. Maybe she's trying to organize these party animals into a union and all they want to do is balance traffic signals on their heads and be wildly social.
Don't mess with these guys!The boss from Hades has what looks like a goose egg on his forehead and the coatless guy on his right has a black eye and cuts on the nose and eyebrow: maybe the partying started the night before. Looks like a smoking hot curling iron was de rigueur for any  well-coifed lady.
That guyOf the four guys standing in the upper right, the guy who is on the left side, closest to the tree -- which girl is he leering at? 
Western ElectricIf you flip the picture around, you can sort of read the door sign.  I can make out:
[Western Elec]tric Com[pany].
I wonder what the missing part is.  Administration?
Office TensionThis must have been just after Phyllis spilled the beans about Dwight and Angela. Poor Andy!
The Power Bloc, continuedThe balding gent just over Boss Stogie's left shoulder-- the real power in the office, he certainly looks confident that his recent appointment to regional director will lead to greater things. Boss Stogie's son, Junior (with the candy cane), was on the fast track to becoming a junior partner until he was befriended by Harold from the mailroom (his hand on Junior's shoulder), which displeased Boss to no end.
UndercoverIsn't anyone going to ask why the woman in the middle is wearing a hat with a Police badge? Is this a costume xmas party? Could she possibly be a real cop??
My GirlSay what you want about the woman on the floor or the blonde with the pearl necklace, but my heart belongs to the woman standing fourth from the left, middle row. She reminds me of Bernadette Peters.
The henchman second from the right at the top has a menacing Snidely Whiplash quality about him. You just know he slipped a mickey into someone's drink.
Re: Western ElectricYou know you're a Shorpy addict when you "get" Anonymous Tipster's reference to the photographer's use of flash (or WAS there a window somewhere?!). Nice shot, A.T.!
Twins or Sisters?Study the features of the young woman directly in front of the door - then look at the one just to the right of (and looking directly at) "blondie with the pearls". Eyes, hair, smile, shape of face, body build: if they are not twins then they must at least be sisters. It is uncanny!
Christmas BackstoryYes, the young lady at the lower left leaning against the desk has the most interesting backstory in the room.  Thanks to the passage of time we'll never know what was behind her haunted expression beyond that the woman giving her the evil eye must have had something to do with it.
Dave continues to put these evocative photos up knowing our emotions will never be satisfied!!
Meanwhile, notice the vintage Chia Pet resting on the scales in the "shipping department" (the desk along the left side).  The girl in the fake police hat is looking longingly at it.  Chia bunny?  Chia elf?
The guy in front of the Christmas tree holding the toy, "I got a PONY!"
Keep them in their place.I, too, wonder why all the women are sitting on the floor in their silk satin dresses with fur collars.  Surely there were some men who would have been glad to give up their places for them (and to sit amongst the women!)
How did they get Xmas light strings in 1925?I thought people used small candles until the '60s. How did they happen to have these string lights? Great pic of us back then.
[The 1960s being, I guess, when covered wagons brought in the first supplies of wired Christmas lights. - Dave]

I spy...Second woman in the third row...Frida Kahlo, at her day job. 
SpellbindingI cannot stop looking at this picture. So much to see. The Al Capone looking guy is mesmerizing. The guy at top, second from right gives me the creeps.
1920'sI'm kind of young so maybe I'm missing something, but did pretty women not have to hold jobs in the 1920's? This office is worse than the one I work in, I didn't think that was possible.
Re: 1920sI'm kind of young too, but I disagree with you.  I think this office has quite a collection of lovely women (and some not-as-lovely ones too, just like today).  Sometimes, it's hard to look past the hairstyles and the clothes.  If you are young (20-something? younger?), you've really only seen one ideal of beauty--you've missed a lot of the different fashions and hairdos of the rest of the 20th century.  You also underestimate what modern makeup does for women.  There are so many more varieties of it today than there were then, and it's generally of higher quality and easier to use than in the past.  If you took one of the women in this picture, say, the girl with pearls sitting next to the desk and plunked her down in 2008 to get a makeover, her hair would be longer, probably highlighted and dyed, and aided by daily washing and a host of conditioners.  Then, add some good moisturizer, foundation, and concealer, as well as a lash curler, mascara, and a healthy helping of eye liner, and I'm guessing you'd think her quite the fox.  
Conversely, take the most attractive woman you know now, and put her in short hair and marcel waves, take away her hair dye and most of her makeup, and I'm guessing she'd look quite similar to the ladies in this photo.  Even something as simple as the shape of plucked eyebrows really change the look of someone, and with the change in aesthetics, it's sometimes hard to get past the fashion to see beauty.
It works with the men too--you'd probably look a lot different with a side part and a pompadour!  
That's right . . .. . . pretty women did not have to work in the '20's so, Miss Oilcan's exemption is assured, in my opinion - what a hottie.
Las Vegas 
That's my desk!I have a desk that's identical to the one on the left.  I had guessed it was 1940's vintage.  It's nice to see it's even older than I thought.
Record Breaker?Look at the stats on this photo: 53,000 + reads, and still climbing. That's a lot of forensic partyologists! I wonder if even Dave knew what he had pulled out of the hat with this one?
[I am shocked. Shocked! - Dave]
re: Xmas light strings LOL! Dave, a lot of your comments (like this one) crack me up! Are you a comedian in real life? Merry Christmas!
[Please folks, no applause. Just throw money. - Dave]
Hotness quantificationI count 20 women in that picture; most of them you can see no more than their face and hair, and two you can't even see all of that.
Out of the 18 you have a good facial shot of, I'd put 3 of them at 8.5-9.5 on the scale... three of them are SMOKING hot. I'd put another 4 at the 7-8.5 mark, meaning serious cuties, and at least three of the others are a 6 -7.
Where I work we have 100 women in my office; I'd put exactly three in the 8.5-9.5 scale, and another 10 in th 7-8.5 scale; of the rest, probably only a smattering are really in the 5+ range.
So, I have to know ... where do you work that the women are so attractive? Playboy Enterprises?
Taking into account the differences in style, these women were, mostly, very attractive, and even a couple of the less attractive weren't awful.
The Men of Western ElectricIn the interest of gender equality, I got to wondering about the relative charms of the office boys. I found three who tickled my fancy.
1. The tall smiling fellow whose head is sticking up behind and to the right of Police Woman. His face is open and honest, he's smiling with his twinkly dark eyes as well as his mouth, and although his ears are a bit prominent there's a lovely overall symmetry to his face. I'll call him Dimples.
2. The one man who has the sense to sit down with the ladies. He's a bit older, but I love his soft wavy hair. There's a certain aristocratic but slightly sad angle to his tired half-smile that puts me in mind of a young Prince Philip. I'll call him Phil.
3. OK, here's the hotness - the brash, cocky young sheik peeking out confidently between the heads of Boss Stogie Pennyfarthing and his wan shirtsleeved assistant. He's got the eyes of Frank Sinatra and the hair of Jack Kennedy. I don't know what he looks like from the neck down, but from the Arrow collar up he's all, "How YOU doin'?" I'll call him Frankie.
In summary: Were I one of the office flappers, I would ride in Frankie's Studebaker, nurse a secret unrequited crush on Phil, and take Dimples home to meet Mother.
Rogues' GalleryI can't stop staring at the chilly filly down by the leftern desk. She looks like three out of every five women I've ever fallen for. It's the eyes. As to the resemblance to Ana Magnani, she might be of Italian descent.
I am also like the older gentleman in the upper right. Mr. Leery Senior, was it? Right between Charlie Sheen (or Leery Jr.), Snidely Whiplash, and Mr. Deer-in-the-headlights. What a jovial sort. And a snappy dresser, as well. Conversely, the startled fellow's vest is well off-center and makes him look like he couldn't decide which part of him was the front. Or maybe he was taking a nap under a desk just before the photo op and somebody had to drag him out.
Funny how a photograph will turn Bob & Lisa from the office into Dick Tracy characters once you let your imagination do the walking. Thanks to all you for sharing your insights.
You were linkedA local blogger from Beaumont's newspaper linked your site today. I will be forever gratful! Nevermind I got absolutely nothing done today and instead pored over your site at length. This is truly an awesome site!
This Won't DoOne chubby gal. One chubby guy. 
As an official with the State of California, I say that this does not pass muster.  There was hiring discrimination here.  Walk into any State office and you'll see what I mean.  Not to mention the plethora of Caucasians.
The chubby gal is next to sheet music.  Wonder what this melba toast group was singing?
They're all dead nowJust think ... they all had their youth, their lives, their personalities, and now they are all turned into worm food.  Just a happy thought for Christmas.
No, wait a minute. . . okay, I've changed my mind. Now I like Miss Lookingaway, sitting in the lower left.  Definitely.  She's the one.
Las Vegas
Oil Can GalThe siren sitting with the oil can is undressing me with her eyes. I'll ignore the fact she is 112 years of age, and let her.
[Guess that explains the oil can. - Dave]
Houdini?The guy on the left side, just above and to the right of the P.D. hat girl....did Houdini make a special appearance?  In any event, he's got a mean set of eyebrows.
And you are correct, Stinky, the girl on the far left by the door is surely a looker!
Lost in the crowdNobody seems to have spotted Hugh Grant peeking out between Stogie Boss and Bald Guy.
Famous facesTo keep Hugh Grant company, fellow British comic actor Rowan Atkinson is peeking out from behind Shirtsleeves.
He is not a crookOh, my gosh. There's Richard Nixon on the upper right (with face partially hidden) just below old boss and crooked-vest guys.
Roxie & Co.I love this picture, and all the comments! Here's my .02:
*Girl with the oil can doesn't want to undress you, she's too in love with herself. You can see it in her eyes; she's a Roxie Hart if I ever saw one. "Eat your heart out, Sophie Tucker."
*I swear I graduated with the girl who has her hand on Roxie's shoulder. She's the one who organizes all our class reunions.
*If I were one of those girls, I'd probably want to date the guy sitting on the desk, right hand side. However, I have a feeling he'd want to "just be friends." So,
*I'd have to go for the one behind Ol' Pennyfarthing. No, not that one, the bald one. Handsome features and sense enough to not put some ridiculous piece of fur on his head.
*Girl leering at our castoff looks like one of Cinderella's stepsisters. Drucilla, I believe.
Office HottieI think the guy looking over the RIGHT shoulder of chubby-stogie dude is hot.  There's something about the eyes that grab me.  And the hint of a smile.
British InvasionNot only Hugh and Rowan - isn't that the actress/singer Patsy Kensit on the left, standing in front of the office door?
Can't Get Over This PhotoI can't get over this picture.  It's my favorite one on Shorpy, which is saying a LOT.  And, it has nothing to do with my collection of high-end Western Electric phones from 1905-1939.
The woman in front, referred to as the "Black Widow," I can't look at her enough.  She surely would get a large kick out of the ruckus she would caused in 2008, unless it bored her as also being commonplace in her own time.  The woman over her left shoulder has movie star looks.
They are on the fifth floor, and I wish I could see the name on the glass door.  Then again, the woman obscuring it may be the one to take home to meet the family, so she can stay.
The finish on the floor is badly worn, as contrasted by the part under the desk.  These fellas were habitually hustling to and fro, and with the feminine charms represented here, it's no wonder.  Office romances must have been all there rage therein.
I have been hoping the Farkers would be all over this one, except they love to specialize in the one-person quirk shots.  I could place the Black Widow in countless situations...
Is this the only picture you have on this stunning group?
[Afraid so. - Dave]
If onlyTterrance had taken this photo! We would know all about it, mystery solved.
I thinkthe mysterious suicidal communist was probably a cleaning lady whom the photographer sort of forced to be in the picture and she's embarrassed to be photographed in shabby clothes and feels naturally out place amongst the staff with whom she's always been subservient. 
She reminds me of Camille Claudel on her way to the madhouse. 
50 Little IndiansThis photo looks like a cast of characters who would end up in an Agatha Christie mystery....and I'm pretty sure I know who did it!
The Officethis picture reminds me of the TV show The Office. Jim is sitting on the desk in the right corner. Pam is all the way to the left in the back row. Michael is the guy with his hand on Jim's shoulder although he should be the bossman with the cigar. Stanley is the guy between the man holding the horse and the man with the cigar. Creed is Mr Leery. Kevin is holding the horse. Dwight is the only guy in glasses. Kelly is the bobbed woman behind the desk with the permanent smile on her face. Meredith is the creepy woman off alone... she's just waiting for her next drink of alcohol. Andy Bernard is the guy to the right in the back with the striped tie. I couldn't decide who Angela was. Ryan is the deer in headlights next to Andy. Phyllis is in the satiny dress to the right. Oscar is right by the right hand edge.
Man I love this picture.
AngelaAngela's sitting on the floor with that big lace collar, giving the stink-eye to Meredith.
Naughty NaughtySome young lady has just done something naughty off screen left. The Leery Boys approve, the Black Widow and Stink Eye don't, and the young lady behind Stink Eye is too drunk to comprehend.
Also, is the bald man by the Christmas tree wearing a traffic signal on his head, set to "Go?"
Somewhere in this crowd must be Col. Mustard, Miss Scarlet and Prof. Plum. 
My favorite pictureI and my co-worker check this site at least three times a day. He has never been on the Internet and when he passes by he will invariably ask "Anything new?" Which I know to mean "Anything new on Shorpy?" This Christmas Office Party is our favorite. We both live in Maryland and have seen many of the areas displayed in these pictures. When we scan the Office picture and see the "mob boss" guy with the stogie and the gun in his pants, he does a great Al Capone voice. I hope my posting this comment will bring new fans to
this amazing photo.
Merry Christmas everyone!have a great holiday and prosperous New Year.
Oh Christmas Twig! Oh Christmas Twig!Considering it is 1925 and an urban area they probably had a hard time locating a showpiece Christmas tree. Probably the best they could do was this poor little immortalized twig.
Timeless peopleEver notice how nearly every photo of a large group, from about 1900 on, contains at least one person who looks like he/she could have been photographed in just about any decade, or just the other day?  The lady by the desk behind the pretty  girl with the pearls looks like a teacher at my kids' school! There is nothing about her teeth, hairstyle, makeup, etc., that gives away the fact that she was photographed in 1925 except, of course, for most of the other people in it.
The Timeless DeskI'm still using the exact same desk as the one in the photo; my wife purchased it from McGill university when they replaced the professors' desks in the mid 1960s. 
Oh what funAdolf (second from right at very top) has quite the leer going on. Peter Sellers could imitate him well. Mystery Lady could have been even more beautiful. I imagine her long hair flowing and her prominent features brought out even more with an expert's touch. 
What is Stogie Man carrying, besides his eyeglasses? I also wonder who took this photo. It obviously took some  arranging, with the piling up of people. 
Excellent, almost spellbinding picture! I come here about six times a day just to visit it. I wonder who lived the longest, and what year they all died and how? Yes, I'm a morbid one.
Office A-Go-GoThe gent at the back is, indeed wearing the miniature street signal (it has 4 arms to the signal so not a railway signal) on his head. Firstly, the only thing behind him is a fire extinguisher hanging on the wall, certainly nothing that the signal could be perched on. And, secondly, if it was sitting on something, it would not be sitting at the angle it is.
Then and Now  I'm wondering -- in today's world there is usually at least one person at an office party of that size who gets a little too inebriated and winds up making photocopies of their nether parts for distribution to all. Was there a way to do the same thing using a mimeograph machine or whatever other copying technology existed in 1925? Would the tipsy individual first have to draw their naughty bits on some special copy medium? Our grandparents sure had a lot of hardships to deal with. 
At First Glanceand in the zoomed out view, I thought the gent at the far right might be the office troublemaker and that the folks wrapped him up in Christmas lights for his just deserts.  Alas and alack, when you go in for a closer look, it's simply the ravages of time taking their toll on the negative.
[This batch of plates has water damage along one side. - Dave]
The Lady of the Deskjust wandered in from the Sergei Eisenstein film that was shooting on the set next door. She's on a break between takes of the Odessa Steps sequence. 
RE: Oh GreatIf CBS could give us Rudolph, Shorpy can give us Western Electric.
2010 InterpretationsThis year, I think the Black Widow has pretty much just had it with that place.
Stink-Eye isn't looking at the Black Widow. She's disapproving of something messy on the front of the desk.
I can't find Don Draper Nor Joan Holloway, but this sure conjures up thoughts of Mad Men, 45 years earlier. I burst out laughing when my eyes scanned to the guy in the back with the stop and go-go item on his head! Maybe THAT is the flavor of the evening?  More GO than STOP? This is the roaring 20s after all and these are certainly modern women..
Yes, this picture and your readers' comments may be my very favorites to date!
Some Like It Hot The mademoiselle  standing in front of the woman wearing the Policeman's hat could have been Billy Wilder's inspiration for his casting Jack Lemmon in drag.
Another WorldThese people are denizens of another universe that, no matter how many photographs we study or books we read, we will never fully understand because we didn't live in it and never will. 
These are people who knew how to navigate themselves in the distant world of 1925. All of these people were born at the beginning of the last century and were brought up by people from the 19th century. 
If a modern young person were to be suddenly transported here without preparation he would find it completely disorienting and possibly quite frightening, because of so many technological and cultural and social differences between now and then.
Deja vuI loved this picture. 
But the lass in front of the desk, looking stage right, is memorable. I think I've seen this picture before.
Then I noticed the dates of the previous comments. 2208? Surely two years cannot have gone by so quickly.
[To say nothing of the 198 after that! - Dave]
SteamyThere are some SERIOUS sexual crosscurrents and hot vibes in this picture! Amazing!
Slow on the uptakeI'm pretty sure Mr. Semaphore head isn't actually wearing that thing on his head; it's behind him. What is alarming is the second head growing out of his chest. The heads seem to be in agreement to lurk. 
Oh great!Shorpy is doing reruns for the holidays.
Merry Christmas.
Uh-Oh TannenbaumThat's the most bedraggled Christmas tree I've ever seen. It has more tinsel than needles.
An unflattering portraitMy god, this is by far the ugliest group photo I've ever seen! Both girls and guys look like winners from the Walmart Ugly Photo Contest.
Kimono-wearing parrot?With a bouffant, no less? Over there, on the scale!!
The gal with the candy cane, to our left of the much-ballyhooed oil can chick, seems to be presaging late '60s hairstyles.
And yes, the balding dude in the rear with the traffic semaphore on his head wins the covert group-photo clown award in spades.
Sad to SaySo many hotties, so many dorks.
Season's GreetingsHope everyone has a wonderful Holiday Season, from Walter and all his friends in this, my favorite Shorpy picture.
General Electric Crime FamilyOk, a lot of the men look like mafiosi with the big-lips guy in front being the capo.  The two guys at the right, top, are hit men.
Western Electrical FireI can't believe, in 90+ comments on this remarkable photo, that not one person pointed out the extension cord running from the ceiling light fixture to the tree.  I think the answer to the comment about how and when these folks died is:  a few minutes after this photo was taken, in a horrible electrical fire.
It would be a chore, but could someone pleasecolorize this!
BeautyI love the woman sitting on the floor next to the desk looking away.  At first glance you think; boy she looks tired, and then you look again and you see how beautiful she really is.  She is just stunning.  I also find it interesting with the commentary just how similar our comments in the office were to the ones posted on this site.  We too made up stories about these folks.  I love this photo.  Thanks for sharing it.
I never tire of looking at this one.Always noticing something new, frinstance, 
The object on the scale, seems to have some heft to it based on how far the scale dial has moved, maybe a cast iron toy?
The young fellow on the far right, Candy Cane in his right hand but whats on his left hand? Looks like it's slipped inside of something, a toy holster maybe?
Completion All this tableau requires (perhaps) to make it complete, is a large paper bag on the floor stuffed with goodies, including the obligatory pair of turkey-feet protruding upward in a festive fashion.
Best of the Season to All in the Shorpyverse Continuum!
Secrets never revealedThere is no question that many secret alliances and not-always discreet hook-ups probably took place during and after this festive celebration 86 years ago.  Luckily for those involved, there were no surveillance cameras, cell phone cameras, tape recorders, security guards, texting devices or other pesky snooping devices that could cause the merrymakers a permanent record (and deep lifetime regret) of their missteps.  They were the roaring 20's when people gathered their rosebuds where they may and parties were for having the best time you could have.  I'm betting many of these revelers took their sweet and sordid memories of that night to their graves. 
Another Shorpy Party!I love this photo and we're going to test the limits of the reply counter.  Merry Christmas everyone and have a grand new year!
Lord Almighty!!!It's the butler in the pantry!!!
I have never, ever seen so many guilty people in one photograph.
Unbelievable that it was not staged. But it obviously wasn't.
My hat!How did she get it?
"Pure horse, Danno. Book 'em."Having just spotted the drug paraphernalia on the left - the scale, the packaging materials, the kimono-wearing parrot - our undercover coppette in mid-pack has whipped out her official police hat and ignoring the cries of "that baggy's not mine!" is about ready to haul the whole gang downtown. A bust like this baby was sure to bump her upstairs and away from all these dreary office parties.
Up to no good?The gal sitting on the floor behind the Oil can  has had a drink or two already, and she is plotting mischief. I can see it in her eyes! Was she the good time that was had by all?
Cost of that treeCould not have been more then a dollar in 2011 money
Must have been last minute!!!
The ion DepartmentA quick flip of the door confirms we are in room 504 of the ion Department.
FestivusIts good to see this one again. I just keep looking at the people and see more than a few that would have been great company. I hope everyone, viewers, commenters, Dave and webmaster Ken has a great Holiday Season in the company of friends and loved ones.
She apparently had a good time with my grandpa.As she is my grandma!
"The gal sitting on the floor behind the Oil can has had a drink or two already, and she is plotting mischief. I can see it in her eyes! Was she the good time that was had by all?"
3rd rowfrom the top 3rd from the left. I'm in love.
Oh wait.
Party HeartyOoooo -- Roaring twenties office party, bathtub gin. Oooooo -- I think I just threw up in my throat a little bit.
Shorpy Christmas cardIf Dave would produce an annual Shorpy Christmas card I would buy a few boxes, and I'm sure others would as well. Cards with this photo would be seen in every business cubicle in the country and quite a few places around the globe. It says Merry Xmas for me.
So much to read into This picture is as familiar to longtime readers of this blog as our own family photos and as evergreen as that Christmas Tree was before it was cut down. One can imagine so much here, for example that as soon as the photographer finishes with his duties, the Volstead Act will be violated by most of the people in this room (there are a few who look as if they might disapprove), and the usual office party shenanigans will occur, some of which might have consequences in the months to follow even if they all swear that what happens at the Office Party stays at the Office Party.
Al JolsonIs that Al Jolson in front of the "Traffic signal" bald guy?  He's peering out just a bit from behind the guy with the vest and holding his glasses. 1925, the timeline is right. :)
Iconic StatusThis photo has taken on a level of immortality that few others can hope to achieve.  A Photograph for the ages that will always be appreciated and admired.  A Tradition is born! Thanks to Dave and all that visit here; hopefully someday your office pictures will be shown here and we can all marvel at how far we've come in so short a time.
Tiny Tim said it best so I shan't repeat it but that is my wish for one and all. 
Thank you, DaveI hope this re-posting will bring new fans. Merry Xmas,everyone!
Why the oil canThose three objects in front - Maybe just spur-of-the-moment party silliness?
Another year olderI just love this photo. There's so much to analyze. Saw it last year for the first time. Here we all are, another year older. That would include those in the picture, in a macabre sort of way.
Best Christmas Party EverFirst, Dave, you have cured my holiday depression. I found this during a post-Xmas hangover and there are no words. I was instantly addicted to your site. Thank you.
Second, if there is anyone out there with connections to the BAU I would like you to seriously consider imposing yourself on that relationship and get them on it. I'm dying for a more complete story. You must be too if you're reading this. You know who you are. Pick up that phone and give him/her a call.
Not Al JolsonWade in NW Florida: if he looks like anybody of that period, it would most likely be Eddie Cantor, not Al Jolson.
The other 13I have just spent an extremely enjoyable hour reading all the comments reaching back to 2008.  Of the 47 people in the photo, 34 have been commented on.  So what about the other 13?  Six guys in the upper left have been ignored, plus seven gals in the pack.  The most prominent of the abandoned baker's dozen are, to my mind, the two women standing side by side, closest to the tree.  Both have bead necklaces: one tucked in, one on the outside.  They seem neither hot nor cold, neither suicidal nor drunk.  The two of them actually look (dare I say?) like really nice people.
NOW it's the holiday season.....when Shorpy breaks out this holiday classic! I wonder what pop-culture figures of the past year will be likened to our hard-partying crew?
The face that could sink a thousand shipsThe guy holding the cigar, oh man I want to punch his face!
Every yearEvery year when I look at this, I think the same thing: do all those dames hate Desk Woman for the same reason, or different ones?
Lots of single women in that officeNo wedding rings on almost all of them. Perhaps a woman worked until she got married, or at least until she had children - and then she was sequestered in the kit home built in one of America's booming trolley suburbs.
It must have been a major change for these ladies to go from office life, with its daily human contact and pleasures (such as this office party) to a few rooms, kitchen and nursery figuring predominantly. My grandmother still reminisced proudly about her work as a lawyer's assistant in the 1920s, way back before she got married, had three children, and spent most of her time in the top floor of a Boston triple-decker for the next 20 years.
Colorized Version Hidden in Plain SightCheck out for colorized version in Colorized Photos by members. Dave, do I get a prize for finding it? 
Talk About Your Lonely HeartsThis could be the Sgt. Pepper album just before The Beatles stepped into the shot
Par-TAY!I totally wanna party with this crew. I've always loved the Roaring-Twenties era, and the show Boardwalk Empire is doing a great job with the fashions and the music. I think Nucky Thompson needs to sprinkle a little Xmas cheer on this group. Volstead Act be damned!
Young bald guyEvery time I see this, my eyes go to the young, very handsome man who is looking over the shoulder of the rather portly guy on the right side of the photo. Balding men didn't have many options, then, like they do now, but I rather doubt that the premature balding kept all the young ladies away from him! 
I wonder which of these men were veterans of WWI?
At the Ion Department Christmas Party . . .That exotic woman sitting in front of the desk in the lower left STILL seems distracted by something just out of camera, and the woman in front of her is still watching her carefully.
It's a wonderful photo worth our annual holiday attention!
Naughty or Nice?This oft-repeated photo is starting to remind me of the traditional holiday tune by Eric Cartman (of South Park fame) singing about the Swiss Colony Beef Log; irreverent but fun.  
What's printed on that document?Dave, can you zoom in on the piece of paper being held by the guy kneeling in the center, right in front of the tree? It's almost as if he's trying to show it to the camera. Thanks!

Just a something something
You and Yours
A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year
Division Four Office

Worth a second or third look There are some half dozen ladies in this photo. Like the one right behind the corner of the desk, with the chevron shapes on her dress and the one directly in front of the door on the left that are definitely worth seeing again. 
Merry Christmas Shorpyites!   
Is there anybody out there?Surely one of these people in the photo has a living relative (great grandkids, grandkids, etc) that might be able to shed some light on this photo.
2%Of the 47 people in the photo, only one is wearing glasses.  Did the Ion Department require perfect vision of its workers?
My cueI don't even start listening to Christmas music until I see this picture reheated. It's a classic. 
The Girl with the Curl -- and the candy cane. There once was a girl
with a pretty little curl
right in the middle of her forehead
When she was good
She was very, very good
and when she was bad
she was even better! 
Re 2%The cigar smoker on the right in the three-button suit and the gent on his right both are holding eyeglasses, all the more to ratchet up their smashing good looks. Well, maybe just looks. 
What's Left To Say?Besides their clothes and hair dos, two things that I’m glad have changed: The way Christmas trees look and protective coating for hardwood floors. And I’m guessing they had a White Elephant gift exchange, thus the whimsical gifts.
Raise your glassesI'm sure one of our more knowledgeable posters might know better, but I wonder if glasses were removed to prevent unwanted flash effects? 
Could it be?I've looked at this photo for three Decembers now, and I just noticed that the girl sitting behind the girl with the striped blouse, and how much she looks like she could be Johnny Depp's great-grandmother.
Party TimeThe office parties and associated grab bags were created to give us all a chance to regift.
Allow me now to wish all of our Shorpy viewers, creators and commenters a very happy Holiday season. Let us all be well, prosper and keep returning to this wonderful site.
Love this photo....Like so many of you, I love it when this photo is trotted out!  We are so drawn to it and love imagining what this party must have been like, the silly little gifts, the party girls, and those who just wanted it to all be over with so they could get back to work.  
Each year I am struck by the lady behind the one in the striped blouse.  She looks like she could have been in my high school annual from 1970.  Yes, I dated myself there!  Her hair style looks like it could have been from the 1970's, unlike her co-workers with their many finger waves.  Keep posting this one, Dave....truly a classic!
An Evocative PhotographThe romance of old photographs is especially powerful in a picture like this. Studying the faces of what we assume are long departed strangers, we can't help speculating about the nature of their inner lives and how things turned out for them. Who ended up married to someone who made them happy or miserable? Which one(s) got ahead and who descended into poverty? Who died young - and so on? 
With hindsight we know that only a few years after that Christmas party in 1925, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. Then World War II winnowed out a great many - how did this group of individuals make out through all those difficult times? There are many such questions which occur to the curious.
This is an extraordinarily evocative photograph. The transience of everything is plain to see in this picture if you notice such things.  
This photois what prompted me to make an account on Shorpy. The first thing that jumped out at me was, is that a man in drag standing with his hand on the young lady's shoulder? The lady in question looks a bit like Drew Barrymore.  
I noticed the indentations between the eyes of many of the men, and realized that they did take their glasses off for the photo, to minimize glare.  No featherweight lenses in those days!
Tales from the Jazz AgeI'd like to take a crack at imagining who some of these people could be --
Oil Can Girl (seated at bottom, center) - Never turns down a chance to cut a rug at a speke.  Very generous with the contents of her hip flask, which in a pinch can supply fuel for her sometime-boyfriend’s Hupmobile.
Desk Girl (seated at bottom, left) - Staring intently at a winged, two-horned leopard and wondering if she should jump up and scream at everybody to run for their lives.
Lace Collar Girl (two left from Oil Can Girl) - Wondering why Desk Girl is staring so intently at the office kitty-cat.
Time Warp Girl - (immediately above Desk Girl) - Up until a few weeks ago was a liberal arts major at an Ivy League university in the year 1969, then stumbled through a time portal into 1925.  Decided to stay and get a job because, well, things are a lot less crazy here.
Starlet Girl - (above and to the right of Time Warp Girl) - Avid reader of Photoplay, Picture-Play, Screenland, Movie Weekly, Movie Mirror, and lots more.  Passionately believes that her good looks could bring her fame in Hollywood, if only she could manage to stop tossing money away on magazines and save up for the train fare.
Hat Girl (immediately above Starlet Girl) - Took a few slugs from Oil Can Girl’s hip flask, now having trouble remembering her name.
Trashed Girl (immediately to the right of Hat Girl) - Took even more slugs from Oil Can Girl’s hip flask, but still conscious enough to realize that if she stops leaning on the girl below her, she’ll tumble to the floor.
Handsome Guy (standing in the back, left side, farthest left) - All the office girls have swooned over him at one time or another.  Been engaged six times, but it always breaks off when he tells his bride-to-be that his mother will be living with them.
New Pretty Girl - (third from left, standing) - Just started work this past month.  Soon to be Handsome Guy’s next ex-fiancee.
Wow, this is way too long already.  Anyway, you get the idea.  This is fun!
White Elephant Gift ExchangeI going with a White Elephant Gift Exchange for an Office Christmas Party.  It explains the goofy gifts and the attire.  Some of the exchanged presents still have tags on them.
No one seems to have noticedbut the shy guy in front of GO GO is none other than Irving Berlin, on a guided tour of the Western Electric facility and already evidencing the reclusiveness of his later years. At uppermost left, we have the mustachioed miscreant looking disdainfully at those beneath him, which is everyone. And finally, we have Grishkin at lowermost right left, a handsome woman whose lean and hungry look hath a troubled aspect not customarily associated with holiday gatherings (apart from those with family members present). She seems to have wandered in from one of those Russian plays that Ira Gershwin makes reference to.
All of which can only mean one thing - it's Christmas time here at Shorpy's. Greetings and salutations to all!
Times they don't changeThe women definitely place this picture in time by their clothes and hair. The men, especially the back row, center in photo, remind me of my father's photos of the late 1950's. It's all quite timeless.
Hey, long time listener, first time caller!I wonder if camp Pierce Brosnan (top row, far left) found the Ion Deptartment accepting of his flamboyant wonderfulness.
Festive DressThe bald gentleman in the back has the best holiday hat I have ever seen, the festive Go Go hat atop his bald head. 
We need those names!The spectacular Massafornian colorized image should have some labels for the people in it.
So, here we go.
(Gimp and Python/PIL scripts did the job)
Thanks for the MemoriesThank you for publishing this picture again this year. It just doesn't seem right to not have these wonderful people wishing all of us a Merry Christmas. I wish all of the Shorpy readers and the Admins a Merry Christmas also.
Merry Christmas!I'm a faithful reader of Shorpy, have been for over 10 years now, since I joined up. Every year, I always look forward to the Shorpy Office Xmas Party picture. I don't know what it is; maybe it's the continuity of it. We know every year we'll see it, and every year we'll get to talk about new fictions we've created for the people therein. It's such great fun.
Re Office StoriesNice commentary!  You really bring life to this party.
Glad for TradIt's truly a fun Shorpy-looker tradition to view this pic large and spend an hour time traveling and reading the comments. Hope everybody had a Groovy Solstice yesterday. Happy Holidays!
Hair dressersWho did the hair styles back then, terrible......
Sic transit ursusI love the Shorpy Christmas party! This guy still startled me when I spied him on the floor, despite the fact that I commented on him FIVE YEARS AGO. 
Dean NorrisAh, it wouldn't be Christmas without this delight from Shorpy!
The guy behind the big boss's left shoulder looks like a sightly younger version of actor Dean Norris. According to IMDB, Dean Norris was born in 1962 or 1963, but if this post on Shorpy is any guide, he's at least 100 years old.  Is he pretending to be younger than he really is?  And what's the secret of looking so young?
Cheers!Thanks for posting again, this is one of my favourite pictures on Shorpy. Some odd Barnets going on with some of the women though...I'd love to know if there was a gramophone at this party and if so, what the playlist was.
Tradition I can almost hear Tevya, singing the song in "Fiddler On The Roof", but not quite. It is of course the Holiday Season, office parties and good will to men and of course women. It is time for us Shorpy Junkies to wish each other the best of the season. Good health, prosperity and peace to all. Thanks to our Hosts Dave and  Ken and to our  interlocutor terrace for their grand efforts.
G-manI had to do ctrl-f for all three pages, and I'm amazed that no one to date has identified J. Edgar Hoover standing in the front row, cigar butt in hand, between vest-and-watch chain guy and three-piece suit guy. I can't believe I didn't notice him when I first commented three years ago.
Time for a Shorpy Xmas party!I think we are overdue to have one where we all meet and discuss THIS picture (because with 150 comments, we clearly have a lot on our minds about this W.E. holiday soiree).
Merry Christmas ShorpyitesMerry Christmas to one and all, fans of the photos posted in Shorpy. Thanks to Dave and everyone who helps out with the site.
I hope the new year is good to all and everyone will be back next Christmas to view Xmas Party.
I've been a member for 3 years, 2 days and anonymous for several before that I think.
What's with the oil can?I understand the Teddy Bear and little house in the front of the photo.  But what is the significance of the Christmas Oil Can?
[Yet another beloved Christmas legend inspired by this photo. -tterrace]
Do they know?The standing gal, 3rd from the left, and the kneeling gal (center and one row back) both have the same necklace on (7 little cascading chains ending in a pearl).  I think that the boss-man, J. Edgar Hoover (on the right with the cigar), is having an affair with both of these gals and he gave them both the same necklace. He thinks it's really funny and smiles when he sees them together; his own little private joke!  I wonder if the gals know and are just playing him for whatever they can get? We will never know for sure.
Modern Woman+89
One must wonder if oiling the bear will make the Yuletide bright?
Thanks again!This is now my official notification that the Xmas season has begun. The Office Party re-post.
Threadbare BoughsNow I know where Charlie Brown got his tree. Merry Christmas everyone!
Hours and hoursI, like so many others here, have spent hours with this image. I'm always drawn back to the woman in the lower left. She's always struck me as the office outcast trying to get out of the picture. The woman to the right of her, with the lace collar, looks like her boss giving her the stink eye for not participating.
Roaring Twenties!Thanks for this flash-back, Shorpy!
Love the very mysterious Lady on the left...
and still dislike that pompous guy with the cigar. 
Wee fish, ewe, a mare, egrets, moose... and a hippo gnu year!
I have to askDoes "Office Xmas Party" have the largest amount of comments?
[That record might be held by Our Lady of Lourdes School. Another much-commented post was The Beaver Letter. - Dave]
FinallyShorpy's annual "Office Xmas Party" has arrived! There's my guy standing in the back row, far left still waiting for me. Swoon.
Happy Holidays, Shorpyites! 
And thank you, Dave, for all that you do.
Re 2%, and Raise your glassesI think glasses were considered unattractive. I remember lots of members of this generation (my grandparents') or the next who would whip off their glasses whenever someone raised a camera. 
Tough Day At The Office?The best part about these office parties are the grab bags. It's always the best way to regift. Other than that, I hope Dave, Ken, tterace and all our outstanding commentators and readers have a wonderful holiday and a healthy prosperous New Year.
Must have been a heck of a partyAll the way in the back is a tall bald man with a traffic signal on his head! That's better than a lampshade. The body language between the woman on the far left and the woman to her right who is glaring at her is really very sad. You wonder what sort of ugliness was going on behind the scenes. The lady looks like she's been crying a bit. Who knows. It's fascinating to see such a candid photo none the less. 
An oilcan!Now I know the perfect gift to get for all my co-workers. Merry Christmas Shorpy nation. 
I look forward to these people each yearThey've become familiar yet remain interesting.  As I said years ago, we're testing the counter on this one.
Merry Christmas fellow Shorpyites and wish a grand New Year!
It was ninety years ago today ...... and the photo never ceases to give.
The fun is overOkay, we had our Christmas celebration, now everyone back to your desks and let's finish out the day at 5:00.
The lucky onesDue to the magic of photography, this happy group has been celebrating now for ninety years.  If you enlarge the picture and study their faces and demeanors, you may get some insight into their characters and personalities in 1925.  After seeing this photo for many Christmases on Shorpy, I almost feel that I know some of them as well I know my own friends.  Merry Christmas to all, especially the Shorpy staff.
What are we missing?Great photo, been seeing it for years now, but I always wonder what else was going on? People are looking left, right, straight, up, down. What was going on out of frame? That lady in lower left looks ready to bolt, especially with the other lady looking on concernedly. If this was a Halloween photo, the massacre would be about to begin.
I've been ill, and maybe delirious...
Spooky Lady of Christmas PastI remain endlessly curious regarding the woman with her back to the desk.  
Spooky and haunting, amid all the fascinating characters in this classic shot, she is The One.
Department Name for Room 504Western Electric Company
Installation Department
5th Floor
1319 F Street
Washington DC
(From the 1925 Washington City Directory)
This department installed Central Office equipment (testboards, operator switchboards, signaling equipment, etc) supporting both local and long distance telephone service. 
Google street view has an office building that looks old enough to be our Christmas Office party location. Perhaps another Shorpyite can add the street view for us.
[It was built in 1913. Interestingly enough, it's just one building away from Harris & Ewing, another source of many Shorpy photos. -tterrace]

Merry Christmas, George BabbittThe guy on the right, in front, with the grand forehead, holding the stogie, reminds me of Sinclair Lewis's protagonist in "Babbitt" (1922):
"He was the modern business man; one who gave orders to clerks and drove a car and played occasional golf and was scholarly in regard to Salesmanship. His head suddenly appeared not babyish but weighty, and you noted his heavy, blunt nose, his straight mouth and thick, long upper lip, his chin overfleshy but strong; with respect you beheld him put on the rest of his uniform as a Solid Citizen."  
Room 504Flip the photo horizontally, and you will see that we are on the 5th floor.  Who can guess the "department" we are in?
Now it is Christmastime for sureI couldn't truly celebrate Christmas without seeing this picture again. It must be after Thanksgiving or Shorpy would not have posted it. Any comments I could make about this picture would only be a pale response to all the previous comments. It just makes me try to think what an office Christmas party like this must have been compared to a modern day party. I look forward to this picture every year for some crazy reason.
294408That's how many people have called up this photo.  Over a quarter million!  And this isn't YouTube.  What an amazing picture.  What an amazing site.  Merry Christmas to all my Shorpy comrades and a huge thank-you to Dave and tterrace for all they do to bring this amazingness to us every day.
YuletideI heard Springsteen singing about Santa on my way to work, and now I see this. It is truly Christmastime now.
Oh, Beautiful Lady in the Lower Left......let me unwrap that bear for you, before your nearby friend gets more worried that you're not having any fun.
DoppelgangerThe young woman framed in the door on the left looks remarkably like today's woman who was a business partner of mine.
Nothing but the best at Shorpy!!Thanks for this expected post!
Never noticed this beforeThe men's jackets have creases running the length of the arms. I wonder if this was a customary thing for "the office" or typical treatment "of the times" for pressing? Perhaps this treatment was typical only of a worsted fabric?
P. D. Police Dept.I keep being intrigued by the one and only joker in the crowd, our lady with the "P.D. Police ...." hat. There must be another word after "Police," I suppose it is just "Dept."
Marching In PlaceSeeing this picture so many times tells me that I'm growing older but these celebrants  have become ageless. Along with that piece of wisdom allow me to add my Seasonal Greetings for a Merry Christmas, a joyous Hanukkah Past and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to all. Of course we are all in the debt of Dave,Ken and tterrace (who may or may not be on the Payroll) for their addictive posts, explanations and comment rebuttals. 
From NYC, where the Christmas Eve Fahrenheit is forecasted at 72º.
[tterrace is salaried, deals in a service and is bigger than a bread box. -John Charles Daly]
Life of the partyMy best guess for "life of the party" status goes to the lady in front with elf buckles on her shoes. I love this image- there so much detail and depth of relational perspective. 
Afterlife Office PartyThis photograph has become a holiday tradition for me, as anticipated as my Christmas eve tradition of baking cookies, wrapping gifts and gently placing a dish towel under Uncle Trouble's chin so he doesn't drool on his good shirt after passing out on the couch. 
Scanning the full-screen photo, I wonder if a small corner of the afterlife might be populated by tenants doomed to spend eternity at a perpetual office Christmas party for some workplace sin like stealing lunches from the office fridge, pilfering office supplies, or failing to replace paper or toner in the printer. I can picture Dickensian clarks with ink-stained fingers forever mingling over paper-cupped eggnog with 60's swinging secretaries, Old Kingdom robed Egyptian scribes trimming the tree with bored mid-level Qing Dynasty bureaucrats, and that impenetrable knot of young IT guys and gals speaking in that techno-babble, side-eyeing the boss, forever giggling.
I imagine the mirthless rounds of the eternal white elephant gift exchange: the Take Me to the River-singing fish going round and round and round the conference table ad infinitum. I can see the everlasting greasy pile of stale taquitos, timeless sips from the bottle of booze hidden in the file cabinet, Starbucks Christmas Jazz CD playing in an endless loop -- the horror.
Goober Pea
UpdatedUsing John J's sleuthing on the location of this office, I recently ventured there to see if any resemblance to the photo remains.  I got as far as the only door in the hall on that floor. Nothing appeared to remain.
Seek and ye shall find .  . . GO!TimeAndAgainPhoto, that's a great job of investigating one of our favorites, but I'm convinced that if you'll just badge your way into that office, you'll find a fellow in there with a traffic signal on his head.
I hope so, anyway.
Re: Seek and ye shall find . . . GO!Jim Page - I had to badge my way past security and up the elevator before I was stopped by the secured door.
Those were the daysI really do miss the office Christmas parties from my working years which gave us an opportunity to meet, greet and schmooze with people we hadn't seen in 20 minutes.  Merry Christmas to all, rejoice and be glad.
Every Year and I am Still Captivated But I Don't Know WhyThanks Dave, I'm still enjoying this for some reason I don't understand, and I'm still curious about the front and center oil can.
SNL Time Traveler?That person standing directly to the left of the tree is either a time-traveling, cross-dressing Pete Davidson from SNL or his Great Grandmother worked at Western Electric Group in 1925!
Shorpy - I look forward to this picture every year and am a regular viewer of your site.  Even have a couple of large prints on my walls at home, with another coming soon!
Thanks for this site - it's one of the pleasures of my day!
Yuletide.I love seeing this picture every year. As do my co-workers. Thank you.
I have seen this picture for six (I believe) years nowBut today, today there is a new face, one I instantly recognize, that I would swear was not there in any previous year.
I once found my wife's doppleganger (Trackless Trolley) in one of these pictures.  Today, I find my youngest daughter, Cecilia (16); she's poking her face out between the 2nd and 3rd fully visible women on the left side of the photo (their right) from the tree.
Ok, it's spooky Dave.... but I'm starting to believe someone has a time travel machine, and everyone but me in my family is using it.
P.D. clocheWonder what she's hiding under that hat?
It's timeThis picture (and the myriad comments) are so entertaining, I sometimes search for it when I'm feeling low, even in July!  I especially love Oil Can Sally's come hither look.
I amost know these peopleMy Great-Great Grand uncle was Dan Richardson, a senior accountant for Western Electric in the New England/Northeast US area. He certainly visited Washington D. C. during his time with Western Electric, and would have met and worked with one or more of the people in this photo.
Odd to think I could, via relatives, have been introduced to these people.
This is my first ChristmasI see 26 men, 21 women and hundreds of possibilities.
Oh My GoodnessI had no idea it was so close to Christmas. We really need to finish the baking...
Old Friends From The OfficeAre like warm Gluehwein to heat the cold heart at Christmas.
Merry Christmas my Shorpyite friends and a Happy New Year to everyone, especially Dave who keeps all of us in memories. [updated]
Phyllis Diller"What I don't like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day."
QuorumThis picture puts the "mass" back in Christmas.
Sturdy DesksI guess the nine guys head and shoulders above everyone else are standing on two or three of these desks. Curious as anyone about the office relationships and the lady sitting in front of the desk. My eighth year of wondering and guessing about this picture.
The scraggly looking treein the picture most probably was bought with donations from some of the people in this picture.
Older Shorpyites will no doubt remember the single set of lights on the tree.  The lighting "outfit" was an inexpensive 8 light series set, with C-6 miniature based bulbs.  When a bulb burned out, it was time to hunt for it with a good one...unscrewing every bulb in the set until it was found.
I remember helping my grandmother do just that.  For some reason, the C-6 series set was always at the top of the tree.  Grandma would get up on a stool, with me holding the good bulb, and switching it one by one until the set lit.
Wonderful times.  Timeless memories.
What Are They ThinkingI've enjoyed this picture year after year, and like many who had suffered through office parties, I often thought what goes through their minds.
Click to enlarge.

Lady in the foregroundI've also wondered (several years in a row) about the lady with her back to the desk. The thing that really stands out to me, is her hair. As far as I can tell, she has her hair swept back in a bun, which is clearly very old-fashioned compared to all the bobbed and shingled ladies in the office.
I know this is a bit far-fetched but her clothes and hair suggest to me that she wasn't an office worker, as they give the impression of having less money to spend on herself. I wondered if maybe she was the office cleaner/ tea lady who was called in to be part of the photo?
It could explain why she seems a bit distant from all the others in the group.
It's here!  It's here!The Shorpy Christmas Cheer office party picture is here!  Smack dab in the middle of Prohibition, the gang at Western Electric make merry with two or three hundred stories or thoughts about what the heck was going on in their heads!  
My favorite is the seductress "oil can" Sally with her bathtub-gin induced come-hither gaze!
Merry Christmas!
#UsTooI bet if those girls had a voice today there would be some explaining to do.
Night Before ChristmasWhen what to my wondering eyes should appear
but a company Christmas calendar, the same as last year.
Season's GreetingsThis is simply the greatest captured moment in the history of office photography!
Nothing puts me in the spirit like --this pic, a glass of egg nog and Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on a loop! Merry Christmas all!!
The distant gazeAs fun as it is, I think we're way overthinking the motives of the 5 or so "looking away" women.  Yes, even the comment-generating pair of the sultry one in the lower left corner and the one sitting to her left who appears to be staring her down.  It was evidently fashionable for many decades for women to "look into the distance" for a portrait photograph, and I think that's all they're doing here.  My theory is that this practice started as a way to prevent the "zombie eyes" effect of the exposure capturing the blink after the flash.  My mother always did it, even when I implored her to look at my camera with everyone else.
That GirlIn the middle front, her hairdo reminds me of a poem my mother (b. 1915) used to recite:
There was a little girl who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good, she was very, very good,
But when she was bad, she was horrid.
[Nursery rhyme by Longfellow. - Dave]
Every yearI feel sorrier than the year before for the one sitting on the floor with her back to the desk.  She looks like she is just waiting for the party to be over so she can throw herself out the window.   
Reminds me of "The Office"I can find the whole cast from Dunder-Mifflin -- Michael, Jim and Pam, Dwight Schrute, Stanley, Kevin, Angela, and Phyllis. 
Let's danceHey, did anyone remember to bring their Lasses White albums?
ClaireThis pretty gal looks exactly like my wife.  I just printed out the image and am going to show her tonight.  
Work or PleasureIs the machine on the desk at the right (above the In Box) a record player brought in? A radio? Or is it merely some office device like maybe a phone-related routing/switchboard machine?
Also, wingtips apparently were in style.
Sure SignOf the Season: this picture on Shorpy (Thanks, Dave) and "A Christmas Carol" on TCM.  All the best to all wherever ye might be!
Ghosts of Christmas pastIt really is curious that we can scrutinize a picture like this every year and each time we notice something different that we did not notice before.  This year, while observing enlarged close-ups of these people's faces, I see resemblances to many of my own acquaintances, friends and public figures and one can almost even determine the personality and attitude of each person. I think the young lady standing on the extreme left, second row, closest to the door, looks like a younger Martha Stewart. I also know that these happy holiday office parties are quickly disappearing due to the current lawsuits involving harassment, etc. so the people of my generation (old fossils) can move into the history books with them and just remember how it "used to be" and know it will never be again.
This festive group gets a prime spot in that chapter and exemplifies what it was like, for better or for worse.  Party on kids, 'til the end of time.   
The BossThe one sure thing about this photo is who the boss is, probably flanked by his second in command to his right.
Ion Dept. XmasI have followed this wonderful Xmas photo for years but have never commented, till now.  I always wondered what I might say, since so much has been said.  But what really made me start this year -- the thing I’d never really noticed before – the new thing! – is that guy (head) craning behind the Xmas tree.  Compared with all the other people, he’s really only half there, penciled in, lacking in the vibrancy and heft of every other person. So I guess my comment is:  Merry Xmas, Ion Tree guy!  (And Merry Xmas to all my Shorpy sisters and brothers, and of course to our all-puissant but beneficent overlords, Dave and tterrace, who make this daily joy available to us all.)
[Or maybe Ion Guy is just tinseled in. - Dave]
Was the Electric Company a Communist Front?Psychodramas?  How about it looks like Alger Hiss and Whitiker Chambers’ cousins were exchanging Christmas gifts in Washington in 1925.  Alger’s stands to the left and Whitiker’s to the right—significant?  Whitiker’s cousin looks like someone socked him on the forehead and Alger’s has a smile on his face.

[Ahem. Whittaker, not "Whitiker." - Dave]
That Temptress!All these folks saying they see something new each year -- nuts. I first laid eyes on the beauty behind the oil can, what -- a decade ago now? And she has had me in her spell ever since. It is now officially Christmas season for me.
I'm busy here!You Shorpyites who fantasize about folks from over 90 years ago -- How strange you are.
And all your blather is distracting me from my mission of saving the saintly Love of My Life whose shoulder had been latched onto by the Evil Witch with no opposable thumb ...
I must complete this pesky time machine before Christmas.
Holiday RomanceI see that its time to renew my holiday romance. Every year I fall in love with the young lady the farthest to the left. Brings warmth to my heart, of course, I don't dare tell my wife.
Season's Greetings!I look forward to this picture every year. I like that it's been a running thing here for so long, because I see it as a way to bind all us Shorpyites together. No matter where we live, how old we are, what we're doing in our lives, we can all stop here and comment on this picture, wishing everyone a wonderful holiday. Thank you, Dave, for providing that for us. 
I wish all of you that read this a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May 2019 be the year you've been waiting for.
Hip FlasksEven the Bear won't tell, but, I am sure the oil can will.
1925! Prohibition! Almost every woman had one and, I am sure, that there may be a few here. 
Maybe, that's why Gladys sitting with the Bear and oil can, is smiling knowingly?
Even the person who introduced Prohibition had a still in his basement.
"It was 93 years ago today" Happy Christmas, John! Happy Christmas, Yoko!...Esther, Mary, Eugenia, Mabel, Nellie, Ida, Clara, Edith, Winifred, Maude, Violet, Gladys, Daisy,Doris, Agatha, Gertrude, Elspeth, Velma, Thelma, Myrna, Hortence...
The LevelingTo paraphrase William Makepeace Thackeray "It was in the reign of President Calvin Coolidge, that the above-named personages lived and quarrelled ; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now."
Most popular galMy favorite - Oil Can Sally - has three gag gifts displayed.  That probably makes her the most popular woman in the office. In addition, her provocative smile suggests a hangover was in her future!
Still GOGO after all these yearsI love the bald guy just visible in the back row with the traffic signal "ballanced" perfectly on the top of his head. Very steady!
It sounds crazy... but I swear the bear moved a bit since last year.
That old gang is back!The Christmas Party Picture is back!  I'd actually forgotten about it, so a quick check of Shorpy was the most welcome way to end my Friday.  The week to come will reveal new snarks about these buddies of ours, and I look forward to that.  Thank you, Shorpy!
Those EyesThe beauty sitting against the desk gets me every year. She looks exhausted.
My Favorite TraditionI don't post a lot of comments, but I check the site every day to see what's new and to read what *other* people have said. This is probably one of my favorite posts on this site because it's great to go back through the years of comments and read people's observations about the image, maybe see if someone has come up with something new. I hope we keep seeing this picture on the Friday before Christmas until the heat death of the universe. It would be a lovely constant.
Happy Holidays to everyone at Shorpy. I hope it's filled with love, contentment, and joy.
If you like this photo ...You loved the postcard you just received!!!
When mine came in the mail, my wife said, "Do you know those people?"
Find the BossI just love the way he stands there holding his cigar.  You can almost hear him barking out orders in a very Edward G. Robinson-ish voice.
This reminds me of --That photo in "The Shining" of the 1921 New Year's Eve party at the Overlook Hotel.  These folks will be back, again and again.
The timeless shorpy traditionEvery year when I see the office party pic, my eyes always wind up gazing into the sideways glance of that beauty in front of the desk.
I cant help imagining what the conversations of the day were, who brought a flask full of illegal libations, was jazz coming from a tube type radio, did everyone get a little Christmas bonus (it was the roaring 20's mind you), and who has a crush on who?
Dave, thanks for all you do. Shorpy is a constant in my day.
Be well everyone!  
I guessed the right number of buttons in the jarMerry Christmas!
The Shorpy Ion Dept.A crazy thought occurred to me this year with respect to this beloved standard photograph: what if it were not the Ion Dept. from 1925 but the Shorpy regular contributors from 2019?  Which one is Dave?  Where is tterrace?  And what about so many of the devoted Shorpsters (in no special order) – Jim Page, fanhead, TheGeezer, PhotoFan, Baxado, BethF, TimeAndAgainPhoto, Vintagetvs, OTY, Solo, Jeb70, switzarch, DaveA, JennyPennifer, rhhardin, pennsylvaniaproud, JohnHoward, kines, loujudson, lindab, Jano, StefanJ, jimmylee42, Hayslip, rivlax, Mattie, joemanning, Born40YearsTooLate, GarandFan, mountainrev, perpster, Dbell, Doubleclutchin, Root 66, KathyRo, archfan, GlenJay, alexinv, karenfryxell, Gooberpea, Angus J, 510Russ, Michael R, Brett, BillyB, bobzyerunkl, Alex, jsmakbkr, Marchbanks, Commishbob, Jimmy Longshanks, DoninVa, mgolden, Alonzo, Dag, Juan de la cruz, bobstothfang, Ice gang, Rute Boye, Vonderbees, Ad Orientem, MacKenzie Kavanaugh, JazzDad, Maniak Productions, EvenSteven, Doghouse Riley, John.Debold, Sewickley, Paul A, and jd taylor.  And let’s not forget some of the people we haven’t seen for a while: stanton_square, aenthal, Mr Mel.  (My apologies to those I have not listed.)  Best of the season to you all, my fellow Shorpsters!
Who's WhoDavid K - Dave runs the joint, so he's the three piece with the cigar.  TTerrace is his major player on this site, so he is the guy looking over Dave's left shoulder.  Now we just need someone to post a picture with numbers, and we label them.
Maligayang Pasko all.
Re:Shorpy Ion Dept@davidk, I'm the one peeking from behind the Christmas tree.
I hope everyone in the Shorpy pantheon enjoys all the holidays!
Postcards From The EdgeWhen I got mine, I literally jumped for joy seeing the people that I love and cherish so much. Now I can look at them anytime throughout the year, not just at Christmas.
And, thank you to DAVIDK for the mention.
[@davidk, I would be the guy with the object upon his head]
Our own office partyI love seeing this photo every year and thanks to davidk for the guest book entries of our office.  Top of the season everyone!
Still HereEvery time I see this picture I think that these people could have been my mom or dad.The time and ages represented are almost perfect. It reminds me of aunts and uncles and family friends who are long gone although I will never forget them. I just turned 80 years old this past July and can remember a lot of people who would have been right at home in this picture. Thank you davidk for including me in your list of people who have liked this picture in the past and a big Merry Christmas to Dave and tterrace for maintaining the site. 
This one never gets oldHow is it that an old picture never gets old?  Every year, I always notice something new that I hadn't noticed before.  This year it's the guy with the beard, hiding behind the tree.
Also, the woman just above and just to the left of the woman in the striped blouse (her left, that is) - could that be Johnny Depp's great-grandmother?  I see a definite resemblance.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Love itI love this photo.   The expressions, the faces.  Some of the women are quite attractive. The man with his hand draped across the shoulder of another man is interesting.
Office desk sultry beautyI wonder why the dark hair beauty is staring off to the side?  Was she jilted?  Was she sick of the many advances by the suited men, or despondent that the one she wanted got away.   Why does the women in the RBG collar stare at her?  Does she know what happened?
I love the captions from another commenter. 
Michael ScottIf Michael Scott were the manager of this office, I wonder if he would have said (as he did 85 years later on the TV show), "Unbelievable. I do the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for these people and they freak-out. Well happy birthday Jesus, sorry your party's so lame."
Merry Christmas, Shorpy! And for the record, I don't consider this a lame birthday party, and I doubt Jesus would, either.
Bal MasqueNinety-five years later, if there even would be a party! With an added suspense -- what does Hermione look like, under that mask?
Socially DistantWould they have believed it had someone told them that in 95 years their photograph would be the highlight of 2020 for a group of remote observers?
Merry and BrightThis photo has become the official kickoff of the holidays for me.
Best wishes to all the Shorpy regulars and particularly those who keep this place running. 
Neither here nor thereEach year my attention is drawn immediately to the three beauties at the bottom left of the photo: sultry beauty far left floor level, looking off to her right at someone/something off camera; the lady to that lady's left who seems to be watching her with deliberate intent; exquisite beauty just behind the desk corner, beheld with what appears to be fond regard by the lady just behind her to her left; and wholesome beauty smiling behind exquisite beauty, being kept tabs on by the lady in the Police Department helmet. 
I do eventually get past these women, to study the remainder of visages and postures and wonder about the other long-dead revelers of both genders, but it is these six who take up most of my time each year as I wonder what might have been the complexities of the various relationships. And as always, I hope each one in the photo had a Merry Christmas that year and many years after. I know that the likelihood is slim to none that all lived long and were carefree throughout, but that's still what I wish for in this suspended moment that so many have celebrated for so long, thanks to Shorpy.
So a Merry Christmas to beloved Shorpy and its erudite, esteemed company of gazers no less fascinating than any who attended Office Xmas Party: 1925.
Thanks Again Dave and Merry ChristmasThanks again Dave, I've been waiting for it.  Obviously, we all love this yearly Christmas "surprise".  I enjoy everyone's take on this party I missed awhile back.
Questions, questionsEvery year I wonder.
What is that thing on the postal scale?  A misplaced elf? A misshapen magus?
Why is that woman with the oil can looking at me?  Am I safe?
And why is the Christmas tree so scrawny?
Merry Christmas Dave!And to all the crew at Shorpy!  Thanks for the memories and keeping some of us sane in 2020!
What I want for ChristmasI don't care what it is, I want one.
[Update, thanks to all the gizmo identifiers. I love tape dispensers! Now I really want it!]
Nothing stops this partyOh, thank goodness the Shorpy party is still on!  It's the only event the pandemic cannot cancel!
Judging youDon't know what got into her holiday spirit. Not too pleased with someone.
Re: tterrace What I want for ChristmasIt's a gummed tape dispenser, similar to this one:
She of the averted gazeI know that we enjoy interpreting what is in - or not in - this photograph each year.   However, eight people, including "she of the averted gaze" are looking in that direction, suggesting something was going on while the picture was taken, sufficient to distract.   A further basis for interpretation and speculation, perhaps?    Merry Christmas.   
Only one bow tieAmong all those Windsor knots on the gents, third on upper right.  In group after group they are always in the minority, even until today.
Going to a Go-GoNothing says Christmas like a  Go-Go party hat.
That machineMay be a gummed tape applicator.
National Package Sealer model #206
Do they know?Do you think the two women wearing the exact same necklace (dripping pearls) suspect that it might have come from the same man? Are the pearls from the handsome young gentleman with the pen sticking out of his pocket? Is this an early version of "The Bachelor" that we are witnessing? Which one will he choose?
Austerity Christmas?From the Charlie Brown Christmas tree to the lack of any visible food or drinks (except for a few candy canes) to the blank, unimpressed looks on some faces, it looks like an Austerity Christmas in Anytown this year.
Well, Merry Christmas TermiteYou can probably still find one somewhere.  It's an automatic wetter and cutter for wide, brown packing tape. You just mash down on the handle and it shoots out a measured length of wet sticky tape and cuts it when you release. There is a messy water reservoir up front. I used one in a shipping department in 1974.
Buddha Bear!Puts in his once a year appearance.
Merry Christmas to Dave & Ken & tterrace and all the naughty boys & girls at Shorpy!
Nice $-value todayThat horse that guy in front of Christmas tree is holding. All with bit of wear and patina collected in 95 years.
Another yearWe all get another year older and they stay the same.
Five groupsPart of the endless fun with this photo is deciding which part of it to center as the embiggened image on my screen.  I fluctuate between the five main Ion Dept. groups: on the left, the ladies on the floor, the ladies standing, and the men standing above them, and on the right, the lower men and the upper men. (If I had to distinguish a special sub-group, it would be solo guy behind the tree and the fellow on the very far right who hovers between the upper and lower groups.)  Once I have the group du jour embiggened, I focus on the individual characters.  As we who have been doing this for years well know, that’s when the fun begins.
Might I take this opportunity to offer the best of the season to Dave and Ken and tterrace and all my fellow Shorpsters.  In this extraordinary year of greater screen time than ever before, I find that my Shorpy screen time is even more intense and valuable, if such a thing is actually possible.  Bless Shorpy, and bless you all.
Elbow to elbowEvery year I have a different response to this photograph, depending on general mood and the state of the world.  This year, I truly envy those people.  They get to stand together in a bunch, breathing one another’s air, touching each other casually, sharing food and drink, simply going in to work at an office.  They all lived through a plague of their own six years earlier, and they look fine now, so there’s hope.
Happy holidays to all the people who create and enjoy this wonderful website that gives me joy and perspective on a daily basis.
Re: Elbow to elbowI must concur. Having spent nine months wearing a mask, practically bathing in hand sanitizer every time I touch anything, and staying as far removed from people I don't live with as humanly possible, I'm jealous of these long-dead coworkers for being able to crowd together, enjoying one another's company in person, rather than over Zoom or FaceTime.
It's been a bad, bad year, there's no denying that, but Shorpy has been a bright spot in my day since January, much as I'm sure it's been for the rest of you. Happy Holidays to all the Shorpyites out there — may you find some contentment and peace in the face of all this tragedy and come out the other side hale and hearty.
That Time of Year AgainThrough the miracle of photography and our friends at Shorpy, we are able to visit this party again.  
A Vintage CrumpleAfter all these annual viewings I finally noticed what looks like a lone crumpled piece of paper at lower right. We'll never know what was on it. Maybe a dig at one of these people? Or love note? Ah, the mysteries!
Christmas Past, Present, and Future all at once!Every year I wonder about the dark-haired smiling young woman third from the front, beside the desk. With her modern-looking bob, she looks like a Time Traveler, so that's what I've named her. (Not far away are The Maniac, Da Boss, and The Very Secret Lovers.) This photo, along with its subjects, never gets old, and I hope the Holiday Spirit that originally inspired it never does either. Happiest of Holidays to everybody who produces and sees Shorpy, and a New Year of peace, love, courage, and good health to all.
12 Years of ChristmasMerry Christmas Shorpy.  Thanks for the memories.
[This is Shorpy's 14th Christmas! - Dave]
PerspectiveThey all lived through a plague of their own six years earlier, and they look fine now, so there’s hope.
Thanks, jdtaylor--I'm sure I'm not the only one who needed that perspective today.
Happy holidays to Dave and all the Shorpyites. This site has been a great distraction lately!
Time to Move OnI vote that next year you post the 1926 photo. Some of the lingering issues must have been resolved by then.
The X-mas Party Presents!And here you may have a look on how Christmas looked 100 years ago in the U.K. (including a display of toys made by Meccano in the toy department of Whiteleys store in Bayswater).
Mysterious machineNow that the gummed tape dispenser has been identified, I hope someone will be able to reveal the secret of the machine on the desk behind the in-box. A perforator or a mimeograph machine perhaps?
[It's called a typewriter. - Dave]
Dead ringer, etc.At the very back and far left - the attractive woman 3 in - I have a friend who looks exactly like her but with a more modern hair style, but identical facial features. How eerie!
Something tells me that Oil Can Mary's wicked smile indicates that she is already planning what flapper attire she will wear at the local speakeasy that night. Her future toast might be: "My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends— It gives a lovely light!" Published in 1920. Edna St. Vincent Millay.
I often wonder what became of all these people. It is my hope that they all lived long, happy, prosperous lives but alas, as we know, life can be more complicated than that.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year you ghosts of Christmas past!
The only Christmas party I'll go to.Merry Christmas to Dave and the Shorpy Crew, as well as my fellow Shorpy followers. It appears that I've been around for 12.5 of the 14 years of, though it seems like yesterday and DoninVa no longer lives in Va. There's always something to be found in a Shorpy photo: the young woman framed in the glass of the door is the doppelganger for someone I once worked with. Cheers!
Newcomer To The PartyAfter viewing Shorpy for some years now, I finally decided to join this party; I'm in awe of the many observations, and for now, am unable to come up with any new angles on this fascinating photo.  I do want to say that the comments of jd taylor and BethF most definitely struck a chord with me; I, too, envy those in the photo, survivors of even greater trouble, coming as it did following The Great War.  Hope to see you all back at the party next year, and a few other places along the way.  May you all find peace and hopefully some joy this Christmas.
A Merry Christmas to You All!It's been a rough few years for me (family deaths, health issues), and my Internet usage dropped off considerably. I may have stopped commenting, but I never stopped reading, and I've looked forward to this photo every year for a long, long time. I'm glad that for all the things in flux in this world, the Shorpy Office Xmas Party remains the same.
I wish you and yours the very merriest and happiest of holiday seasons. May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white.  :-D
EerieWhy the rush?
[??? - Dave]
MassafornianWhat a great comment, thank you.  I’ve never colorized, and I use Photoshop for barely 10% of what it can do, but I truly appreciated your insight into the process.  More amazing is that you’ve named them all.  Gosh, I’d love to know who the others are, in addition to Mary, Bobbie, Lulu, and Lila.  And how honest to share with us your faves, Mary and Bobbie, made legit by your wife asking.  I agree about Lila: trouble.  Also the lady with the marcel wave in the purple dress and blue coat with fur fringe behind the bear and oilcan and house: you might think of her in off moments but you could never make it work.  (What’s her name?)  Thanks for explaining about Remini because I wondered how their teeth and various other features were so brilliant and precise.  And don’t worry about the rouging: it raised the temperature on the whole event (and not just on the ladies – it’s perfect for that guy third from the left in the upper right, the older fellow with the red tie, who’s had too much to drink or is about to have a stroke or both).  One more thing: I’d never really noticed that unsightly blotch on the forehead of the boss with the cigar – you did it full, gross justice.  Again, great job, and thanks, man!
I'd like to be the first this yearSurely, it's not too soon for this Yuletide Jewel ...
The Oilcan Need an explanation for the purpose of the oil can at the party.
[It's not a party unless everyone is well-lubricated. - Dave]
Now the season is complete!I look forward to revisiting this every year. Thank you!
- Ken
Colorized versionI've been working off and on to colorize this wonderful image throughout the year. Here's the result. You can also find it here in high resolution:
Merry Christmas!
[Bravo! - Dave]
Amazing colorization!@ Massafornian -- thanks so much for that epic job. It adds so much to an already incredible image. (Judging by your username, I suspect we are compatriots -- I was born in Massachusetts and live in California.)
Merry and BrightWith retirement, our lives have been simpler here so the Christmas decorations go up earlier and earlier. But it isn't *really* the season until the annual Shorpy office party. Happy Holidays to Dave and the regular contributors that make this place special.'s kind of odd that I get older but none of the partygoers ever seem to. Must be something in the eggnog.
As We Seek Normalcy, This Pic Provides it!The last two pandemic driven years, makes most of us seek glimpses of normalcy. Having this Christmas tradition each year, having a peek into the office Christmas party, gives a moment of that peace. Knowing these, and their children, and their grandchildren...made it through the Great Depression, WWll, the Cold War, etc., etc., still, a moment frozen in time, gives a certain reassurance, that everything is going to be ok! 
Merry Christmas, office party, as well as all the Shorpy members that crash the party each year!
Bravo, indeedWell done on the colorization, Massafornian.  It adds a level of vibrancy to an already-lively photo of an intriguing bunch of people.  I’m also surprised at some of the effects, for example the oft-commented-upon woman in the lower left, sitting against the desk, craning her neck for a beady glare offstage – the rouge on her cheeks and the lipstick blunt the ultra-crazy impression and make her look, dare I say, somewhat fetching.  Thank you for your addition to this seasonal favourite.  And best of the season to my fellow Shorpsters and to the toilers in the digital mines who bring us this much-loved website.
Everybody's back in the officeNobody's working from home and the party is ON!  Happy holidays!
WFHAs we head into Covid Christmas #2, it again strikes me that these folks would have no idea what working from home would even mean.  (Taking in sewing?)  Here they are, in joyous proximity one to the other, while we are still asked to distance, mask up, etc.  Their mingled exhalations, their casual touches, the humid density of their gathering – how I envy them.  Well, we come here to dream and fantasize, don’t we?  Happy holidays to my fellow dreamers and observers and to the hard-working trio who bring us the stuff that dreams are made of.
Up to good or no goodI am incredulous that I have never really noticed the girl at the far left of the photo, just in front of the door -- the last of the women. She is concealing something. Knowledge or intent, benevolent or nefarious ... no matter. Keep a weather eye on that one.
Egad! New versions!Shorpy Patreon members have been treated to a short, elegant--well, creepy--music video in Ken-Burns-goes-Edward Gorey style. And now a colorized photo with costumes straight out of Technicolor heaven. And in 2021 they all sneaked in to party on Saturday!
Old FriendsI've seen this picture so many times over the years at Christmas time on Shorpy that the faces have become like familiar old friends. I'm of the opinion that Christmas will never be the same for me unless I get to see this photo at least once during the Christmas season.
Girl At The Far LeftNo one tried to say a thing
When they took him out in jest
Except, of course, the little neighbor boy
Who carried him to rest
And he just walked along, alone
With his guilt so well concealed
And muttered underneath his breath
“Nothing is revealed”
Time For A Rhyme...or TwoIt's Christmas Party time again, so back to yesteryear,
To faces from so long ago, we now hold somewhat dear
They lived through their pandemic, and now we've had our own
For some, it was an ordeal; of much more time alone,
Yet, gazing at these faces here shows us things will improve,
And then to next year's gala even more will gladly move!
A Merry Christmas to you all, here at this special time
I thank you all so very much for bearing with my rhymes,
May next year's party be the one our current trial's behind us
But our friends from 1925 will be there to remind us ...
A very special thanks to Massafornian for the superb colorization!
A bit more on the colorizationThe colorization was done by hand, for about an hour most every morning, when I had the spare time while listening to podcasts. I started in early January and completed it around April. I am sure that most Shorpians know that colorization is tedious, mostly due to the need to mask objects and details as much as possible, to distinguish them from other objects. (The Christmas tree with its fir needles and tinsel was a bit of a job). Automated colorization just doesn’t compare in quality to doing it by hand.
Each person is a smart layer in Photoshop that in turn contains many layers of isolated bits to colorize. The fun part was choosing the colors of people’s attire. Hopefully what I chose is close enough to what this cast of characters might’ve actually worn in 1925, but I won’t claim any historical research was performed for color accuracy.
I could easily spend the same amount of time on this image again, by further masking textures and smaller objects, and separating their colors. If anyone wants the original layered PSD to do more magic, you can have it here:
You have exactly one year to post the next refinement!
You might notice in the high resolution version that the faces are oddly higher resolution than the surrounding parts of the image. This is a bit of AI deployed on the faces, called Remini. Google it to learn more, but in a nutshell, Remini analyzes a face that is low resolution or blurry and magically reconstructs it in high resolution by drawing from a huge library of face components. Remini reassembles face components onto a map based on the original image. The process is hit-or-miss as far as how it can interpret low-quality image data. It was fun to apply it to this image one face at a time and integrate the rendered AI faces back into the master image.
I feel that I know all these characters in the photo intimately, having spent a lot of time on each one of them. I’ve given them all first names to distinguish the Photoshop layer names. My wife asks me which lady I might’ve fancied back in the day, and I think it’s a tie between ‘Mary’ (the blonde in front of the ‘504’ door wearing purple) and ‘Bobbie’ (third-to-the-right of ‘Lulu’, (the pixie by the desk), with brown hair, a green coat and blue dress, looking directly into the camera). Those two have nice, approachable personalities. I’m intrigued by ‘Lila’ (the mysterious lady on the floor in front of the desk), but she’s perhaps too brooding for 1925 Me to take on; and ‘Lulu’ is far too racy and trendy for my sensibilities.
I was born in 1963, so I imagined a lot of these people from 1925 as being my many older relatives who were a huge part of my childhood in the 60’s and 70’s. My grandmother was born in 1890 and her gaggle of five sisters had birth years that ranged between 1885 and 1902. Though elderly, they were all alive and vibrant for most of my childhood, and greatly influenced me.
I’ve been patiently waiting for this time of year when Dave publishes this wonderful photo, to submit my contribution. I think this version turned out pretty nice.
@ Born Too Late - my geographical fate is the opposite of yours: I started out in the Alameda, California and moved to Massachusetts some 20 years ago. Massachusetts is really a great place to live—weather be damned!
@ DavidK - Yes, ‘Lila’ did indeed turn out to be beautified by the AI software, Remini. In retrospect I think I got carried away with rouging people’s cheeks, but without it, the skin tones just seemed too flat.
HUAAgreed, davidk ... most likely she's a downright dollbaby but there is a definite glint in her eye and you must admit she has a secret or two or ten. Maybe she's even got something on some of the other girls.
Not nefariousI’ve had my eye on that woman on the far left in front of the ION window for years, JennyPennifer.  She has a touch of high color, and I really like that ringlet that has broken loose by her right eye.  She seems mild yet ready for fun.  Not naughty.
At this rateI'm thinking that by the 2025 centenary we should be ready for an animatronic enlivening of this ongoing party.
Cast of charactersAbsolutely outstanding job of colorization, Massafornian!
It really brings out details that were easy to overlook.
I see the Serbian Anarchist, peering out just to the right of the Big Boss with the cigar, and wonder what he's planning. And the guy hiding just below the life of the party, with the STOP/GO headgear - he looks like he's hiding something, for sure.
But is the Big Boss truly the Man? My money is on the distinguished looking silver haired gent at the top right, overlooking the affair with a cautious gaze ...
And, who really *is* the mustachioed guy to his left, glaring at the photographer?
Is he worried about this photo getting out? Does he appear on a Wanted poster??
Merry Thank YouBecause it's never Christmas until the Office Party and new Office Party Comments.
Office Stories@ DavidK - If you have Photoshop, try downloading the PSD and you’ll see their names in the layers palette. The oilcan lady I named ‘Janelle’ because she looks like my cousin who has that name. I believe ‘Janelle’ to be the well-regarded office trickster.
The aging lush in the top-right standing group of men is named ‘Redd’. Me thinks he’s barely evading his mortality this fine evening, and perhaps is about to fall off of whatever he’s perched upon, to be carried out to a waiting cab, muttering something about his childhood pet dog, Wilberforce. After his early departure his hip flask was found on the floor, where he fell. No one knows what happened to it, or its contents.
The leader of the pack is named ‘Boss’, for obvious reasons. My wife thinks that perhaps he has a familial connection to ‘Bertha’, the large lady in the red dress. Boss’s blotch is an expanding skin growth. By 1945, it will have grown over his face, poor fellow. Unfortunately, the portly Boss died of a heart attack in 1946 while un-crating his new supply of Consuegra cigars and munching on a donut.
I note in this photo that there is no evidence of food or drink, save the candy canes. So while we have conjectured on this post about the state of inebriation these people might be in, strong drink seems unlikely at this event, particularly in the age of prohibition these people find themselves in. (Redd is the exception, having brought his own supply of spirits.) The food might be in another part of the room, but the lack of it has me thinking that this event was a relatively brief gathering after work.
‘Lulu’, the office pixie, is only 19 years old. She is Boss’s niece. This makes her somewhat problematic for all concerned in the office, and something of a political figure. She’s not exactly incompetent at her job, but the office matriarch, ‘Ursula’ (sitting on the floor in the green dress) was grudgingly forced to hire her. Lulu got married to a Studebaker salesman in 1928, moved to Pasadena in 1930, and had 4 children. She died in 1988 in a car accident.
The thing about the brooding ‘Lila’ that no one knew was that she had a very wealthy aunt in New York City. In 1934 her aunt passed away, and Lila inherited nearly $3 million dollars in property and bonds. She moved to the Upper East Side in 1936, but never married. She lived to the age of 103, dying in 1998.
Here's a closeup of Lila:
Go-GoIs that something hanging from the wall or sitting on the man's head as a prank?  Has it ever been commented on before?  Though not shown, there has to be a portable Victrola and stack of jazz records somewhere for when the party gets hot!  This was the height of the Charleston era and there are plenty of flappers present!
A White Elephant In The RoomMay explain the oil can, the Honey Bear, and all the other strange gifts.
I don't know how long the White Elephant Gift party has been around, but my wife and I just had one at our house.
That is one thing that I have been looking at all these years on Shorpy (the crazy gifts), and now realize the crazy gifts could be from the White Elephant in the room.
Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year to all my Shorpyite brothers and sisters.
(Thanks archfan. Good to know that it is still around after all these years)
Colors!Kudos, Massafornian! At first I thought, hm, some of those dresses are awfully bright, but then I realized of course that for the office party some people always wear a “special” outfit. I doubt that woman in the red satin dress would have worn it any other day but it’s so Christmasy how could she resist! 
Colors!Kudos, Massafornian! At first I thought, hm, some of those dresses are awfully bright, but then I realized of course that for the office party some people always wear a “special” outfit. I doubt that woman in the red satin dress would have worn it any other day but it’s so Christmasy how could she resist! 
Re: Go-GoVictrolaJazz asks if the mini traffic signal on the head of the man at the back, to the right of the tree, has been commented on before.  Yes!  Many times over the years, in fact.  This would provide a fine opportunity to review the long and enjoyable string of comments where you will find the following:  Going to a Go-Go (12/12/2020), Still GOGO after all these years (12/20/2019), Festive Dress (12/19/2015), Must have been a heck of a party (12/23/2014), No one seems to have noticed (12/14/2012), Office A-Go-Go (12/25/2010), Slow on the uptake (12/24/2010), Kimono-wearing parrot? (12/23/2010), I can’t find Don Draper (12/23/2010), Naughty Naughty (04/21/2009), Getting Oiled at the Office Xmas Party (12/15/2008), Dramatis Personae (12/15/2008), and, finally, A Story in every face (12/15/2008) which includes a Dave link to a Shorpy post with a real GO-GO traffic signal in it.
Time travel?Either Johnny Depp  was the original Doctor Who time travelling as a woman or his mother was working Working for Western Electric that Christmas
A white elephant party?I hadn't thought of that and now I'm disappointed.  For years I have been daydreaming about the oil can lady, the one with the unnervingly lascivious direct look.
Then I remember she'd be old enough to be my grandmother.  Jeepers.
Grateful Holiday pome These people, alas, are all now dust.
 But we on Shorpy surely must
 visit them once more.
 Cheer to all on Shorpy!
Sad or Stimulating, or a bit of both?Having been recently retired, with no more company Christmas parties to attend, I am faced with a conundrum. 
Is it sad that the 1925 Christmas Party on Shorpy is now the Office Party I look forward to the most, or is it tantalizing that the faces and actions of these folks, now long gone, give all of us smiles nearly a century later?
Let this serve as a reminder to treat every moment as if that moment is also "frozen in time"!
Merry Christmas, Dave, and the entire Shorpy family!
MomObviously, this is another photo in the Shorpy Hall of Fame inaugural class, but the best thing about it for me is that it was likely taken when my mom was just a newborn, having come into this world on December 17, 1925.  Merry Christmas to all and a Happy Heavenly 97th Birthday to my mom!
My how time fliesSeems like it was just a month or two ago when last Christmas flew by with this pic.
NobodyHas changed much from last year.  Remarkable.
Gag Gifts?I look forward to this party every year, and I notice something new each December. It's occurred to me that everyone in the photo is holding some kind of small gift, and all of them look like "white elephants": a toy horse, an oil can, a little bear, a toy policeman's hat—perhaps it was a "Secret Santa" kind of gag gift swap, and each gift was appropriately unique to the receiver. The photograph makes every one of these people forever young, and I always wonder what happened to each one of them: all those life stories that we'll never know. (I hope they all got a Christmas bonus!) Happiest of Holidays—and a Happy, Healthy New Year—to every Shorpyite.
The finer detailsI’ve chosen to focus on some of the smaller, obscure points this year in my investigation of this beloved photo.  The woman in the bobby hat towards the left?  Go south to the hand of the woman in front of her, the hand on the shoulder of the woman in the light-colored dress: that hand looks disembodied and is therefore creepy.  Person who looks most Photoshopped in?  The woman to the immediate left of that hand, staring right into your soul.  Stuff like that.  The picture is positively filthy with wacky, kooky, scary little things.
Sober thoughtFourteen years of beautiful fascination. Wonder if some folks who commented earlier, by now "are with the people on the photo" too?
Go-Go indeedI just wanted to second the man at the back, being bald myself. Go Go, folks.
Christmas TreesIf nothing else, we have made great advances in Christmas tree technology. 
Every year they look a bit youngerMeanwhile, every year I look less like my father and more like my grandfather.
Love the ones you're withThanks for the labor of love and commerce Shorpy is. Years ago this photo evoked for me speculations about what may have divided these office mates. Now what comes out of this photo is the love that is possible if only ... with enough time and enough patience and enough "having lived through" being absent from one another we arrive at a finality of cherishing "in spite of" or even "because of" the uniqueness we bring.
The big read 1925I wonder how many of them were concealing new books in their purses, briefcases, or desk drawers. It was an era of readers, and 1925 was a banner year. Here are some of the newly-printed titles waiting for them in bookstores:
Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Hemingway, In Our Time
Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
Dreiser, An American Tragedy
Christie, The Secret of Chimneys
Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer
Cather, The Professor’s House
Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Milne, a Winnie the Pooh story at Christmas
Kafka, The Trial (if you read German)
Proust, Albertine Disparue (if you read French—though some of them may still be working through the 1922 translation of Swann’s Way).
By December, early subscribers could have accumulated ten months of the new “New Yorker.”
But let’s hope that they still had a few years to be blissfully unaware of Mein Kampf, published in Germany in July.
There's one in every office. Frank is holding up an equipment assignment sheet while calling (vainly) for the frivolity to end and a return to work. He will not succeed. 
Group AnalysisObviously far too long a comment, but Shorpy is so inspirational. Still had fun thinking and writing, as well as viewing picture again.
I was wondering about the woman at the far left. She is showing a sideways glance, and nobody else in the picture has a sideways glance. A sideways glance can be a powerful indication of attention to a subject, like romantic attention or professional attention or just surprise, but in any case something out of the ordinary. Like here, it seems different, just that one woman.
Trying to analyze a sideways glance, there is the face angle (determined by the nose angle) and the eyes angle. For a sideways glance like this, the eyes are directly pointed at the subject, but the face is pointed elsewhere. Using a reasonably limited choice of angles (0, 15, 30, 45) and expressing angles as "eyes angle / face angle" (eyes come first, most expressive), then this mystery woman with the sideways glance could be a 0/30.
Directly below her on the floor is a 45/0 woman, and her eyes angle is the extreme opposite. Seems absolute difference between the two angles can show degree of interest or attention, not the amount of either angle. With any 45/0 difference then attention seems to be very much elsewhere. The 30/45 woman to her right apparently has her attention directed to the same subject, but not to the same degree, more a casual interest, just a difference of 15 between her angles.
And the next woman above is a 30/30, also looking in that direction, but no difference between her angles, no indication of interest or attention, just looking.
Also just looking, but now at the camera, are all the 0/0 men and women, no differences, the largest group. They seem to be posing conventionally for the picture, and there is no apparent sign of interest or attention (other than to the camera). The exact pose varies by individual, some are smiling more than others, but they are all 0/0's. Some 0/0's may be simple conformists, and others may be nonconformists bored stiff (they can still smile, for the camera), but you can't probably tell which is which from the picture.
The big boss on the right is a 0/0, and the men in line with him are mostly 0/0's too, diligently following his traditional example. Above him are three 45/45's, you may not be able to tell about attention or interest from a 45/45, no difference there, in that way like a 0/0. However they are definitely not posing for the camera in any conventional way, not following the big boss example, and probably not in line to succeed him. His successor would probably be a 0/0 closest to him.
We could also consider tilt angle of the head as a variable, but that's more difficult to determine, because it varies with perspective, further away or closer to the camera. Also could consider extent of smiles, but that also difficult to determine. Eyes angle and face angle (nose angle) should be easier.
These angle measurements are probably useful only in a posed office photo, like this one. In a family photo 0/0's can be visibly full of emotion. And in real life anyone can look at you straight on, a 0/0, with amazement or fury or love or anything else. So angles won't help much in real life, although a sideways glance can still show interest and then create reciprocal interest, even mutual interest.
Mistletoe and High Voltage for all the women!I love how the ladies' hair has that "Bride of Frankenstein" look ... creepy yet sexy.  It reminds me to get the yule log out.
ZoomThat was a quick year. 
Another Year Gone ByBeen seeing this annually for a long time now, am I the first to comment ?? Anyways all these souls, their troubles and happy days are behind them and now are just dust in the wind … enjoy yourselves as we will be dust too! Merry Christmas 
My Newest Favorite Christmas Tradition!I have gotten to the point of looking so forward to this party each year, it has indeed become one of my favorite Christmas traditions! LOL
For most of those attending the party, they are indeed, "living life!" That is so valuable, the ability to live life. On a personal note, I am learning that this year, having lost my precious wife in March, to Dementia. As iamjanicemarie well noted, all of these, are now just "dust in the wind."
Which makes me wonder, in what order did they pass? Did some in the picture in 1925 not survive till the party in 1926? Who was the last to go, and in what year? In the hundreds of comments, some pointing out actual things, others just speculating ... we can learn one lesson.
Live Life Fully Every Day. Who knows, a hundred years from now, you may still be having an effect on someone who you never even met!
Merry Christmas, Shorpy family!
What's up with the gals?Are they wearing kryptonite jewelry?
Old friendsI never get tired of this party and these coworkers.  The job, yeah, I'm sick of it, but the people make it all worthwhile.  I feel like I've known them forever.
Welcome Back, Dear 1925 Office Party Friends. . . and all Shorpy friends, too! 
I look forward to seeing this wonderful photo every year. These folks never age, unlike the rest of us. I find this reassuring: life goes on, as it did for the office partiers whose lives continued through the Depression, WWII, and possibly even on to the 1990s. I always wonder who they were and what happened to them. 
Here's to a Happy Holiday season and a peaceful 2024.
Seems Like Old TimesNice to see familiar faces, even though I never met them.  However much they aged after this photograph, we'll never know, so just once each year, it's 1925 again.
StableThis firm has a very stable workforce.  Every year, it's the same folks in the Christmas photo.
Macabre variationAlthough certainly macabre, I do like the door that iamjanicemarie tentatively opened and that HarahanTim swung fully open.  In what order did these people pass?  The annual response to this photo has definitely taken a curious turn, but I’m glad to chime in.
First to go, I believe, was Boss Man with the cigar, the very next morning, in the wee hours.  He’s clearly in bad physical shape, a massive coronary waiting to happen.  And it wasn’t the fault of one of those young ladies sitting on the floor that it happened in her bed.  It was a different time when office and sexual politics were vile, and everyone was drunk.
Last to go was Heather on the far left in back, framed by the glass of the door.  She’s only 23 in the photo, and she lived right into the next century, dying at 102 in 2004.  She had moved back to Ohio, and on her last day was surrounded by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even one of her great-great-grandchildren.  They all loved her very much.
It's finally Christmas ...... when this bunch show up. I checked; they're all there. Proceed to celebrate. Merry Christmas, everyone xoxo
In the officeIt's hard to imagine this bunch "working from home". The dynamic would be lost with a "Zoom" holiday party.
Fire ExtinguisherJust behind the gentleman with the "GO" signal on his head it looks like there is a classic soda/acid fire extinguisher that I noticed for the first time today. Conveniently located next to what appears to be a rather combustible tree. Season's Greetings to Dave, tterrace and the whole Shorpy gang. 
Well, having had time to ponderabout these folk for a good decade since discovering Shorpy, I have come to a tentative yet preliminary assessment.
The only woman with no apparent makeup and yet the most beautiful features is the lady sitting on the floor at bottom left. Really in a class of her own in this crowd with those almond eyes and high cheekbones, yet with hair and dressed a bit out of date, but still sporting brand new shoes judging by their soles. How they got her to sit on the dirty floor for the pic is beyond me.
In any case, the photographer has just given her a huge suggestive wink, and she's snapped her head to the right in response, looking faintly amused / bemused, no doubt used to the unwanted male gaze. The woman second to her left is staring at her, annoyed that Gloria (for that is her name) has caught the roving eye of the photographer instead of her -- the body language is obvious. The flapper two to the left of Ms Envious is giving the photographer a bit of a come-on with her lopsided grin -- she has sussed out his game.
Mr Fatlips the boss is terminally near-sighted but for photos and thus posterity takes his glasses off when posing, as one can see. What he looks like with them on is a subject for a horror movie.
The rest of the crowd barring a few are to a greater or lesser degree tipsy on smuggled-in booze, it being Temperance Time, er, prohibited drinkees time in America
I'll have an update in future when other things become more clear to me from my favorite Shorpy image. 
Merry Xmas to all!
Finger WavesThe blond and brunette whose backs are against the door and doorjamb, respectively, look modern.  The other modern looking girl is two rows in front of them, also a brunette.  These three look timeless.  The other women either still have long hair wrapped up some way or they have those awful finger waves that look like ridges in their hair.  None of the girls that have finger waves have benefitted from that style.  It does not flatter any face shape, it just looks weird and kind of Bride of Frankensteinish.
The blond miss sitting on the floor is looking daggers at the moody looking woman sitting against the desk.  I will always wonder why.
Holiday Party Fun (2023)Dear Shorpy folks and friends of the site.
This year I used this very photo to make a SPOT THE DIFFERENCE game at our work Christmas party.
Each of the participants had 20 minutes to spot all 19 differences. I used Photoshop and AI to make the changes to the photo and we all had so much fun with it.
If you would like me to post that image here, you may have fun too! Let me know Dave!
Also, we have some new friends that might be joining us on this site as they were fascinated by all the expressions of this 1925 party. I did inform them of the site and URL.
Merry Christmas everyone
What is on the hand of the number 2 guy next to the boss?There is something on his pointer finger and thumb.  Could these be some type of grippers for leaving through papers?  Could it be he was working until they forced him to come get his picture taken?  He is clearly annoyed to be there. Maybe he is plotting to have the boss removed so he can be in charge?
Half a MillionI expect that the number of reads for Office Xmas Party will pass 500,000 shortly. Is this a record number of reads for a Shorpy photo?
[Office Xmas Party holds the No. 2 spot. Shorpy's most popular post is ... Lady in the Water, with over 640,000 reads. And at No. 3 is The Beaver Letter. - Dave]
Merry Christmas to all Shorpians!May your holidays be merry and bright.  A special Merry Christmas to Dave and tterrace who keep this very special website going.  And to all pictured from that office party held nearly 100 years ago, a Merry Heavenly Christmas to all!
ONE MORE TIMEAfter passing this photo around for everyone to look and laugh at, it was probably hung on the wall for a time, then taken to someone's home and put away in a chest and forgotten ... perhaps copies were made.
But how would these people feel if they knew that almost a half million people have studied it?
Also those desks have been in their current positions for a very long time, the floor below them new and pristine.
[This was not a casual snapshot -- the National Photo Company was primarily a news service. Its photographs appeared in newspapers, advertisements and publicity material. This particular image might have been used for Western Electric's in-house newsletter or a company Christmas card. - Dave]
Thank ya Dave for clearing that up.
Meet some of the boys ...Introducing ...
Charles S. Barker, District Superintendent: "With the right personnel and a good organization, you can do anything in telephony"
E.N. Searles, Division Superintendent
J.E. Grant, R.D. Dick, and...
Walter W. Lodding, Division Accountant
... with an invitation to Christmas at the Loddings':
This image was featured in the December 1926 issue of the Western Electric News with the title: "YOUTH AND THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT" and caption: "Santa Claus did right by this little lad the son of W.W. Lodding of the Installation Division 11 Headquarters"
Looking daggers?Susanhumeston wondered, "The blond miss sitting on the floor is looking daggers at the moody looking woman sitting against the desk. I will always wonder why."
I have always been intrigued by that interaction. Pretty much come to the conclusion that three of the ladies were diverted by something off set to the left. One (Charlotte) clearly annoyed, one (Lila) merely taking it in, and one (Gwen) mildly amused.
NamesMarkJo - nice job finding the real names!  
I'm fascinated by the different names and nicknames in all the posts.  Then I scroll to 12/23/21; alex_shorpy did a great job labeling everyone. Or go further back to 12/22/19 and see davidk's comment.  
I also don't look at these folks as having turned into dust.  Every year they come alive in the imaginations of many readers.  
Maligayang Pasko to all.
Well, what else?Say, we don't view the full size for a micro-study. What we see is the "pyramid" of working stiffs that retracted into one side of the office against the forceful advance of upper management group. Sharp diagonal dividing line was disturbed somewhat at the bottom, by the lady and gent behind her.
There he is!Every year I look forward to seeing dear old Mr. Hilter at the top of the picture looking so skeptical!
"Mildred, what did you do with my flask"?This party was during the TEETH of prohibition too! The REAL fun will come later.
(The Gallery, Bizarre, Christmas, Natl Photo, The Office)

Merry Christmas: 1913
        The colorized Christmas tree is back, 107 years after its debut in Madison Square. Happy ... and others (especially tterrace) have provided a boundless window into the past and countless hours spent away from the stresses of the ... 
Posted by Dave - 12/25/2020 - 7:11am -

        The colorized Christmas tree is back, 107 years after its debut in Madison Square. Happy holidays from Shorpy!
New York, December 1913. "Christmas tree, Madison Square." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Bain News Service. View full size.
Beautiful!Wow, what a beautiful tree!  Merry Christmas, Dave, and Merry Christmas to all in Shorpyland.
Best  Image Site on the InternetBest wishes for 2010.
Merry Christmas!Great photo! Thanks so much Dave for this great site.  I have so enjoyed it all year long and look forward to more!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Dateline Shorpyland:Merry christmas Dave and to all who visit here.
Merry Christmas To YouAnd thanking you for another year of incredible photos.  You have given us a view into the past that few have ever had the chance to experience.  You've changed my life.
Prepared and thereHow very often it is when we see a photo of an important event that Boy Scouts are present.
Merry Christmas, Shorpyites.
Rick MacDave, a Merry Christmas to you! And thanks for your site -this has become my favorite. I look forward to checking for new photos every day, and I'm never disappointed. It's like having my own personal time machine. It's a blast!
Thank youFor all the wonderful pictures and happy holidays right back at you!
Beautiful!!That is beautiful!  Thanks for all the great pics and Merry Christmas to everyone!!
Merry ChristmasMerry Christmas to all Shorpyites from Reading, England
A Shorpy Christmas To AllAnd a huge thank you to Dave and the staff at Shorpy, you have, literally, changed my life.
Merry Christmas from Puerto Rico!I join my fellow Shorpyites in thanking you for another year of wonderful photos. May you live long and prosper! 
TintedIs this hand colored?
[Computer-colored. By me. - Dave]
Merry Christmas!Beautiful picture, Dave. May I add my thanks to you for providing us with these great pictures. I feel like I understand the world a little better after seeing these great glimpses into the past.
Thank YouThank for for this wonderful image.  My grandfather was ten years old that Christmas, probably about the size of the shorter of the two boys in the foreground.  He also lived about fifteen blocks from Madison Square, so I imagine he was able to see this very tree that Christmas.  Thanks again and merry Christmas.
It's been a year of fantastic backward glancesMerry Christmas to all!
Pictures are, indeed, worth a thousand words and Shorpy is a regular stopover site for me.
Thanks for sharing all this, Dave.
Merry Christmas to alland a big thank you to Dave for the best site on the web and we can't forget tterrace and we hope he doesnt run out of photos. 
Merry Christmas to one of my favorite web sitesThank you so much for sharing all these marvelous photos with us.
EchoWhat everyone below said.  A big "thank you", Dave, from Las Vegas.
Merry Christmas!To Dave and staff and everyone else who visits here! Thanks so much for this wonderful site and all the memories!
This is about as close to a time machine as we're likely to see.You've changed my perception of how life was all those decades ago. You've helped me to see those years come alive. 
Merry Christmas, and thanks for one of the most incredible sites on the web.
Merry ChristmasMerry Christmas and Thank You!
GratitudeI must add my sincere thank you as well Dave, and to those who aid you or add to the information, for the wonderful memories sparked by many photos here, and for the historic value of many of these pictures. Merry Christmas to all!!
From Your Favorite Nittany LionTo Dave and all my fellow Shorpyites, from the mountains of Pennsylvania, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
DibsLet me be the first to wish one and all a glorious Christmas and a bodacious New Year!
Merry Christmas everyone!In the background on the right is the Hoffman House located at Broadway and 24th Street.  I love how the lights have been colorized!
From Manitoba, CanadaEven our decorated trees aren't this big!
A very Merry Christmas to all!
Merry Christmas one & all from the UK!I'd like to wish everyone at Shorpy a fabulous Christmas and a healthy new year.
Merry ChristmasWishing all at Shorpy a very happy Christmas and seasons greetings to my fellow Shorpyites!
Holiday GreetingsTo all Shorpyites, Dave, tterrace and Stanton Square: Holiday Greetings from Bull City Boy, Bull Ciry Girl and all the Bull City Young'uns.  Have a blessed Christmas
A Little LateIt's 8:13pm Christmas day out here in Spokane, but I want to wish everyone who visits this wonderful site a very Merry Christmas and all the best for next year.  Thanks Dave, and all who make this possible. I learn something new every day from all of you. Thanks. 
Happy HolidaysThank you, Dave - and thank you to all the folks who manage the site, and thanks to the contributors and commenters.
The world of Shorpy is a terrific gift you share with us, every day.
Merry ChristmasMerry Christmas to Dave and all the Shorpyites from an old coot in Virginia
Mele Kalikimaka!Christmas greetings from Hawaii!
1913Well, my father was born in 1914 and was a wonderful man and father even after getting shot to pieces in Italy with 168th Infantry, 34th Division during WWII. I'm OK with 1913 since my Aunt Helen was born in 1912 and was a most wonderful lady with smiles and laughs and hugs for me when I was a lad. The 1912 & 1914 bracket around 1913 is OK by me.   
Christmas GratitudeThank you for this wonderful site Dave and a special thank you for the photos you posted this year from the glory days of my hometown, Utica, New York. You, Shorpy, and others (especially tterrace) have provided a boundless window into the past and countless hours spent away from the stresses of the day indulging in something that is neither fattening, nor bad for me. Shorpy IS however, highly addictive and wonderfully entertaining. 
Best wishes to all in 2012!
Merry Christmas Shorpy!Another year gone by already! 
Merry Christmas to AllAnd a Thank You to Dave and the Shorpy Elves for all the work you put into this site. 
Best Wishes from Canada.Merry Christmas to Dave and all the Shorpsters !!
Nothing left to sayI echo ALL the sentiments of the commenters before me.  So, just a simple Merry Christmas from Minneapolis, MN to Dave, Shorpy and the Shorpyites!!!  Wishing you all an awesome 2012.  
From Cape Breton Canada                   A Merry Christmas to Shorpy and all .....
Merry Christmas!Dave, I'm a relative noob, here, and truly enjoy what you do. Merry Christmas from the Left Coast.
Thank you and forward, into the past!
Merry Christmas Gang!Dave, the rest of the Shorpy administrators and the great member submitters, Merry Christmas and thank you very much for another year of marvelous photos and replies for my mind and mailed photos for my wall!  I wish everyone a grand new year!
To each and every oneFrom England, to every corner of Shorpyland and to each and every one of its inhabitants -- a Merry Christmas, and a Happy, Peaceful and Healthy New Year.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!to Dave and all the denizens of Shorpyville.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to AllMerry Christmas from Boston, Dave, and many thanks.  Shorpy is a fantastic community!
From here in PortlandFrom here in Portland Oregon, to every corner of Shorpyland and to each and every one of its inhabitants -- a Merry Christmas, and a Happy, Peaceful and Healthy New Year.
Thank you, Dave, for giving us a glimpse back into the past. This is one of my favorite sites.  
Merry Christmas to allMerry Christmas to the Shorpy staff, contributors and commenters. Really appreciate all this site offers, it is one of my favorites.
Madison SquareTo all at Shorpy, Merry Christmas!
This is a great website and I have told many about it.
This photo reminds me of a print by the American artist Martin Lewis.  The picture is titled "The Orator" and is dated 1916.  The scene is Madison Square.  The three large buildings in the background are still standing and are located around the intersection of 5th Avenue/Madison Square North/W.26th.  The photo and the Christmas tree are beautiful!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New YearA bit late for me for the former, but heartfelt wishes to all for the latter
Thanks so much Dave, for all of the work you put into Shorpy. Before it came along, I had to be pacified with scanning old pic collections at flea markets. Alas, no more! A very Happy New Year to you and yours!
Happy New Year and for many years to come Thank you so much for the look back and to your members for giving me the chance to compare with current photos on occasion.  
MERRY CHRISTMASThank you all at Shorpy for another great year on one of my favourite sites. Merry Christmas to you all!
Christmas wishesMerry Christmas Dave to you and all at Shorpy, another fine year and looking forward to 2017.
Peace and Goodwill to AllMany thanks for the photos on this site. My father was born in northeastern Alabama around the time of Shorpy, and this alone makes the site worthwhile. To see and read about those times is very revealing. But the site is much more! Just the railroad photos alone are fantastic. Please know that you are appreciated, and Happy New Year to Shorpyland!
Merry Christmas Everyone!!Merry Christmas to all out there in Shorpyland - everyone reading, everyone posting and especially to Dave and the Shorpy crew. Keep those great pics coming! Now, off to the Office Party!
Merry Christmas: 2018I passed some very pleasant time in a Canadian Tire store near Toronto on Christmas Eve yesterday, an hour before closing, relaxed and unharried, with a brother-in-law and nephew, trying to figure out all the different kinds of tree lights available, to make a totally unnecessary purchase, upon command of a family member higher up than us on the boss scale.  And the result was nowhere near as nice as this Madison Square tree.
Merry Christmas and best of the season to Dave and tterrace and all my Shopry comrades at this bright and festive time of year.
Merry ChristmasMerry Christmas from Canada  !!
Glad Tidings to AllMerry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings, Blessed Yule, and all other wishes to everyone here. May your tables be filled with good food and good conversation. See you in 2020.
With gratitudeThanks to Dave and all who contribute.  It's been a great trip of learning, from Mr. Higginbotham's life story to "flange bearing frogs".  I thought the little amphibians were doing some heavy lifting!
Wishing all a better 2021.
After a full day and night Zooming Xmas Celebrations - - - After 3am realized I didn't get my daily dose of SHORPY and  will complete reading and commenting around 4:50 am. Looking forward to the New Year edition to cap off another year of David's,  tt's and other's massive and Artful contributions stimulating our family's memories and new insights as to our collective history as ALL our folks arrived as immigrants some as slaves or indentured workers and others stowaways or sailors and crew members jumping ship. The rest of our people we see populating SHORPY'S cities, towns and farms arrived on our shores in a wide range of financial status. However difficult it probably was for most of our descendants it's amazing how quickly, often in only one generation the new language and customs morphed into the American citizens we compare Shorpy's folks to. I as I begin my 89th year I'm the only first generation Norwegian / American male left in my NYC clan.  Although l had a pleasant holiday I sorely miss our Scandinavian main roast pork meal on Xmas Eve with all the varied and distinctive cookies and other baked cakes that were baked during the week before and the house smelled like Xmas the whole tantalizing time. One of my dad's insistence that mom wasn't to speak to my sister and me in Norsk - slid into our having the American turkey and apple cyder on Xmas - wasn't that cool !
Merry Christmas!I want to wish all Shorpyites, both regular commenters and non-regular commenters alike, the happiest of holiday seasons this year. 2020 has been terrible, on almost every level a year can be terrible, and a little peace and joy over the next week shouldn't be too much to ask. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas yesterday with however many people you're allowed to have at your house. I hope the food was good, the conversation was lively, and the feelings warm.
Come on 2021...
(The Gallery, Christmas, G.G. Bain, NYC)

Christmas in Miami: 1954
... worth reheating over the Shorpy Duraflame. "Christmas 1954." My grandmother Sarah Hall (1904-2000) in her living room in ... Classy That is a seriously tasteful room. The tailored window dressing helps to tone down the old style furniture. The subdued red and ... 
Posted by Dave - 12/26/2023 - 11:25am -

      A holiday chestnut worth reheating over the Shorpy Duraflame.
"Christmas 1954." My grandmother Sarah Hall (1904-2000) in her living room in Miami Shores four years before I was born. She made the mantel decoration, which saw service for many years, with Brazilian pepper berries from a big tree in the backyard, mixed with pine cones, all attached to a chicken wire frame. Grandmother, handy with a needle and thread, also made the curtains. She was, needless to say, big on Christmas. 35mm Kodachrome. View full size.
A lovely ladyand a tastefully decorated room!
Creative and ClassyThat is a seriously tasteful room. The tailored window dressing helps to tone down the old style furniture. The subdued red and white decorations and lights with natural elements look almost modern. I absolutely love the fabric on the sofa.
Martha Stewart was only thirteenYour beautiful grandmother was way ahead of her time in creating an exquisite home environment through her own resources of sewing, collecting and impeccable taste.  The atmosphere in this room is timeless and the decor is of superior quality and subtle uniqueness, but the sparkling antique crystal and ceramics are showstoppers.  The polished marble, shiny mahogany and immaculate order of her living quarters is very impressive.  I could never live in a place like this because I'm basically a hopeless slob and have been told by most of my close relatives that because of me "we can't have anything nice."  This is nice.  And by the way Dave, you are SO YOUNG.  I figured you to be about 80 yrs. old up until now, so Shorpy has a long life ahead of it as long as you keep it going.  Merry Christmas and thank you for spreading so much happiness around.
BeautifulThat's all; just beautiful!  Merry Christmas!
Wow, just wowAwesome, Dave.  Your grandmother was quite a seamstress, decorator, and had great taste in furniture.  My grandmother was a great seamstress, too.  She sewed clothes, quilts, sleeping bags, doll clothes, costumes, you name it.  She had all kind of gadgets, like a eyelet press, for making belts, and a hem marker, a thing that combined a yardstick standing vertically on a base, a bulb and hose, with a container filled with talcum powder.  The container slid up and down the yardstick, and when the bulb was squeezed, it would make a nice horizontal line (to mark the hemline) about an inch long.  And of course, I enjoyed playing with that.
Kodachrome masteryThe technical details of this shot interest me. First of all, it looks like it was illuminated by photoflood, with both main and fill lights. The main is indicated by the sharp shadow on the marble of the fireplace; the presence of a fill somewhat off-angle from the main is shown by the double shadows on the bric-a-brac shelf and the pine cone thing around the mirror. The distance of the photofloods was accurately calculated so as not to overwhelm the regular bulbs in the lamps. The white balance is right on, indicating a probable use of Kodachrome Type A, or tungsten-balance photoflood emulsion, ASA 16. Using my trusty Kodak Master Photoguide from 1962, when the original Kodachrome was still available, the exposure calculator for the film and two bulbs at roughly the apparent bulb-to-subject distance here indicates an exposure in the area of f2.8 at 1/5 second or the equivalent. In other words, a carefully set-up shot by someone who knew what he was doing. May even be professional; at the very least, an advanced amateur. (Still, exposure bracketing would have been advisable; do any other shots survive?)
Pine Cone ThingShe made her own curtains lined in contrasting colors and she also made the amazing mirror surround? I am totally in awe. 
Merry Christmas to Dave, the mysterious Ken, and unacknowledged contributors whose photos are buried in the Member Photos Section. Best regards also to Canada, tterrace and the Farkers whose work makes me gasp with laughter. 
Thanks, Shorpy!
[Grandmother also made her own clothes. Not to mention togs for the grandkids. And then there was the crocheting -- much crocheting. Shorpy says you're very welcome! -Dave]
Nice AntiquesMerry Christmas, Dave, and let me join the others in admiring your grandmother's great taste and sophisticated decorating talents. That's a smart and very urban color scheme for 1954. The tailored curtains are revivals of a Federal period window treatment, seldom done with this degree of precision. And the antiques are like familiar neighbors to me. Out of curiosity, were they mostly family pieces from up North, or did she collect them? The little sofa and round parlor table are 1860s; the fancy side chair by the fireplace is Boston or Philadelphia, about 1845; the worktable at left is probably late 1830s; and the molded clear flint glass lamp bases are probably Sandwich or Cambridge whale oil lamps of about 1850. Here's a similar pair with their old pewter wick holders still intact.
Stylish GrandmotherDave some people have it and some don't, your grandmother had plenty. What a beautiful home I especially love the table on our left. We can all see why you love photography this shot may have been your genesis.
Merry Christmas and thanks again for our favorite web site!  
Understatement"Big on Christmas' indeed!  A very, very  Merrye Christmas to all the Shorpy "family"; it's been a fun ride once again, and I look forward to splendid new adventures in 2012.
A Beautiful Lady... who kept an immaculate house.
Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA
Class actDave what a beautiful grandmother and setting. I was born earlier that year. Thanks for all you do and Merry Christmas!
Your turnIt's great seeing your grandmother, Dave. Now can we Shorpy fans see our Shorpy webmaster? 
[We've already seen me. - Dave]
PicklesI was a month old at the time this photo was taken.  I am so impressed with this beautiful room.  Seems to me that in that time period, white walls were the norm so she was really going new places with that lovely color. I also like her collection of cranberry glass, especially the pickle caster on the left.  Hope it's still in the family.  Thanks for sharing, nice to see how things looked at the time I made an appearance.
Can't beat 35mm KodachromeBeautiful classy lady & home. I love the white dipped pinecones. I too have many 35mm slides my grandfather took the colors are so crisp on them when developed into pictures.
Class and BeautyMuch less of this today. What a time. Merry Christmas!
Those drapes!As someone who has made pinch pleated drapes, I am in awe of your grandmother and her drapes.  Wow, what a wonderful job, what a wonderful room, and what an interesting person she must have been.
Lovely decor!A magnificent room (and stark contrast to the wildly colorful and eclecticly overdone Minnesota family I love following here).  I bet the rest of the house was equally impressive.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Impeccable tasteReminds me of my Nana's house; not only did she have the same bowl as the one on the bottom right shelf, but it also appears that, no matter how sophisticated the decor was, it was never a "Don't Touch!" room, but rather cozy, welcoming and comfortable.
W O W ! ! !  for the lady.  and the photographer?Impressive!!! everything is in place and looking flawless.
Also, was the lucky husband also the photographer? very nice photo
One Impressive LadyWhat an amazing woman with great talent.  I'd love to sit in that room and just take it all in.  Tasteful and artistic.  A lost art at Christmas.
Grandmother's favorite?With a second look at your Grandmom's face, while lovely, I sense a strong resolve as well, that would brook no shenanigans from the kids (including grandkids). Or am I wrong and she was a pushover for Dave's charms?
[Grandmother was sugarplums and poinsettias 365 days a year, as all eight of her grandkids would attest. - Dave]
Fave time of yearThe Shorpy Christmas photos have begun!  This is my favorite time of year!
Ok, Christmas 1954Think it’s time this picture gets retired.  Looks like many rooms at Christmas I recall back in 1954.  Very nice but the gushing comments appear a bit overdone. Hummm wonder way.
[Brilliantly put, although you probably meant "why" and not "way." - Dave]
I beg to differ with Carol McCIn the mid-fifties, white walls were not in. That was later, around 1960 or a bit later. Our house had dark walls like this (I was seven in 1955): brown and dark green if I remember rightly. 
Deck the HallsGlad to know she got to live a long life, another 46 years from then on! A later photo of her would be nice, as well as an early one (wedding, for example)?
Classy Christmas !!Dave, your Grandmother was obviously very talented, and a very classy Lady.The art & style she put into this room is wonderful.
Merry Christmas to all here at Shorpy. Thanks Dave for all you do to allow us to see great pictures like these daily.
Two things!This fascinating photo of a classy person has two elements I find remarkable. First, that built-in shelving and the way the wallpaper (it looks like wallpaper to me) works with it. [The walls are painted textured plaster. - Dave]
The second is the use of color in this room. Not only are the main colors perfect and soothing, but the contrasting colors work so well. For example, the red edging on the drapes and the pale-green fronts on the shelves. Those subtle touches really set off the main colors and add elegance.
Thanks, Dave, for sharing this and for all you do for us!
GorgeousLady and decor. We should all be so lucky to have such in our lives.
BeautifulWhat a beautifully appointed home. And we all know she was the architect of it all.
Class All the WayYour grandmother was certainly talented!  I also really like the interior colors. With very little adjustment I could live in this decor!
Another PhotoI’ve seen other photos of this room, including this one. 
When we aspired to qualityIn addition to the elegant items made by Dave's grandmother Hall, her other furnishings reflect her eye for quality.  The end table at left has a keyhole, and probably locked.  The settee and chair appear to be rosewood.  The end table at right has a white marble top, which complements the fireplace mantel.  I can't identify any items on the shelves for certain, but they're nice.  I suspect the next generation in Dave's family was happy to have these items passed down to them.
Now I'm gonna grouse like the old man I am -- there are several traits young people have today that I like and respect; but I despair that the young people I've encountered have no appreciation for quality furnishings.  Anymore, I end up telling them, "If you want a piece of black pressboard furniture, there's an Ikea in Plano.  The reason it's so heavy is that's the weight of the glue holding the woodchips together.  Solid wood furniture doesn't weigh as much."
Giving today's designers a run for their moneyI love your grandmother's aesthetic, beautifully done.
A holiday chestnutDefinitely worth reheating.  We can see this photo has been commented upon for twelve years now, and that it has been presented to us for pleasure and comment in 2011, 2014, 2017, and again now.  It brings us together at Christmas, we here in Shorpy-land, and it makes me grateful for this online community of people who take pleasure in this site and who make the effort to express their feelings and knowledge to the rest of us.  This year I note those near the bottom in the comments section, back in 2011, who no longer seem to be with us: Vintagetvs, OTY, pattyanne, Born40YearsTooLate, switzarch, CarolMcC.  I miss these former Shorpsters, they and stanton_square, Mr. Mel, aenthal, and many others.  Some may have given up following the site or stopped commenting, some may have passed on.  Thanks to Dave and tterrace for bringing us all together, and best wishes of the season to us all.
(ShorpyBlog, Member Gallery, Christmas, Florida, Miami)

Our Lady of Lourdes: 1914
... did have a annual spring play using the stage and we had a Christmas concert. There was a way into the church from the back of the school. ... those empty houses. Afternoons we'd go in through a back window to study and do our homework. We didn't break anything, and at our age ... 
Posted by Dave - 12/13/2022 - 12:33pm -

        A newly restored version of a Shorpy favorite that has collected three pages of comments since it was first posted in 2007 --
The caption for this one just says "Post Office." Thanks to our commenters we now know that the building with the statue is the Our Lady of Lourdes School at 468 W. 143rd Street in New York circa 1914. 8x10 glass negative, Bain News Service. View full size | The school in 2007.
Post office?Looks like a Catholic school, actually. This is just a wild-a**ed guess, but St. Jean Baptiste on East 75th? This would coincide with the warehouse cart on the left (sort of).
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic SchoolThis is Our Lady of Lourdes School in New York City on 143rd Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Convent Avenue.  The school was built in 1913 in Washington Heights, an exclusively white, upper middle-class neighborhood.  It was built and equipped at a total cost of one hundred and forty thousand dollars.  
Besides classrooms for five hundred pupils, the building contained an auditorium with a stage lavishly equipped for theatrical productions, a gymnasium, a roof-top playground, an assembly room for parish organizations, rooms for classes in cooking and sewing, and offices for the school officials.
The associated church (Our Lady of Lourdes) is located directly behind the school on the next block, 142nd Street.
Yes...Which is the Post Office?  The large building in the center must be a Catholic School, what with a saint on the roof and all.
As for the location, I have no clue.  
Post OfficeWhich building is the Post Office?
post officeBuilding with street level entrance and flags would be my likely guess.
Today...Google Street View. It's always interesting to see NYC in the early years, and how it's changed.
Our Lady of LourdesI attended this school for eight years in the 1950s. The lower grades entered by one door and the higher grades used the other. City College frat houses faced the school. Recess was on the street out front. We didn't have any cooking or sewing classes, no classrooms equipped for that. There wasn't any  gym. We weren't allowed to go up on the roof and there wasn't an assembly room. We did have a annual spring play using the stage and we had a Christmas concert. There was a way into the church from the back of the school. The nuns that taught there were called Society of the Holy Child. Father Kline was one of the priests and Mother Mary Edward taught there. A good school, good memories.
Johnny PumpThat fire hydrant probably was installed in the late 1880s. Was born and bred in NYC and traversed all five boroughs  many many times, but NEVER laid eyes on a johnny pump like that. Every boy who ever grew up in "The City" is instinctively  drawn to hop over as many hydrants as possible. However that one is a KILLER.  
Our Lady of LourdesI attended OLL from 1933 to 1941. The lower grades kindergarten to fourth were taught by the Ursuline Order of Sisters. The upper grades fifth to eighth were taught by the Sisters of the Holy Child. The school was funded and guided by the priests of the adjoining OLL Church.
We were there to learn,to pray: no play, no library, no lunch room, no outside activities. It was not an easy life for children of poor families during this Great Depression Era. I often cried and asked God to help me through the day, the year. I know I received a very good education but not a happy one. There were nuns I would have died for, however there were many that should not have been allowed to teach children.
The Church and school were founded by Monsignor Thomas McMann. There is  a bust of the good priest near the entrance to the upper church.
In the 1930s we were allowed on the roof for various activities.
The term  "very stern " comes to mind.
The statue is Our Lady of Lourdes, similar to the statue in the grotto in the lower church on 142nd Street. It was removed a few years ago as it decayed and was ready to fall off the roof.
Convent AvenueThis photo faces east, and the townhouses in the background are along the east side of Convent Avenue. All of them still stand, most are in superb condition. This is the finest real estate in Harlem; a house across the street sold for $3.89 million about 18 months ago. Here is a listing for a house a few doors down from the ones seen here:
Note the terraces on two of the buildings -- those are stunning and almost never seen in New York.
Does anyone remember anDoes anyone remember an Irish nun by the name of Sister Gerard?  She was one of the Ursula ? nuns at the Our Lady of Lourdes in Manhatten.  She emigrated about 1910, so am not sure anyone would remember her...
Is there a cemetery associated with Our Lady of Lourdes?
Upper and Lower ChurchCan you tell me if the Upper and Grotto Church still exists and do they have mass on Saturdays and Sundays?  I lived 2 streets away a long time ago and would like to see the old neighborshood.  I have never forgotten the Grotto.  It's so unique.  Would like to share it with my spouse.
Or maybe I can speak with someone in the convent.  Are the nuns still there?
Thank you.
Diana Gosciniak
Our Lady of LourdesI also went there in the 1950's. The nuns were very dedicated to teaching. Our religion was the major reason they and all of us were there. The grotto was under the main stairs and confession was held downstairs at 4 pm on Saturday. The children's Mass was at 9 am on Sunday, a High Mass in Latin. The doors of the main church came from old St. Patrick's downtown in Little Italy.
The sisters made sure that the majority of 8th grade students got into Catholic high school. A lot of the girls went to Cathedral H.S. and the boys went to Cardinal Hayes.
The church was around the corner with a connection to the back of the school. The convent was right next door to the church and the rectory was across the street.
Once in a while we were invited to go to the convent on a Saturday to see the nuns. The neighborhood was pretty good, all kind of stores that tolerated all of us kids.
It was nice going there for eight years. Fond memories.
O.L.L. Upper and lower churchYes, the upper church is still active with most Masses in Spanish. The lower church {the Grotto) is not used.  However the statue of the Blessed Mother is still on view. The sisters left about 10 years ago. I visited the school and was told the Church no longer had any say in its operation. When did you attend? I was there from 1933 to 1940.
J Woods
Theatrical productions?Oh, how I wish I had your recall. However, I did attend O.L.L. from 1933 through 1940. Yes, the stage was used - but with limited equipment. I never saw or played on a rooftop playground. There was no gymnasium. The seats in the auditorium were moved to the side for military drilling by boys from grades 5 to 8 once a week. The girls exercised in a nearby room. The children in the lower grades had no physical training. I don't remember an assembly room for any parish organizations. Family members were not encouraged to come to the school except on Graduation Day or if the student had a serious problem that required a meeting with the principal and/or a parish priest. I must say we all received a very good education and were farther ahead in our studies than the Public School  kids.
Yours truly and in friendship,
Jackie Woods
OLL NeighborhoodI lived on Amsterdam Ave for 16 years. Where did you live? When did you attend OLL School? The few friends I had from the old days have passed on. I answered your other message; The Nuns left about 15 years ago. You need to have someone open the lower church to visit there. The Blessed Mother's Statue is still located in the Grotto but masses are no longer read there.
Regards and in friendship.
Jackie Woods
Our Lady of Lourdes, 2008I had a chance to stop by West 143rd street and take a snapshot today. The cornerstone is dated 1912. As you can see, every building shown in the "1914" photograph is extant and all are in excellent condition. There is even a fire hydrant in the same location as the fire hydrant shown in the photo. As for changes — there are trees on the block now, and the cornice has been removed from Our Lady of Lourdes, as has the statue of the saint. And, of course, as with all modern photos taken in New York, it is full of automobiles.

(Click to enlarge)
The reddish sign on the left side of the street, behind the motorcycle, identifies this block as part of the Hamilton Heights Historical District (Hamilton Grange is only a few blocks away). Today was garbage day, so a distracting pile of trash sits in the foreground, sorry about that.
Our Lady of LourdesCentral Harlem, did you attend Our Lady of Lourdes? If so what years?
Thanks for the picture
Jackie Woods
Our Lady of LourdesI attended an Episcopalian school. I contributed that photo because of my joy in Harlem history, not any tie to this school in particular.
Last weekend, I found a photograph of this block dating to 1908! All the buildings looked the same except for OLL, which was then an empty lot. Perhaps Team Shorpy can enlighten me -- would it be compliant with copyright law for me to scan and post it?
[Is there a copyright notice on it? If it was copyrighted before 1923, the copyright has expired. - Dave]
Our Lady of LourdesThank you for your latest information, Central Harlem. Where was your school located? Did you live nearby? I'm 80 years old going on 81 and all I have are my memories (mostly fond). And my memory is outstanding. I was hoping to hear from anyone who attended OLL with me.
By the way, the folks on Amsterdam Avenue always envied the folks on Convent Avenue, always a beautiful clean street. (Today we would say "upscale.") Three of my children were born in The Lutheran Hospital of Manhattan on 144th off Convent. I had moved to upper Washington Heights by then but my doctor was still working out of there.
Thank you and in friendship,
Jackie Woods
Our Lady of Lourdes, 1909I had a chance to scan the old photo I found of this block. It dates to 1909, not 1908 as I had first said. Every building seen in this photo remains, though some of the lots on the right-hand side of 143rd street were empty in 1909, including the lot that would house Our Lady of Lourdes three years later.

Anticipating the interest of Shorpy's crew of automotive experts, I provide a closeup of that car on Amsterdam Avenue, below.

Also, a note to Jackie Woods: we're of different generations. It is good to exchange notes here, but I'm sure we've never met.
Our Lady of Lourdes SchoolWhat wonderful memories of days past. I attended OLL from 1943 and graduated in 1951. One of five brothers to do so.  You may have known my older brothers, Larry, Dick or Bill.  We lived in that apartment building at the end of the street on the OLL side. That was the location of Alexander Hamilton's house, Hamilton Grange.  When it was built, it forced the move to its present location behind the church. It will be moved again to the SE corner of Convent and 141st Street.  You also mentioned Lutheran Hospital. It wasn't so great for our family.  My brother Dick was taken there after being hit by a car. While recovering, he contracted rheumatic fever in the hospital and later died at New York Hospital. We also lived at 310 Convent Avenue because my mother's family, the Healys, lived on 141st Street. If you have any other questions, ask away. I'm still in contact with several classmates and between us, we should be able to answer.
"Thanks for the Memories"
Bob Phillips 
OLL graduatesHi, Yes, I do remember a Phillips family. The boys or boy were in a higher grade with one of my brothers. As you can see, I had already left OLL when you started there. I am pleased you have good memories of your early years. Unfortunately, mine are mixed. An incident: a bunch of us, about 12 years old at the time, were fooling around and one of the boys fell out of a tree and broke his arm. We carried him to Lutheran Hospital They wouldn't let us in the front door. Told us to take him to Knickerbocker Hospital near 131st Street, and so we did. Today, I ask why no first aid was administered or an ambulance called. However, I have nothing but good words about the hospital in later years. I was sorry to hear about brother RIP
Regards and in friendship,
Jackie Woods
PS My oldest sister, Ellen, class of 1936 Won scholorship to Holy Child Academy
My older brother William (Billy), Class of 1937, won a scholarship to Regis High.
MemoriesI graduated from OLL in 1973 and it is so wonderful to see a website with the School and the information that it offers.  I too wondered about the Masses in the lower church.  The grotto was always so beautiful and special. I have lived in Florida since 1986 and hope to make a trip to NYC just to visit the old school.  Thanks again for bringing a smile to my face today. God bless.
OLL MemoriesHi. I attended OLL from grades K to 5. I have the most beautiful memories of my childhood there. I loved the nuns. I can't believe how time has gone so fast. If anyone remembers me or remembers Sister Mary Owen or Ms. Valentine or the gym instructor George Izquierdo. I am talking about late 1960's, early 70's. Please contact me. Are the sisters still there? I went to visit Sister Mary Owen a couple of years ago. She wasn't wearing her habit any more. Those were good old days. I was so mischievous, always getting into trouble. Oh my God. I had the best early education there, never will I forget. I love history and I love these pictures that were posted up above, everything looks the same. Thanks! My family still lives up in Washington Heights.
Our Lady of Lourdes School and ChurchAnd a HI to you,
The good sisters left about ten years ago.
You can reach the school online, it has a Web site.
The school is no longer under the supervision of the Church.
If you look over the rest of this page you will see that I have answered a number of postings that may be of interest to you.
"Memories are made of this."
In friendship,
Jackie Woods
OLL AlumniHello OLL'ers
Head over to the OLL website
There's an alumni page where you can send your information and be put on the mailing list.  
OLLCould not connect with your e-mail:
Would you please check it.
When did you attend OLL?
I gave my information previously on bottom of page.
Look forward to hearing from you.
In friendship,
Jackie woods
To Jackie WoodsI knew Dennis before the war, and graduated OLL in 1937. My sister Marie graduated in 1936 and received a scholarship to Holy Name. Finding your web site after all these years is a small miracle. I'm sorry to say Marie, such a special person, passed away in 1977. Andrew, a 1943 or 44 graduate, died in 2000. I did not marry till 1985, had a daughter in 86. My wife Alice and I celebrated our daughter Colleen's wedding Nov. 24, 2007. I hope this proves I was not as bad as the sisters believed. They wanted so to see me go that they created the first coed class and skipped me from 6th to 8th grade. Yes we marched on the roof, auditorium, basement and in far away competition. I believe we had a West Point officer, but not certain. I just hope that life was as rewarding to all OLL graduates as I. God bless.
John Orlando
OLL, late 1950s and early 60sDon't know how I found this website, but so glad that I did. I graduated OLL in June 1961. The nuns are my most vivid memories of the school. The spring and Christmas plays that were held each year. Recess outside during lunchtime. Walking to school each day and spending the few pennies we had to buy candy at the store on Amsterdam Avenue, and the bicycle store there where we rented bikes on Saturday afternoons. Going to confession every Saturday down in the grotto. Checking the Legion of Decency list for movie listings. Learning to sing the Mass in Latin for every Sunday High Mass and, most important, the foundation the nuns gave us for our religion that is still strong to this day. A few years ago, we drove from Jersey up to the old place and convent still looked pretty good. Can someone please explain about not being under the archdiocese any longer. Thanks again.
Lutheran HospitalI found this link when looking for the Lutheran Hospital. Very interesting information.
I am researching my family history and found out this hospital is where my great grandfather passed away. Thinking that there may be additional information on the records,  I searched for the hospital but have not been able to find any recent reference to it. Has the Hospital been closed?  Can anybody give me some background information?  I will certainly appreciate it,
[You might try the Archives search box on the New York Times Web site. Lutheran Hospital of Manhattan, at 343 Convent Avenue, merged with Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess Hospital in 1956 to form Our Saviour's Lutheran Hospital at the Norwegian Hospital facility on 46th Street and Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn. It's now called Lutheran Medical Center. - Dave]
Lutheran HospitalHello Anne,
Yes, I know Lutheran Hospital. My three oldest boys were born there: 1951: 1952: 1954. My brother-in-law's father died there c. 1937. When I last passed by the neighborhood, three years ago, I saw that the hospital had been converted to an assisted living facility.
The neighborhood is looking great - real upscale. The brownstones that one could buy in the 1930s for a song are now selling for well over a million dollars. In the 1930s they were empty, thanks to the banks that foreclosed during the Depression. As kids we ran through them and at one time had a clubhouse inside one.
In friendship,
Jackie Woods
Lutheran HospitalThanks you both, Dave and Jackie, for your responses.
I will follow the advice and hope to be able to pass soon by the neighborhood.
OLL MemoriesHi Henry,
I too remember Sister Mary Owen, my brother David Mora had her and she was really strict.  We keep in touch with George Izquierdo and he is doing great.  Sister Rosemarie passed away.  I try to stay in touch with O.L.L.  It was really a happy time in my childhood and the happy memories will always be a part of my life.
Maxine Mora
Lutheran Hospital of ManhattanLooking for pictures of the Hospital.  I was born in 1940 in the facility and would like to see what it looked like in that era--anyone have a picture?
Dad Was an AlumnusHello Jackie,
I am curious to see if you know my father, Frank Corrigan, who was born in 1926, which would make him 82 this August. I think he was in the Class of 1941.
I am also curious to see if you have any contact or info on Alfred Pereira or his sister Clara Pereira Mercado. Any help would be appreciated.
Stephen Corrigan
Please email me when you get a chance,
Frank CorriganYes, I knew Frank Corrigan, Class of 1940, not 1941, he was closer to my brother Dennis than me, I was a year younger. Didn't Frank have a  younger very pretty sister? I last saw Frank c. 1968 in the upper Washington Heights area where many of the families from OLL had moved to from the 140th streets.
I knew Pancho Pereira (the name Alfred does not ring a bell) and Clara, his younger sister. His little brother  JoJo was killed in Korea. Pancho had a birthmark: strands of very white hair in the front of his head of very black hair. They were wonderful good people.
Pancho was good friends with Jackie Koster, whose sister Barbara married Burl Ives in Hollywood and lived happily everafter.
In friendship,
Ed and Jackie Woods
Vacant Houses in Hamilton HeightsI thought we were the only ones that got into those empty houses. Afternoons we'd go in through a back window to study and do our homework. We didn't break anything, and at our age we always wondered why the houses were vacant. The Depression angle we didn't figure out until later. Tom Calumet and Frank Howe went with me. I understand Frank has died and Tom Calumet left NYC around 1945 to go out west with his parents.
I graduated from OLL in 1941, and now live in Hopkins, MN
OLL MemoriesI graduated in 1960.  There were about 10 of us cousins who graduated between 1955 and 1960.  I remember Father Cline, Fr. Malloy, Monsignor Hart, Mother Bonaventure, Mother Dominica and others. Does anyone remember the day the frat boys across the street pushed the dummy out the window during our recess? I can almost taste the corn muffins and egg creams at the soda fountain around the corner on Amsterdam Avenue while "Barbara Ann" played on the jukebox. 
OLL PhotoI have a great a picture of my Confirmation Day. I'm in full OLL uniform dated c. May 1935. How can I send it to the OLL  Shorpy site?
Yours truly,
Ed Woods
[Click the links under "Become a member, contribute photos." - Dave]
Frat boys 0, Mother Mary Edward 10I sure do remember that day. Mother Mary Edward
marched over and blasted them. Also the candy store around the corner used to sell two-cent pumpkin seeds out of a little red box.
Does anyone remember the rumor going around that the
Grotto Chapel was haunted? I remember walking home with "Little Star" playing on the transistor radio.
The OLL GrottoI remember serving at what was called the Workmen's Mass in the Grotto in the 1930s - 6 o'clock in the morning! I know the Grotto is not used any more (I visited there in December 2007). As to the candy store on the corner of 143rd and Amsterdam, it was a very busy place: candy, pen nibs (no fountain pens), book covers etc. One day the owner came to school and told Sister Casmere, the principal, that we were disorderly and she must tell the students to behave when shopping in his store. Her solution was to tell the entire student body that they were not allowed to shop there. In a day or so, the man was back begging forgiveness and asked to plaese allow the children to return to his store. The kids were his main business.
HelloHi Maxine
How are you? Thank you for responding to me. It was very nice to hear from you. Sorry to hear about Sister Rosemary, but I don't remember her was she the pricipal of the school. I do remember Mr. Izquierdo he was the gym instructor with another man don't recall his name I believe he became principal of the school later on. Oh! now I remember his name was Mr. White I believe. God trying to recall, it is getting a little difficult now a days but I like it. It brings me back in time. How time have changed it was so innocent back than not like now. Looking back in time, makes me feel like I grew up to fast. How is Mr. Izquierdo doing? How can I contact him? Please let me know. My e-mail address is I remember he got married back than to a girl name Rocio, I don't know if they are still together but that lady was my father's friend daughter. Who else do you remember. Please get back to me with pictures. I have pictures too. Let me know how can I e-mail them to you. Would you believe that we are talking about almost atleast 35 years ago but I don't forget. God Bless you. Henry
Any recollections of my father, Frank  Corrigan, Class of 1940? Maybe not yourself but some of your older brothers.
Steve Corrigan
More OLL MemoriesI graduated in 1937 and was probably a fellow graduate of a brother. I had skipped 7th grade and so did not get to know classmates well. It is possible that the Waters family lived across the alley on the second floor of the building on 142nd Street. We lived on the top floor of the next building on Hamilton Place. In the same building lived Buddy Sweeney and Sal Guizzardi, also a tall blond kid who graduated with me. I believe your mother and my mom,  Agnes Orlando, were friends. I believe your mother visited mine in 1952-3 in our new home in Bergenfield, N.J. I remember a sister who must have graduated with me or my sister Marie Orlando in 1936. My brother Andrew graduated 1947. My mother, brother and sister have passed away. I remember Poncho, the Kosta family, the Madigans, Woodses, Rendeans, Glyforces, McCarvils, Walshes, Philipses, Flynns, Duggans, Hooks, Rodriquezes, Craigs, Hugheses, Conways etc. I am sure we had many things in common being OLL graduates at a very special interval of time. I wish you well in your very beautiful state which I have passed through on three occasions. Best wishes and fond memories.
John and Alice Orlando
OLLLot older than you. Attended OLL from late 1930s to early 40s. Baptized, first Holy Communion and Confirmation (Cardinal Spellman). Lived at 145 and the Drive. Remember principal when I was there, Mother Mary Margaret. First grade teacher was Mother Mary Andrews. Remember playing on roof and being shocked by Mother Mary Andrews jumping rope.  Believe there was a Father Dolan around that that time. Only went to through the 3rd grade there and then moved to 75th St and the Blessed Sacrament -- a whole different world, and not as kind or caring.
Memories of OldHi Henry. You may not remember me but I also taught gym with George and sometimes Ms. Ortiz. George is with the Department of Education on the East Side. I work for the Bloomberg Administration. Sister Mary Owen has moved to Rye and of course all the nuns are now gone. I left in 1996 but I still miss all of the good times shared during my years there.
Memories Are GoodHello, You taught me gym and we also had alot of good times with the High School Club on Friday nights. I have most painful memories of O.L.L the day Msgr. Cahill passed away. I never knew how much a heart could have so much pain and yet go on.  My dad died on 4-29-96, Max Mora and I felt the same pain all over again. Do you know where Mother John Fisher has gone ... her name had changed to Sister Maryanne.  I would love to hear from you.
Maxine Mora
Hi HenryMy email address is I have yours and I am so happy to be in contact with you I graduated in 1973. I went to Cathedral High School.  Later moved to Florida.  My brothers and sisters are still in NY and I miss so much of it.  I look forward to catching up with you.  I will write soon.  God Bless.
Fellow ClassmateHi Tony,
It has been more than 48 years since I last saw you - at our graduation from OLL in 1960.  Let me know what you have been up to in the past half century.  My e-mail address is
LTNSMr. White! Not sure if you still come to this site, but on the off chance that you still visit i thought i would write. It's been so long since I've seen or heard from you, not since "Len Fong" closed. For all others that may still come by this site, I graduated in 1983 (possibly 82). Would love to hear from a blast from the past. Please email me at
John McKennaHi Kevin,
Any chance you are related to the McKenna family? John McKenna, Class of 1941
Your name sure rings a bell, however there must be 20 years difference between us.
Have a healthy and happy 2009
In friendship,
Ed Woods
John McKennaHi Ed,
I'm afraid that I'm not related to John McKenna.  My brothers, Donald and Desmond, graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes in the fifties.  I wasn't aware of another McKenna family in the parish when I was at OLL.
Happy and healthy 2009 to you as well, Ed.
McKenna FamilyThe John McKenna family I knew lived on the northeast corner of Hamilton Place and 141st street. I had other friends and schoolmates in that building. Thinking back, you probably had to be an Irish Catholic to live there. Whatever, I think you had to be an Irish Catholic to attend OLL. I never knew any others at that time, the 1930s. Most fathers worked for the subway and trolley systems or at the milk delivery companies along 125th Street near the river.
Those were the days, my friend. Innocence prevailed!
In friendship,
Ed and Jackie Woods
The Mc KennasJim McKenna and his younger brother Tommy lived in that house above Grizzardi's grocery. Tom hung around with Marty the Hanger Phipher and the Warriors. Billy Vahey and his brother Eddie who retired as a Lieutenant in the NYPD lived there also. Their mother was still there in the early 80s.
You probably knew the Schadack family, who I believe owned Schrafft's or Donald York. I think the building was 644 West 145 St. It was the first apartment house in the city to have a self-service elevator.
When we lived there the neighborhood was known as Washington Heights. For some reason it's now referred to as Hamilton Heights. A couple of great web sites -- Forgotten NY and Bridge and Tunnel Club. You can spend hours & hours on Rockaway Beach alone. Lots of good memories!
How about the movie theaters -- the Delmar, the RKO Hamilton, the Dorset, the Loews Rio, the Loews 175 (now the Rev. Ikes Church) and all the theaters along 180th Street?
Hamilton HeightsNorm,
Many thanks for your fine memories of our old neighborhood but there are a few minor corrections I have to make.  The first is the name Shadack family.  I believe the correct spelling is Shattuck and his address was 676 Riverside Drive on the corner of 145th Street.  We lived there and my brother Bill was classmates with Gene Shattuck.  No relation to the Schrafft's empire. 
Secondly, Hamilton Heights was always known as such.  Outsiders didn't know where that was so we usually said Washington Heights for simplicity.  Washington Heights doesn't really start until 157th Street and is separated from Hamilton Heights by the Audubon plot.
The Old NeighborhoodAlex Hamilton lived nearby. There was a very pleasant young man (OLL Class of 1941) named Eugene Shattuck who lived near 145th Street and Riverside Drive. His father was a professor at Manhattan College and his family owned the Schrafft's Restaurants.
I fondly recall Eugene having the wonderful hourglass-shaped bottles of hard Schrafft's candy brought to school and distributing one bottle to each of his classmates at Christmas time.
Needless to say, the poor Amsterdam Avenue kids were in awe of one who could afford to do such a good deed. You mention the Warriors, I knew the (Gang) but not any of the names mentioned here on Shorpy.
In friendship,
Ed and Jackie Woods
P.S. My in-laws the Boyd family lived at 676 Riverside Drive. Les Sr. had a  radio repair shop on 145th and Broadway.
676 Riverside DriveI lived at 676 as well.  The family's name was Shattuck. In my day, many, many years ago, the elevator had an operator. A sweet man in full uniform.  There was a doorman as well. Saw the building years later and was appalled at the change. Then went up to OLL and hardly recognized it.  It was the best school I ever went to. Thank you for reminding me of the fun. And yes, of the education I got there. By the way, 676 on the Drive was called the Deerfield.
OLL StudentsI am researching my family history and I came upon this great site.  In 1930 my grandparents Michael and Marie Murphy were living at 1744 Amsterdam Avenue and later in the 1930s at 115 Hamilton Place. All of the Murphy children attended Our Lady of Lourdes School. They were:
Maurice (born 1916)
Rita (born 1917/  my Mother)
John (born 1918)
Theresa (born 1920)
Vincent (born 1922)
Veronica (born 1925)
My mom had such fond memories of her time spent there.
Rita Harmon Bianchetto
Hi Neighbor!!Hi Rita,
I'm a former resident of 676 Riverside.  My family lived there from 1940 to 1960 in apartment 4A.  Bobby Foy lived next door to us.  I think you may have left just after we arrived since I remember the elevator operator.  The change to automatic was somtime during or just after WWII.
I remember they put up this 10 foot wall with a door to limit access to the building.  Fat lot of good that did us as my mother was robbed in broad daylight in the service chamber of our apartment in 1960.  That's when my Dad had us pack up and leave for a secure location in the Bronx.
Anyway, the apartment was great.  We had a balcony looking over 145th Street and the river.  My brothers were Larry Jr., Bill and Nick.  Bill was a good friend to Gene Shattuck and went to Xavier with him.  Nick and I also went there.  Larry had a scholarship to All Hallows.
Judy, can you tell me your last name and if you knew me.
Hope to hear from you.
Bob Phillips  at 
Your DadSorry Steve, I graduated in 1947 and my three brothers have died.  But the name Corrigan does ring a bell.  Probably from my brother Larry who knew just about everyone in OLL.
Sorry I couldn't help out but it was great hearing from you.
Bob Phillips
Andrew.Yes, I remember your brother Andrew.  We were in the same class and we used to kid him about his name - Andrew Orlando and how tall he was.  What's he doing these days?
Bob Phillips
Those were the days, my friendsHello Rita,
I remember the name Murphy but not the faces. We lived a block south of you at 1704 Amsterdam. My sister Ellen, Class of  1936, and brother Bill, Class of 1937, would have known your family.
We had many friends  on Hamilton Place, the Koster family for one: Anita, Class of 1936, her younger sister Barbara married Burl Ives, and her other sister Mary Lou married Eddie Byrne (1710 Amsterdam). Ed's sister married Chump Greeny -- killed at Anzio Beach. He must have lived near your family.
My brother in law Les Boyd lived in the Deerfield and had an electric appliance store on the corner of 145th and B'way and a sporting goods store on the next block next to the Chinese restaurant.
In friendship,
Ed and Jackie Woods
Hello RitaHello Rita,
I attended St. Catherine's Academy on 151st between B'way and Amsterdam (It cost my dear old dad $10 a month for what was considered a private school.) I graduated in 1943 in a class of only four girls. I then went to  the Sacred Heart of Mary Academy in Inwood (I had to climb the long steps up from B'way every day for four years -- Class of 1947.
Most of my relatives went to OLL as did my husband of 59 years, Ed Woods. We are still alive, kicking and fighting and making up every day.
In my Class of 1943, one of the girls was Ann Murphy -- any relation? Also a Virginia O'Malley and my best friend, June McAvoy, who keeps in touch with me. June's grandfather was Judge McAvoy, who had died by that time.
I loved when my folks took me to McGuire's Bar and Restaurant on B'way and 155th. Oh that Roast Lamb (Irish style) on a Sunday or a holiday. The girls used to go to Nuestra Senora de Esperanza (Our Lady of Hope) next to the museum complex. We were told not to go there for confession, but the Spanish priests were limited in English.
Thinking back we had but little to confess at that time.
Eddie and I had an apartment on 150th near the Drive for a few years until 1956, then it was off to Long Island to raise our six children.
In friendship and love hearing from you,
Ed and Jackie Woods
The MurphysHi Ed and Jackie,
Thanks so very much for your reply.  I wish my mom was still with us but she died in 1998, the last of the Murphy kids.
My grandfather Mike Murphy worked for the Post Office (a mail carrier working out of the General P.O. at 33rd and 8th).  My grandmother Marie Murphy died in 1939 while living at Hamilton Place. Uncle Maurice went to Regis H.S. for several years before leaving to attend All Hallows; John and Vincent then attended All Hallows; my mom, Rita, attended Cathedral; Veronica, I believe, attended St. Vincent, and Theresa died at age 25 in 1944 (not sure of her high school). Mom worked at Woolworth's on 145th Street and Broadway, and after high school at New York Telephone, retiring about 1980. She got married in 1943 and moved to 152nd Street, and we attended St. Catherine of Genoa on W. 153rd.  I graduated in 1958. So I know the neighborhood.
Peace, Rita
Hi Ed and JackieSo Jackie you are a St. Kate's gal like me! My tuition was a dollar a month, so your education was really a private school. You have listed the Academy at 151st Street but I think that it was on 152nd between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. I took my high school entrance exam at SHM so I am sort of familiar with the school -- fireworks were going off during our exam. The end result was I did fine and attended Blessed Sacrament on West 70th, Class of 1962.
I last saw the "girls" at a reunion in 2002. My Spanish teacher just celebrated her 70th anniversary as a nun with the Sisters of Charity.
I am not familiar with any of the girls names that you mentioned,including Ann Murphy. I do know McQuire's, where I had my first Shirley Temple, Mass at Our Lady of Esperanza, Trinity Cemetery & loved visiting the museums.
Do either of you recall Eugenio Pacelli, before he became Pope Pius XII visiting at OLL ?
Please tell me about your days on 150th Street near the Drive since I may have been the little skinny blond kid you both passed on the street.
Rita in Northern New Jersy
West 150th NYCHello Rita,
Yes, we lived at 615 W. 150th from 1950 to 1956. Four of my children were born there (three at Lutheran Hospital and one at Jewish Memorial). We had many friends from school and the neighborhood living nearby.
However, by 1956 it was time to move on; many changes in the neighborhood. One of my nearby friends was Juanita Poitier; Sidney was just getting started with his acting career. A real nice couple.
Was Father Tracy (Pastor) still there when you attended school? How about Father Brady? He was always telling stories during Mass about his sea time with the Navy. Eddie remembers going to the Woolworths lunch counter (145th and B'way) in the early 1940s just to have an excuse to talk with the girls. He knew many of them from school and the neighborhood.
In friendship,
West 152ndHi Jackie and Ed,
I lived at 620 West 152nd Street, just a stone's throw from you folks. My sister was born at Jewish Memorial Hospital in March 1952 -- Dr. Sandler from Broadway 150/151st St. delivered.  Those were the days of Dave's deli on the corner of 151st & Broadway famous for pastrami on rye and a cold beer for the dads, Rafferty's Bar and Grill on the other side of B'way, Harry's or Pierre's homemade candy and ice cream parlor, Cora's beauty salon where my Nana would get a cold wave and blue tint. And not to be forgotten, Snow & Youman's drug store on B'Way and 151st. I recall the name Fr. Brady but it was Pastor Kane and Fr. Tracy (and his Irish Setter, Rusty) that I recall. I just sent a photo of Fr. Tracy to my classmates.
Japanese BazaarWho remembers the Japanese-American bazaar in the brownstones across from the OLL lower grades school during the war? They had the blue star & the gold star pennants hanging in the windows. They also had a store on Amsterdam Avenue near 144th Street and when they sold coffee the lines would go all around the block.
How about the punchball games out side the school, or stoop ball? Anyone remember playing basketball and using the bottom rung on the fire escape ladder as a basket? The nearest basketball court was at 148th Street by the river. If you wanted to "take out" a ball from the park, you would leave a shirt as a deposit. I remember shoveling snow off the court in order to play.
Unfortunately those days were the last time the country was almost 100% together. Twenty years from now, these will be the "good old days."
Your brother AndrewI palled around with Andy & another kid named Eddie McGlynn. As a matter of fact I have a picture of Andy, Buddy Ayres & me at Rye Beach. Buddy went to Bishop Dubois with us. He was from Vinegar Hill. You didn't mention the Wittlingers. They lived on the first floor in your building. Brendan lives in Virginia. I'm still in touch with him, Matty Waters and Les Scantleberry. Pancho Pereria made a career of the Navy. He died several years ago. JoeJoe, one of my closest friends, was killed in Korea.
Dave's DeliI haven't had a good hot corned beef sandwich since I last had  one at Dave's. His son Milton was running the store in the 1950s after Dave retired to Florida. Dave's used to have a window in the summer that sold potato knishes (5 cents, with mustard) and of course kosher hot dogs.
I heard a Clement Moore fan club still meets every Christmas Eve next to Trinity Church Cemetery and recites "The Night Before Christmas."
I was born in 1928 at 853 Riverside Drive. When 90 Riverside was built in 1941 and blocked the view of the Hudson, we moved there.
Warm regards,
Jackie and Ed
The old neighborhoodThe Wittlingers (the twins were the same age as my two younger brothers, also twins), Matty Waters, Les Scantleberry, JoJo: All those names I remember, especially Pancho and his family. For the life of me, I cannot understand why your name doesn't ring a bell. You mentioned the Warriors. Did you know Tommy or Willie Taylor, the Conroys, Drago, Jackie Hughes, etc. What years did you attend OLL?
I looked up some old friends on the Internet over the past few years -- said hello and then goodbye when their families called to give me the news: Vinny McCarville, Bruce Boyd, Phil Marshall, Eddie O'Brien -- all gone to their maker. They were spread out all over the country. It was satisfying, however, just to say hello. I met Vinny in New Orleans and we had a beer for the first time in many years. We had gone to sea together during WWII and had a lot of memories.
You must forgive my spelling etc. My eyesight is on its way out (along with everything else). I will be 82 in a few months but active and still traveling. I have been to six of the seven continents and my wish is to have breakfast at the South Pole.
In friendship,
Ed and Jackie Woods
ToppersWas Dave's on B'Way near 140th Street? I sold the Sunday News there for 25 cents during the news strike. It was normally a nickel. We had to go down to the News Building to buy them. Overhead!
Who remembers the Sugar Bowl on the corner of 143rd and Broadway? A great hangout for different age groups. How about Toppers Ice Cream parlor on B'Way between 139 & 140th?
In the 1940s and early '50s you could go to the Audubon Theater at 168th and B'Way on Sunday for 77 Cents and see three features, 23 cartoons, newsreels and an eight-act stage show with such luminaries as Billy Halop of the Dead End Kids or Lash LaRue or Ferdinand the Bull. Top shelf. They must get at lest a buck fifty for admission today!
Tea and Nut StoreHi Norm,
My mom (Rita Murphy) mentioned there was an Asian family owned Tea and Nut shop in OLL Parish when she was a child (born 1917).  She said her brothers, Maurice and John Murphy, would sometimes play with the owners' son. I am wondering if this could be the same shop.
ToppersDave's was on the southwest corner of Broadway and 151st Street, a short trip from my home on 152nd near Riverside Drive. I do recall the Sugar Bowl and maybe was in it once or twice but never hung out there. Topper's is a name I never heard before, as far as ice cream parlors go. Thanks so much for mentioning the name and location. Perhaps before my time (1945 baby) or too far from my home. Many people have mentioned the Audubon Theater to me (165-166th Street) but I have no memory of it at all.  I do recall the San Juan Theater that took over the space of the old Audubon.
I love hearing about Mom's (Rita Murphy's) old neighborhood.
Thanks for sharing.
Your Name?No, Dave's Deli was on 151st and Broadway. Yes, Toppers & the Sugar Bowl were popular hangouts, however the Piedmont, the Staghorn and the Chesterfield were more popular later on. I have pictures of the great snowfall of December 27, 1947 taken in front of the above mentioned restaurants with a bunch of the guys posing in the cold. 
The Audubon Theater became better known when Malcom X was murdered in its ballroom. I saw Milton Berle there in the early 1940s. Actually, the Bluebird and the Washington were also popular as they only cost 10 cents (no heat or air conditioning). Memories, memories, dreams of long ago.
Ed and Jackie Woods
The OLL ChoirI sang in the OLL choir for about 5 or 6 years and hated it.T he only advantage was that we skipped the last class for practice. The downside was that after attending 9 o'clock Mass we had to sing at the 11 o'clock High Mass, which interfered with our Sunday football game. I played with the Junior Cadets. We had a very good team coached by Joe Romo, who went on to be the trainer for the Oakland A's for many years. I saw him at Yankee Stadium whenever the team played the Yankees at home. Joe died several years ago.
Mr. Skyler, the choirmaster, wore a wig that could easily be mistaken for road kill. I used to wonder if he was committing a sin by wearing something on his head in church. After all it was no different then wearing a hat during Mass.
Mrs. Daly was a very lovely lady who played the organ and gave piano lessons. She lived down the street from us on 142nd between Broadway and Hamilton Place and had something like 10 kids. My sister Maureen was friends with Theresa and Billie. John was I believe the youngest son. Maureen graduated from Notre Dame de Lourdes on Convent Avenue.
My sister Frances was close friends with Helen and Rita Nerney, who lived across the street. Fran died in 2002.
ToppersI lived at 635 Riverside Drive. I  recall Toppers being near the corner of 141st, next to a Jewish deli. In the summer my dad took my brother Tom and me for ice cream there every evening. Happy memories!
Bishop DuboisI graduated 1953 from Bishop Dubois. I believe your brother Ernie was in my class at OLL. I hope he is doing well. Give him my regards.
Bill Healy
Names from the Old NeighborhoodBrendan & Bernie turned 76 on February 2. Don't ask how I remember things like this. I forgot what I had for breakfast this morning. I'll be 76 August 11, weather permitting.
Everyone seems to forget Pinky (Michael) Pereria. You are closer to my late brother Jim's age. Jim hung out with Jimmy and John Bartlett, Donald LaGuardia, Tommy & Willie Taylor (born on the same day a year apart -- Irish twins). Again I don't know why I remember these things.
Eddie O'Brien used to go by the name Drawde Neirbo, his name spelled backwards. He was a close friend of Big Jack Hughes. I recall a group of you guys joining the Merchant Marine during the war. The Dragos lived on 141st Street between Hamilton Place and Amsterdam Avenue. The youngest (Joseph?) was in my class.
A couple of years ago I went down to the old neighborhood with my sons. Surprisingly, it looks great. Lots of renovations going on.
My beautiful wife June is a BIC (Bronx Irish Catholic) from the South Bronx. It's not as great a neighborhood as it used to be, but lots of great people came out of there. I took her away from there, married her 50 plus years ago and got her a decent dental plan and raised five kids in New Jersey.
I graduated in 1948. It should have been 1947 but Mother Mary Inez red-shirted me in the 6th grade.
Will stay in touch.
Norm Brown
Norm Brown??Norm, I graduated in 1947 from OLL. I knew a kid (Norman Brown) who lived on 141st between Hamilton and Broadway. I think he had a younger brother. He went to OLL with me, but he did not graduate from OLL. Eddie McGlynn was in my class, and the Wittlingers. I lived at 510 W 140th. Are you that Norman?
Bill H.
The Summer of '66Hi Jackie and Ed,
I never had one of Dave or Milton's corned beef sandwiches but I can say that the pastrami on rye was a thing that dreams are made of. I recall the knishes out the window in the summer and the hot dogs. Thanks so much for taking me back in time. Milton would take the pastrami out of that silver steamer box sharpening his knife, and the rest was heaven on rye. Milton was still behind the counter in the summer of 1966 but after that I can't say. 
I am sure that "The Night Before Christmas" is still recited next to Clement Moore's grave, in Trinity Cemetery.  In my day the Girl Scout Troop that met at the Church of the Intercession would participate in the recitation of the Moore piece.
I know that 853 Riverside Drive is on the Upper Drive, since I sat on "The Wall" on summer evenings as a teenager.  You said you moved in 1941 to 90 RSD -- did you mean 90 or 890?  I am not familiar with the numbering of the "lower" drive where the red house sits (so it was called).
I am off in search of a good sandwich.
Stagershorn  & ChesterfieldMalcom X was shot in the Audubon Ballroom at the back of the theater, which later became the Teatro San Juan. I saw Abbott and Costello there en Espanol. At 7 years old I was run over by a truck at 142 Street and Broadway, right outside the Staghorn, I managed to live!
I would hang from the window outside the Chesterfield, watching football games on TV with Bobby Heller and Herby Gil and Buddy McCarthy.
That was a hell of a snowstorm in '47. Remember digging tunnels through the snowbanks? You forgot to mention Larry's, just next to the Sugar Bowl. I would watch "Victory at Sea" there.
A couple of years ago I took a walk through the OLL neighborhood and realized that when you are a kid everything you see is at eye level and taken for granted, but as you look up and around from a mature aspect it becomes a whole different world. It is really a beautiful area.
90 Riverside Drive WestHi Rita. I'm positive 853 was on the Lower Drive. When the new building went up next to it around 1941, the address was 90 Riverside Drive West. However, it caused so much confusion with 90 Riverside Drive (downtown) that the address was changed to 159-32 Riverside. The plot originally hosted a small golf course.
I also went to the Church of the Intercession with the Girl Scouts. Small world. And the wall -- on a hot summer night, standing room only.
West 140th NYCThe kids I hung around with were in the OLL classes of 1940 and 1941. I had a weekend job in 1941 with Ike's Bike Rental on 141st. He needed someone to identify the kids who rented there (bikes rented for 20 cents an hour -- and that's the truth). We started a Junior Air Raid Wardens group and had a store next to Ike's. Collected paper etc, for the war effort.
And you are correct, within three years, when we turned 16, McCarvill, O'Brien, Drago and I joined the merchant marine.
Did you know the Kieley family -- lived at 1628 Amsterdam before moving to the lower Bronx: Pauline, Rita, Josephine, Peggy and the two boys Nicky and Jimmy. I loved going to their upstairs apartment for tea, especially when Mrs Kiely made Irish Soda Bread. My wife (then girlfriend) Jackie sponsored Jim Kieley when he became a citizen around 1948. He was from County Waterford, the same as her family. We celebrated our 59th anniversary last week.
Eddie Woods
My Brother JimYou probably knew my brother Jim Brown. He too was born in 1928. He died three years ago today. He graduated from Cardinal Hayes, spent a couple of years in the Army and graduated from Fordham University. Jim lived in Wycoff, N.J. He was very successful in business.
Amsterdam AvenueThe Denning family (10 kids) lived on Amsterdam Avenue between 141st and 142nd. Hughie had polio and wrote away to FDR for an autograph during the war. As it turned out he was the last person to get one. He was in an iron lung at the time. It was a big deal. Lots of press. One of the boys, Peter Schaefer Denning, was born on the back of a beer truck on the way to the hospital. Hence the name.
The Connolly brothers, Eamon and Timmy, lived in the same building. Everyone in the family had red hair. Not unlike Bobby Foy's family. If I recall properly, the father looked like Arthur Godfrey, his mom like Lucille Ball, Bobby like Red Skelton, and they had a red cat plus an Irish setter.
It took a lot of guts for a group of 16-year-old kids to join the merchant marine. A belated thanks for your service.
My wife makes great Irish soda bread. Is there any other kind? You can give ten women the same ingredients for soda bread and you'll get ten different tasting breads. All great! Especially with a cup of Lynches Irish tea. The season is almost upon us once again.
The only Kiely (different spelling) I knew was my NYPD partner Timmy, who was from the South Bronx, Hunts Point. Tim grew up with Colin Powell. Having worked in the South Bronx for 25 years and marrying June Margaret O'Brien, one of six girls from there, I pretty much connect with the people of SOBRO, as the area is now known. Sooner or later everything gets yuppified.
How about this web site? Something else!
Take care,
Mea CulpaHi Jackie,
Of course you know 853 RSD is on the Lower Drive but Google Maps does not.  "Looks like 800 Block of Upper Drive is even numbers and 800 Block on Lower Drive is odd numbers."  I did not locate 159-32 but I did find a 159-34 and 159-00, seems to be the last structure (red brick) on the Lower Drive area that we are speaking of, now a co-op but the year of construction is not listed.
I have very fond memories of the folks I spent time with on "our" wall.  
Yes, it's Kiely I was in error. For whatever resaon, The Dublin House on 79th off the NE corner of Broadway became a meeting place for many of the kids from the OLL area up until the early 1970s: Eamon Connolly,  Tommy Taylor etc. I worked with Tom for a short time before be went on the force and then as a T Man. I have not heard from him  in too many years. One of great fellows from the old neighborhood. 
In friendship,
Ed Woods
My e-mail:
P.S. The Kiely family moved to Crimmons Ave in the Bronx
 West 159th Street NYCDear Rita,
I do enjoy rehashing the old neighborhood and the wonderful memories we can recall. Yes, it is the last buillding on the street and I lived there until 1950, when I married Ed. My uncle George lived there until c. 1981 in a rent controlled apartment, and yes, it did become a co-op.
When first opened, the building had four entrances. Later, in the 1980s, it was down to one main entrance on the via-dock for safety reasons. I loved our apartment there, which had a beautiful view of the Hudson and the George Washington Bridge.
My friend June, nee McAvoy, lived at 3750 B'way. We were together in school for 12 years at St. Catherine's and Sacred Heart. June lives in Maryland.
By the way,  my e-mail is
Jackie Woods
The Red HouseDear Jackie & Ed,
How lucky you were to have lived in the Red House, especially with the views of the bridge and the river. Growing up I never knew anyone who lived there, so never saw the interior, I'm sure it was lovely. I heard that David Dinkins lived there at some point before he became mayor. Many of my classmates lived in 790 Riverside Drive and I was always so impressed that their apartments had two doors. Our apartment was on the fourth floor of a walkup and across the street from a garage. Funny how I was not really impressed by a doorman but by the two doors.
I seem to remember a gas station near your friend June's  house...other side of Broadway from the museum, now college. One of my St. Catherine's classmates, last I heard, he was teaching at the college.
Was Rexall Drug on the corner of 157th, with the newsstand outside the door, when you lived in the Red House? In my home we seemed to have all of the city newspapers -- morning, afternoon and evening, some selling for 4 cents. To this day I read two papers every day and still long to go out Saturday night to pick up the Sunday paper.
Thanks for the email.
Class of 1959I attended O.L.L. from 5th to 8th grade. My 5th grade teacher was Mother Mary Edward, what a wonderful woman, 6th was Mother Mary St. Hugh, 7th Mother Mary Edward and 8th Mother Mary Bernadette.  Graduated in 1959. Classes were mxed -- black, white and Latino. Memories are mostly good ones -- Father Kline, Father Malloy, Father Hart. The religious experience most memorable, especially during Lent, novenas on Wednesday afternoon and Stations on Friday after school.
Liggets / RexallHello Rita,
I loved the lunch/soda  counter at Liggetts/Rexalls. for whatever reason, my family used the pharmacy across the street, on the east side of B'way, to have prescriptions filled.
The family that owned and operated the newsstand helped us lease our first apartment at 600 W. 157th. Apartments were in short supply in 1950. We lived in the unit formerly rented by the Singer Midgets next to Peaches Browning of Daddy Browning fame. Of course they were long gone when we lived there. My father was very active in the Tioga Democratic Club with the Simonetti family. 
Do you remember Warner's Cafeteria between 157 & 158th? We visited St. Catherine's Church Christmas week 2007 with our niece who wanted to see where she was baptized in 1953. She is on Mayor Bloomberg's staff.
Warm regards,
Jackie Woods
Oh, as the poet said, "To return to yesteryear and our salad days." 
My brother ErnieBilly, Ernie and I went to Bishop Dubois. Ernie for two years and I for three. We both were bounced in 1951 and transferred to Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J. We went there on a Schrafft's scholarship. Our mom waited on tables at Schrafft's in order to send us there. In those days it was pretty much a blue collar school. It wasn't that far removed from being a reform school. VERY STRICT. Today it's much more hoity toity. I'm still in close touch with my old classmates, most of whom have been successful in life.
Ernie was a great basketball player, the first to score over 50 points in a game in Bergen County (three times), breaking Sherman White's record. White was an All American but messed up his career in the 1950-51 college season. Ernie went to Fordham on an athletic scholarship.
Ernie died in 2002. He was a very special guy, extremely generous and giving. We miss him a lot. He lived a couple of blocks away from me as did most of my siblings. Sad to say, the circle grows smaller.
1959 OLL gradsAre you out there, does any one remember or know of any of the following graduates of O.L.L. -- Starr Martin, Carol Long or her sisters, Carlotta and Tony, Josephine Velez, Melvina (Kinky) Boyd, Chicky Aponte. I went of to Cathedral and the others to various Catholic high schools and lost touch. After finding this site, many memories have come back. Would like to know how old friends are doing. 
600 W. 157thHi Jackie,
You lived around the corner from the post office. I remember going there once to get a money order and losing Mom's gray umbrella. Your building was by the Grinnell, where a friend's father was the superintendent during the 60s.
Liggett/Rexall -- we went to Snow & Youman's for drugs but to Rexall for film, flashbulbs and of course the soda fountain. The last time I was there was April 1965, just before my son was born. I do not recall a Warner's Cafeteria but do remember the famous, and oh so good, Imperial Deli, Lambos Flower Shop, Commander Bar & Grill, Full Moon & McGuire's.
I visited St. Catherine's about 1994 and it was like being in a time warp, except for the piano near the altar. The church was just as I remembered when I got married in 1964, only smaller. The school is now public. I am in touch with some of my friends from the Class of 1958. It was nice that your niece was able to visit the church where she was baptized.
I never heard of the Tioga Democratic Club or the Simonetti family (the only Simonettis I know are the family whose niece and son are engaged).
Jackie, was the pharmacy on the east side of B'way United or perhaps that was a sign for United Cigar?
So nice this walk down memory lane.
Best to your Eddie.
Memories: dreams of long agoHi Rita,
My close friend June's, nee McAvoy, family lived in the Grinnell for many years. Her grandfather was Judge McAvoy. Eddie claims to have an exceptionally good memory but he says he needs to yield to you. You do have a most wonderful recall. However, he is more familiar with the OLL school and church neighborhood.
My brother-in-law (much older than Eddie and me) was in the vending machine business: Ace Distributing -- jukeboxes, cigarette machines etc. Eddie worked for him for  a few years when we first married and the company had locations in almost every store in the neighborhood (including the Commander). That is a dead business today. How about Pigeon Park? You couldn't sit there.
Warm regards, Jackie Woods
GrinnellHi Jackie,
Do you recall a Doctor James Farley living in the Grinnell?  Doctor Farley must have taken care of half of Washington Heights over a period of many years (had an office on 178 St. between Broadway and Ft. Washington Ave.).
Ah, Pigeon Park...I remember it well and always tried to circumvent it!
All the best.
I remember it wellHi Rita,
Our family physician was Dr. VanWorth, as an adult I visited Dr. Liebling, who had an office c. 156th. He later moved down to 72nd Street. A wonderful caring man (who made house calls). My son Ed Jr. was 58 years old this week, I have a picture of him when he was 1 sitting  on a pony taken on the corner of 155th and B'way. John Orlando's brother married a St Catherine's girl. I don't know her age.
Ain't we got fun?
Jackie Woods
Current resident of the neighborhood (Grinnell)I'd like to invite you to visit, which is a virtual walking tour of the neighorhood you're discussing.  You can "take the walking tour" online or go to the Sitemap/ Index of Images to read about specific buildings and see pictures from many eras.
I'm happy to post any pictures (and credit the owners) of the neighborhood that you'd like to share - focusing on the Audubon Park area (155th to 158th, Broadway to the river).
Walking TourThanks so very much for posting the site for the Audubon Park area...I had a delightful walking tour.
Down Memory Lane at OLLWhat happened, did we all run out of memories?
Who remembers the stickball field comprised of Hamilton Place from 140 to 141st Street. A ball hit over the small roof on 141st was a double and over the roof at 95 Hamilton Place was a homer. After the war the street was so crowded with cars that the games were moved to Convent Avenue in front of CCNY. There was some heavy money bet on these games.
Walking TourThanks, Rita, I'm glad you enjoyed the walk!  Please come back and visit the site again.  I post a Newsletter on the homepage ( ) each month highlighting new pages, information, and research, as well as updates on the Historic District project.
The Prairie StateDoes anyone have memories of the Prairie State? It was a WWI battleship moored in the Hudson River at about 135 Street and I believe used for Naval Reserve training. As kids we snuck on board and played basketball on it. The deck (court) had a bow on it which is partially responsible for the replacement parts in my ankle today.
How about the "Dust Bowl" at 148 Street next to the river where we played football and baseball? Today it's state of the art, at least compared to what we played on. Now there is grass on the field. Progress!
Under the Via DockFar from being a battleship, the Prairie State (also called the Illinois) was an old transport. However, as youngsters we would have been impressed by its size.
Pancho and another neighborhood boy whose name I can't recall trained there before being sent to England as frogmen in preparation for the D-Day landing. It was decided that those boys with big chests (big lungs) could do the job best. I can recall Pancho telling me after the war that he had only a few days of Boot Camp.
Sports -- we used the oval near City College. Stick ball -- 144th between Amsterdam and B'way. A ball hit to any roof was an out, never a homer. Spaldines was Spaldings were costly in the 1930s. One had to learn to hit as far up the street as possible, over the sewers. That is why  the good hitters (one strike only) were called three-sewer hitters.
The Prairie State was docked under the Via Dock c. 130th St. Like you, we visited it often. Nearby were the meatpacking/butcher plants. During the 1930s there were two "Hoovervilles" (hobo camps) under the dock. The overhead gave the men some some protection from the elements. I had an uncle who took me fishing off the piers. I felt sorry for the "lost souls." Then one day they were all gone. Hosed away! I used to wonder where  they went.
In friendship
Ed Woods
PanchoAs you recall, Pancho was short, about 5'8" and maybe 200 lbs. and a very good athlete -- basketball, baseball and could hold his own on a basketball court. I remember speaking to him about the UDT (Underwater Demolition Teams,the precursor to the Navy Seals) and asking him if they were relegated to swimming all the time. He told me they spent most of the time running, running, running to build endurance.
As I remember, the Oval was near Convent Avenue. We never used the term two sewers in stickball. That was a Bronx expression. We bought our pink "Spaldeens" at Rutenbergs candy store on Amsterdam Avenue between 140 and 141 Streets for a nickel. He also sold kids twofers, two for a penny loosies, and Bugle Tobacco so you could roll your own or purchase a corncob pipe to puff away. Loosies were two cigarettes for a penny. I understand due to the cost of smokes they are doing that again.
We played "swift pitching" in the park at Hamilton Place between 140 and 141 streets. It was comprised of drawing a box (a strike zone) on the  the handball court wall and throwing balls and strikes as hard as you could. I'm a little younger then you but I remember the Swift Meat Plant down by the river and the time John Garfield filmed a scene from a movie, Force of Evil, running down the steps  toward the river. Somehow he ended up at the red lighthouse under the GW Bridge and discovered his brother's body, played by Thomas Gomez, in the river.  As kids during the war we would fish and crag off the docks  right near the old Two Six Precinct. I'll never forget the time my younger brother came home with a catfish and an eel and damn near burned the house down trying to cook them.
Boy, life was a lot simpler then. Even with a world war raging.
Amsterdam AveRutenbergs, address 1628 Amsterdam, I lived in the upstairs bldg for five years. The Rutenbergs lived in an apt in the back of their store. Tommy Smith worked their paper route for many years. Tommy lived in 1626 next to McCarvill. The Conroys (Johnny the Bull) lived in 1630. Eddie O'Brien lived in 1634 over the Rothschild Deli where we could buy Old Dutch beer for 14 cents  a quart plus a 5 cent deposit. "It's for my father." The playground around the corner was busy at night after it closed  for the day.
My recall of  loosies is six for five cents in a small paper bag with six wooden matches. 
You refer to the station house as the "Two Six Precinct."
Something tells me you were "on the job." A good family friend, Frank Lynch, became the Captain at 152nd and Amsterdam (The Three Two)?
Your e-mail?
In friendship,
Ed Woods
Three Oh PrecinctYes I worked in the South Bronx for 25 years which included 10 years at the Yankee Stadium,ten of the best years of my life. A ring side seat at the world. We played many games there-- Shae, West Point, etc. -- and traveled to Venezuela with the New York Press team. I worked out with players on the DL. Thurman Munson was a good friend as was Catfish Hunter. Lou Pinella and Graig Nettles. 
We guarded Pope Paul and Pope John Paul II. John Paul II gave off an aura that was indescribable. I was very close to him on three occasions and he made you weak in the knees and start to shake. Believe me it wasn't his celebrity status. Some of the people I knew were Cary Grant who used to look for me when he came to many games. Someday I'll tell you how he saved my marriage. A funny story! Jimmy Cagney came to a few games. Boy was that sad to see Rocky Sullivan, every Irish American kid's hero, all crippled up with arthritis.
I finished up in the Bronx Detective Task Force and never looked back. It was a great career if you rolled with the punches.
The six for five must have been filter tips.I forgot about the wooden matches. Do you remember the Hooten Bars they sold? One by two inch chocolate candy stuck on wax paper. Nobody seems to remember them. Rutenberg had the greatest malteds. They kept the milk frozen. God! Were they good!
The Three Oh Precinct was at 152 Street & Amsterdam Avenue across from St. Catherines Grammar School where I went to kindergarten for a day. Later it became Bishop Dubois H.S., which I attended for three years before getting bounced along with my younger brother.
There was a kid by the name of Neally Riorden who may have lived in your building and a kid by the name of Brian Neeson Hannon who died around 1945. I remember going to his wake on Vinegar Hill. Next we should take a trip down Vinegar Hill.
My e mail is
God bless & HAPPY EASTER
Rutenberg'sRutenberg's had the greatest milkshakes mainly because they kept the milk semi frozen. They also had Hooten bars, sheets of one by two inch chocolate that sold for a penny each. I've never met anyone from a different neighborhood who heard of them.
Yes, I was on the job for 25 years in the South Bronx. Check your personal e mail. The Three Oh was at 152 Street and Amsterdam Avenue. It's now a landmark. The new precinct is on 151st Street of Amsterdam.
How about Wings Cigarettes with the photos of WW II planes? 
The Shamrock Bar was on the corner of 140th Street and Amsterdam. On weekends guys would pick up containers of beer and carry them over to Convent Avenue for refreshments during the stickball games.
Take care,
PanchoLooking for any info on Pancho Periera. He is my godfather and was best friends with my dad, Frank Corrigan. 
OLLumnaI went graduated from OLL in 1950. I came across this great site and I am wondering if anyone graduated the same year. I have been trying to get in contact with my fellow classmates and this looked like a great opportunity!
The Old ShamrockI visted the 140th Street area a few years ago and took a few pictures. The Shamrock is gone with the wind -- history.
I showed a picture of the building (1626 Amsterdam) to Vinnie McCarvill, who had lived there, when I met him for  a beer in New Orleans a few years ago, and he almost wept. Some great memories of our Salad Days came to mind. 
"Oh the nights at the playground on Hamilton Place." It's the place  where we came of age.
In friendship,
Eddie and Jackie
ParishesOne thing folks from New Orleans and New York City have in common is that you identified your neighborhood by the parish in which you lived.
Agnes GerrityMy mother, Agnes Gerrity, born 1916, and her brothers Thomas and Richard (born c. 1914 and 1920) attended Our Lady of Lourdes until high school. All three have passed away but I'd love to hear if anyone happens to remember them.  Like your mother, my mom loved that school and spoke of it often. 
Anne Collins
OLL Confirmation Day 1935I thought  former students would enjoy seeing the uniform we wore in Our Lady of Lourdes School Primary Dept (1st to 4th Grade) during the 1930s.

KnickersIt was humiliating having to wear knickers. Remember pulling them down to your ankles and thinking "maybe people will think they are pegged pants"? Boy did we ever fool the public! And how about the high starched collars -- I don't think they could have even gotten Freddie Barthomew to wear them. Didn't we replace them with waterboarding?
However Ed, they look great on you. Do you still wear them?
Old OLL picsDoes any one have some old OLL class photos or just some neighborhood pictures to post here in the comments? I'm sure a lot of Shorpy addicts would appreciate them.
OLLi go to school at lourdes now im in the 8th grade and i think its really cool to see people talk about the memories they had about my school before i was even born and i would love to see some kind of picture of the inside of the school like a class picture so i can see what it used to look like
[Just wait'll you get to Capitalization and Punctuation. - Dave]
Class of 1964I too went to OLL from '57-'64. My parents and I moved to 3495 Broadway at 143rd St. in 1956. I started in the 4th grade with Mother Mary William. The school in those days was no longer a military academy. We wore navy blue uniforms, white shirts and the school tie and the girls wore navy blue jumpers with a white blouse and blue tie. It was very interesting reading about all the students who came before me and where they lived. I always was so curious to find out how this old neighborhood looked like years before we moved in. As you all know, the area changed at some point racially, although when I was at OLL the school was still predominantly white with a handful of Black children. I will always have wonderful memories of my time at OLL. My parents moved out of the area in 1969 and I since been back once to recapture some old memories of my childhood.
NostalgiaThe picture that follows is the 1937 graduation class with the girls omitted. Monsignor McMahon built church and school(1901-1913); after 15 years as Curator at St Patrick's Cathedral, constructed 7 years earlier. See church of Our Lady of Lourdes for construction details. At the time of graduation, Fr's Mahoney, Dillon and Brennan resided across from the Church. The Poor Clares home was to right of the church, and secondary had Society of the Holy Name Jesus sisters. School and Church gave us faith and hope and discipline. Our world was the depression years followed by the wars. Our class of 1937 was just in time. The handsome lad below the sergeant stripes is the brother of contributor Ed Woods.Ed,and brothers Bill and Dennis served with distinction. Andy Saraga bottom right was a highly decorated Marines  The others served as well. I hope Our Lady of Lourdes provides the inspiration our families sought for us. 
Nostalgia 1937The 1937 graduation photo is great. It's with both sadness and pride to think that most of these wonderful kids would be defending our country in a very short time in different uniforms.Believe it or not this military training was useful. How about more pictures like this and some candid neighborhood shots.
OLL in the NYT
So interesting: A more recent residentJust want to say that I've read every entry on this post. It is so interesting to read the memories shared by those that lived way before you in the same neighborhood. My mother and I live on 135th Street near Riverside between 66th and 77th, then moved to 138th between Hamilton and Amsterdam. I went to PS 161 and graduated from CCNY. I also have fond memories of my childhood. I used to play basketball in an after school center at Our Lady of Lourdes as a young kid, visited the area a couple of years ago and brought back great pics.
Cheers to all
The Grinnell: Celebrating Its Centennial Those of you who remember The Grinnell (800 Riverside Drive) may be interested to know that the residents have just begun celebrating the building's centennial.  We're having a year of events,so this is a great year to visit!  
Check the website: for photos, historical news articles, and residents' memories (and contribute your own).
Click the calendar tab for a listing of the events between now and July 2011.
Why Grinnel!The hundredth anniversary of a building? Forgotten is the fact that it's also the anniversary of the site building, and all the memories fast fading. I think Ed Woods of all the graduates, always hit the mark. Several others struggled to add something. If someone remembers the names of the sisters and preferably anecdotes please don't deny this information from this site. I personally remember sister Rose from 4th grade 1934. I believe Mother Michael provided my brother Andy's Confirmation name. Others with better memories speak up. Also it wasn't only our generation that owes  recognition for all given freely. 
Christmas at Our Lady of LourdesAt Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, the statues in the creche would be replaced by live students. The scene would be repeated the following day at the 9 o'clock Children's Mass and the 11 o'clock High Mass.
A live baby would be borrowed to lie in the manger. The girl who posed as the Blessed Mother and the boy who posed as Joseph were the envy of the entire student body.
"Oh to return to yesteryear."
Happy New YearThank you SHORPY for bringing back to us so many wonderful memories. It has been said pictures are worth a thousand words. Shorpy's pictures, however, are worth so much more -- just can't put a number on them. Thank you and a Happy New Year to the Shorpy Staff.
Ed and Jackie Woods
[And thank you, Ed and Jackie, for inspiring the hundreds of interesting comments in this thread. - Dave]
The OLL neighborhoodIt's nice reading and re-reading your stories about OLL, Hamiliton Place,and seeing the names listed.
Many years ago, in my past, I visited the old neighborhood only to find it somewhat depressing, old and in poor shape. One time in particular I had parked my new "rental car" near West 144th street, and was showing my young children some of the places I lived on Amsterdam Ave, Hamilton Place ( 95 and 115 buildings) when two older African Americans came up to us, and said you'd be better not park here." It wasn't said as a threat, but more it's unsafe here, now that the area has changed. I had told them that I used to live here many years ago.
I am glad to hear from Norm, that the area has rebounded, and in looking at the prices of the real estate I wish we had stayed here.
Keep up the good work.
Matt Waters
Hi Anon Tipster 1959.  I used to date Carlotta Long & visited her lovely home many times.  147 off Convent as I recall. I often wonder in my old age (69) whatever happened to her & how her life turned out. I did graduate from Dubois in 1960, so I'm very familiar w/the sights & places referenced here. So glad I found this site. 
Tis That Time of YearThank you SHORPY for another year of nostalgic pictures and comments. Brought to us in Black and White and Living Color.
Such fond memories of long ago, especially the itchy bathing suits. In the 1920s and up to the early 1940s, when on or near the beach and boardwalk, boys had to wear the coarse wooolen suits with the tops on at all times.
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New York to Dave and staff.
Ed and Jackie Woods
Our Yearly PlaysI graduated in 1960 after 8 memorable years. I remember our yearly plays in the auditorium and all the hard work and practice we put into it. Father Hart was our pastor and I remember our farewell speech to him. My best friend was Lydia Marin and I remember Maria Santory, Joyce Brown, Maria Matos, Alma Mora, Maureen Quirk.  If any of you from this class are around, give a shout.
Jackie Erick
Class of 1964Class of 1964 where are you guys? Write something here you remember. Do you remember me?
OLL Class of 1957Here's the names of the boys' teachers from 1949 to 1957. I think I have then all correct.
Grade 1, 1949-1950:	Mother Mary Theodosia
Grade 2, 1950-1951:	Sister Mary Macrina
Grade 3, 1951-1952:	Mother Mary Eulalia
Grade 4, 1952-1953:	Mother Mary Declan
Grade 5, 1953-1954:	Mother Mary Edwards
Grade 6, 1954-1955:	Mother Maria Del Amor
Grade 7, 1955-1956:	Mother Mary Euphrates
Grade 8, 1956-1957:	Mother Mary Rosario
Eighteen nuns lived in the convent adjacent to the church on 142nd Street: eight boys' teachers, eight girls' teachers, the school principal, known as the Reverend Mother, and the housekeeper.
Six priests and the pastor lived in the rectory on the south side of 142nd Street.
OLL was also known as Old Ladies' Laundry.
I've written down the names of almost all the boys who, at one point or another, were part of the class of 1957. Only 27 graduated in 1957. Many were expelled in 1956 as part of a crackdown on gang membership. Mother Mary Rosario was brought in to preside over a difficult situation, but after the expulsions her job turned out to be not that complicated.
I'll post the list of names another time.
Our Lady of Lourdes Alumni ReunionHello out there.
I am a current parent at Our Lady of Lourdes.  As we enter a new decade, OLL would would like to start planning a few reunions.  I am looking for some potential organizers to help us reach out and plan events in the new year.  Please reach out if you are interested in planning or connect dots.
There are many new happenings at the school.  We will be launching a new website by the end of the month with an alumni portion.  
Thank you!
Class of 1971Hi! I graduated in 1971 and our teacher was Sister Patricia. I remember Marlene Taylor, Karen, Miriam, Dina, Elsie, Maria and Robin, Carla, Margaret and Giselle. Our class was an all girl class. I also remember Sister Rebecca, Sister Theresa, Sister Rosemarie (our history teacher). I continued to Cathedral High School but I miss all my dear classmates. Is there anyone out there who enters this site? My email is  I would love to hear from someone. Marlene Taylor became a doctor (wonderful!!!).
Shorpy Hall of FameIf there were a Shorpy Hall of Fame, this photo would definitely have to be in the inaugural class.  I've enjoyed going through the many comments for this photo going back to 2007 even though I have absolutely no connection to the school other than being Catholic.  What is equally as awesome is that a look at the location today via Google Maps indicates that, other than a few trees, fire hydrants, automobiles and removal of the statue, everything is basically the same today. 
Double DutchKllroy is correct about not much having changed, but it looks like even the foreground fire hydrant is in the same place (but a newer model).
It looks like the circa 1914 photographer was set-up on the northeast corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 143rd Street. The Google Maps photo was taken travelling northbound on Amsterdam Avenue. So basically both photos are shot from almost the same location; it is interesting how the vintage image makes 143rd Street appear much shorter than in the Google image. I guess it's the result of different formats and lenses.
By the way, the buildings at the far end of the T-intersection, on Convent Avenue (mostly blocked by the trees in the Google image), reflect NYC's Dutch heritage [ETA:] as does "Amsterdam" Avenue.

(The Gallery, Education, Schools, G.G. Bain, Kids, NYC)

Mall Santa: 1957
... I was born in 1957 and I remember even as a kid, enjoying window shopping at Lerner's when out with my mom. And I loved it when I was old ... and I stopped going there. (The Gallery, Kodachromes, Christmas, Stores & Markets) ... 
Posted by Dave - 03/05/2024 - 1:28pm -

Circa 1956-57. "Urbanism -- USA. Mid-Island Plaza in Long Island, New York." So where's the Cinnabon? 35mm color transparency, Paul Rudolph Archive. View full size.
Will-o'-the-Wisp"A Will-o’-the-wisp is a phantom light that hovers in the wilderness, luring travelers ..." And shoppers.
ughThat Long Island haze of the mid-20th century. That's the bluest most skies ever got there.
Lerner ShopsI was born in 1957 and I remember even as a kid, enjoying window shopping at Lerner's when out with my mom. And I loved it when I was old enough to shop there for cute outfits with my own money in the '70s. The store was founded by Harold Lane along with Samuel Lerner, uncle of lyricist Alan Jay Lerner. 
Timeless Amazing that this photo is 60+ years old, it looks like it could be today. The lack of period cars and clothes makes it timeless.
Santa? Or Satan?That is a horrifying visage.
This reminds me --of those long-ago days when you had to actually go places to get stuff.
It just needs hornsThat Santa would do much better as Krampus.
ArcadeThis early version of the shopping mall – before they were all transformed or built in the covered-over version – makes me think of streets in other countries where they have arcades which provide protection at street level from the weather.  It’s pleasant to be outdoors while it’s raining and not need an umbrella.
Also, as someone, like JennyPennifer, who was born in 1957, I always twitch when I see that year.
[Our photo is a visual representation of the definition of "mall" -- an open, unroofed plaza, lined with buildings or trees on either side. - Dave]
Oakridge Shopping Centre: 1959When it opened in Vancouver, B.C., in 1959 Oakridge was not an enclosed mall as it later became. It was anchored by Woodward's Department Store, and was not in an outer suburb. Now the same location is being developed with multiple high-rise residential towers adjacent to a rapid transit station. The 1950s design is remarkably similar to the Long Island mall. Woodward's huge food floor had staff that loaded the groceries into your car for you.
Jericho NativeI lived in West Birchwood in the 60's, starting when I was 6 years old.  We'd get on our bicycles in the morning and roam around all day.  There was a tunnel under the Northern State Parkway that gave us access to the Cantiague Park and Pool.  Often we'd then head over to the Plaza to hang out and grab a slice of Sicilian pizza at Pizza D'Amore. There was a merry-go-round in the northeastern part of the plaza. Then home for dinner.
Two Other ExamplesThis very much reminds me of Glendale Mall in Indianapolis. The mall had been enclosed when I arrived in late 1981, but it retained the Mid-Century Modern ambiance, along with some quirky amenities such as a fountain with moving parts all made of copper, a chandelier made out of many glass tubes, a 20-foot diameter circle on the Terrazzo floor that had the signs of the zodiac on pedestals around the perimeter containing a daily horoscope, and an indoor sidewalk cafe. Today, the center part of Glendale is gone, and the remaining two structures have been "demallified." (Is that a word?)
Before moving to Indy, I lived in Columbus, Ohio. All the 1950s malls had been enclosed except Westland. Even though Westland was on the other side of town from me, I drove clear over there because the enclosed malls (such as my own Northland) were oppressive to me. In the summer of 1981, Westland was enclosed and I stopped going there.
(The Gallery, Kodachromes, Christmas, Stores & Markets)

Paper Doll: 1936
... six days a week. She was a force to be reckoned with. Christmas Club When I saw the ad for "Christmas Club" in the newspaper I ... how someone (probably her mom) cut the newpaper over the window into the shape and resemblance of what I believe is called a "valance" ... 
Posted by Dave - 10/03/2023 - 4:45pm -

May 1936. "Sharecropper shack. Kitchen of Ozarks cabin purchased for Lake of the Ozarks project. Missouri." Photo by Carl Mydans, Resettlement Administration. View full size.
FiretrapI would be surprised if that shack lasted more than a week or two without burning down. We have dried out single ply newspaper hanging on the walls inches from a wood fired stove and hot pipe, and as if that was not enough there is what appears to be a kerosene can just to the left of the little girl's feet. I just hope nobody was inside when it went up.
Newspaper for wall covering.My mother has told me many stories of her childhood.  
She remembers well her mother using a flour/water mix to paste newsprint on the walls.  It sealed the cracks and was a very good insulator.  But that didn't stop the wind from blowing up through the floor or her seeing critters between the floor board cracks.
She also tells with great detail how their house burned to the ground when she was four. 
One final thought, she told me her mother would set the bed posts in small cans of kerosene to keep the bed bugs from crawling into bed with you at night. 
Life was much different back in the 30's and 40's.
No smoke detectorsI wouldn't want to consider the level of fire hazard in this kitchen. 
The newspaper curtain has a nice touch. Somebody really cares. But God help the occupants of this residence if the stove backfires. 
Mrs. Roosevelt's newspaper columnOn the wall to the left of the stove and just above the washboard, the newspaper/wallpaper has Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt's almost-daily column called "My Day". I believe she was much more in front of the American public on a regular basis than our most recent First Ladies - and not just in the papers. Lot of people didn't like that, but many others did.  Mrs. FDR wrote that column from 1935 to 1962 six days a week. She was a force to be reckoned with.
Christmas ClubWhen I saw the ad for "Christmas Club" in the newspaper I immediately tripped down memory lane.  When I was a little girl I remember going to the Bridgeville National Bank to start a new Christmas club.  First you would pick the amount to save and then made payments to this free account so you would have money to buy Christmas gifts for friends and family.  This club was open to adults and minors and many a Christmas was funded by this club.  Hope I made sense - more like a savings account that you could only receive during the month of December.
Amazingly Resilient!Despite the crushing poverty this family had to endure, the little girl's dress may be dirty but her face is clean, and her smile is both endearing and hopeful. I am amazed how someone (probably her mom) cut the newpaper over the window into the shape and resemblance of what I believe is called a "valance" over the window. How brave, resilient, and resourceful these people were. Amazing Americans!
Aviator HelmetThe little girl must have a brother. As poor as they seem to be the little feller managed to snag a new one. I always get a kick seeing kids wear those in the movies and in photos. There's nothing like an ornery looking kid in goggles, I laugh out loud every time.
Bike Helmet?Is that some early motorized bike helmet hanging on the wall?
I have to wonder too if the girl would be reading the newspapers and wonder what a "Christmas Club" was.
AmazingThe valence above the window is amazing!  And think that today someone out in the Hamptons is paying an interior decorator big bucks for a reproduction print wallpaper similar to this for a powder-room!
Fox TroubleIt would appear that Mr. Fox has earned himself the unwelcome attention of the farmer. Looks like a nice, well used fox trap hanging there. 
Worker housing?Bagnell Dam, which created the Lake of the Ozarks, was finished in 1931, and the lake filled up in less than 2 years (per Wikipedia).  So apparently this cabin wasn't bought because it would be in the flooded area - maybe it was housing for one of the construction crew, and he just kept living there later?
(The dam for the big lake to the west, Truman Lake, didn't start construction until 1964.)
(The Gallery, Carl Mydans, Kids, Kitchens etc.)

Christmas Story: 1953
Christmas 1953. Oak Park, Illinois. My cousin Tom experiencing the thrill of ... family shot. WOW! what great memories. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and your family. Tinsel Hazards Here's a question for ... about 9 years old too. Windows 53 Love those window blinds. All our cats have eaten tinsel. It makes the litter box more ... 
Posted by der_bingle - 12/09/2008 - 6:58pm -

Christmas 1953. Oak Park, Illinois. My cousin Tom experiencing the thrill of his first Lionel electric train. My Uncle Bill is manning the transformer, and my dad, who was a real-life railroad engineer, is on the right. 35mm slide. View full size.
There's a tree somewhereUnder all that tinsel!
SparksWow! I can practically smell the ozone. This could have been me, except we didn't have sense enough to take pictures of anybody with our electric train, only pictures of it, like this one from December 1954. I think it's Lionel, I forget.

This was the time of my life.I might as well be in this picture. The timeline and all that is going on is perfect. Wonderful family shot. WOW! what great memories. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Tinsel HazardsHere's a question for you Boomers -- I see that tinsel was big in your growing up years (understatement).  Did people keep their pets outside then, or did they all just die horrible, tinsel-blockage induced deaths?  (I know that it doesn't always cause serious problems for them -- but with the sheer amount of tinsel on these trees, it seems like the chances for intestinal problems would be good.)
tterrace, I really like the attractively arranged couch pillows behind your train.  What were you hiding back there?  Or are they simulated mountains?
Who's having the most funI was so glad when our son was old enough (1957)for me to buy the thing I'd always wanted for Christmas but, because I was a girl, never got. Unfortunately, he was still at the push-toy stage so it didn't work for him but I had a ball.
Re: Tinsel hazardsWhy would pets be eating tinsel in the first place? None of ours ever touched the stuff. I grew up in the tinsel-lovin' Fifties. Dogs and cats eating tinsel was not anything people ever talked about happening. Sounds like some sort of 21st century consumer worrywart issue.
TinselitisI don't know ... because it's shiny and stringy and fun to play with?  My cat would go crazy for the stuff, as would most cats I've owned. Maybe even the pets were perfect in the 50s. It was just a question.
[It was an excellent tinsel question. Speaking of which: Garlands or icicles? We were always a garland family. Not that there's anything wrong with icicles. - Dave]
Simulated mountainsVery good, Catherine. I usually have to explain to people what the pillows are doing behind my toys in a number of my photos from back then. These we had retained from our old chesterfield which had been relegated to a slow, moldering death in the basement a couple years back. If you could look above them, you'd see my mother's renowned curtains and drapes.
We never used tinsel ourselves, but I remember enjoying it when we'd visit friends or relatives who did. Those were the days when tinsel was made of, or mostly of, lead. I liked to slip strands off and ball them up into little wads or, better yet, if there were lighted candles around and nobody was watching, dangle them in the flame and watch them melt. Don't tell anybody.
Twin tops?It appears that someone improvised and used some of the TinkerToy pieces to make stands for the 'billboard' signs. 
It also looks like the Tinkertoy was also a present that may have been wrapped in aluminum foil. And, there appear to be two identical toys in the picture, possibly spinning tops. 
Great picture!
TransformerLooks like the transformer is a Lionel model 1033 (made from 1948-'56). I have one of these units, still in perfect working condition. As far as I know, the only maintenance it ever had was the replacement of the power cord, due to the insulation drying out and cracking (a common problem). I never cease to be amazed at how durable those old Lionels are. Great picture!
LionelI agree, it's probably a Lionel in tterrace's photo. I had an American Flyer I received for Christmas in 1948. American Flyer did not have the middle rail in the track.
A way of lifeAs they say, a way of life gone with the wind. 
I love this blog . . .It is threads like this that keep me hooked on this blog.  It's comforting to know I'm not the only whack job walking around unattended.
Las Vegas
Cat TinselWithout the prompting of previous posters I wouldn't have mentioned that during the Christmas season at our house our Siamese cat Tabetha would walk around with a piece of what she usually left in her litter box instead dangling from a piece of tinsel she had once presumably eaten.  That's the most tasteful way I can explain it.
Now That's Christmas!Real Tinker Toys, the "real" old-school Lionel train sets, and not those modern knockoffs made by a company that simply owns the name. What do kids get today? Lead lined Chinese plastic "toys" from Wal-Mart.
Boy, give me that old fashioned Christmas anytime.
Thanks, and Merry Christmas to you. My Dad and Uncle have passed on, but Tom - who's now in his sixties - still has that Lionel train set. Last time I was at his house he had it set up in his basement, along with several accessories he's accumulated over the years.
[We're all glad he finally got to play with it! And thanks for this wonderful photo. - Dave]
Chestnuts roasting on an open plasmaThis picture just radiates warmth and good cheer. We're leaving it up all night on our plasma display. It's better than a fireplace!
California TinselI have to think our state banned tinsel production due to environmental concerns, because it's virtually nowhere to be found.
I say "virtually," because Michael's has it. No tinsel at the dollar stores and such.  At Michael's it is in packages that need to be cut. The tinsel comes attached at the top.  Same stuff.
Thanks to Michael's, our tree looks like this one.
[I think its scarcity might be due more to child-safety concerns. - Dave]
Nothing to add.I have nothing to add. Just love this picture and reading all your comments -- the wallpaper is killer. Shorpy forever.
How we tinseledAround our house, we would always begin with laboriously stringing one strand of tinsel at a time on a barren branch until it was somewhat filled. Yet invariably, we two boys would get rambunctious and throw a handful up where we couldn't reach. And Mom, patient Mom, would sigh and give us permission to begin the fusillade of tinsel throwing that produced a Christmas tree neatly stranded with tinsel about 3 feet up, but above that utter disorder that only little boys could love. But I hasten to add the "tidy line" rose as we grew. Making a much happier mom.
The Train Don't Stop Here No MoreMy Dad had a huge 60's-70's Lionel train set, with all the accessories: the lighted passenger cars, the little signal box with the trainman who would come out, holding his lantern when a train went by, and even the Giraffe Car. Anyone remember the Giraffe Car?
Several locos too, both steam and diesel, and that big control transformer with the power supply handles on both ends. The whole setup ran on a plywood table, about 6 x 8, which he built himself. Sadly, when he died, my mother sold the whole outfit for a hundred bucks, and today it would probably be worth ten times that much. I wish I still had it!
Tinsel informationTo RoverDaddy who is looking for tinsel, try the cheap, cheap, cheap stores.  I found it at Dollar General Store but also Family Dollar Store, Dollar Tree and other bargain centers are most likely to have it.  You can see I am the last of the big spenders and I have to add that one time when my mother was removing tinsel to save it for the next year, my father asked her, with a straight face, if she was going to make tinsel soup, as she always stretched the life out of a dollar by making lots of soups and stews.   
Voices from the kitchenLove this photo! While the menfolk are intent on the train, I can hear Grandma and the aunts in the kitchen talking over each other while getting Christmas dinner ready. Is the turkey done? Did you hear about Great Aunt Stella? She's already wrecked that brand new beautiful car. Mom, that's enough gravy for an army! Did Bill get you that brooch you've been wanting, Madge? And, naturally they're all wearing dresses, heels and festive aprons. This photo is CLASSIC.
Lead-foil tinselThe tinsel on a tree of this vintage is probably made of lead foil. The good news is that it was reusable year after year. The bad news is that you could get lead poisoning from ingesting it! 
Lead foil tinsel has long since been removed from the market, along with several other dangerous items from Christmases past!
Kids AgainI love this photo because the uncle and the dad are suddenly about 9 years old too.
Windows 53Love those window blinds.
All our cats have eaten tinsel. It makes the litter box more festive. We use both kinds -- short hunks of garland and the stringy silver "icicle" stuff. I too heave the stuff at the tree rather than place it carefully.
Dave, I think Anonymous at 11:25 was talking about the train in tterrace's photo.
[You are so smart. Thank you! - Dave]
Wow.Well this brings along even more memories.  I was born in '65 and I remember playing with a train like this in '68 or '69.  I do not remember what brand (Lionel or American Flyer), but I do remember putting in a pill pushing a button or something and it would smoke when I pushed it.  I remember pissing Daddy off because every time the train would go in front of the TV while he was watching it, I would push that button!  Talk about pushing Daddy's button!!!  I also remember throwing tinsel on the tree, Daddy helping, and Mom getting upset with both of us.  In addition, we also had those bubble lights. After they warmed up they would start bubbling. I need to go lie down and look at Shorpy some more and see what else I can remember.
Too much tinsel...My mother would always complain that my father and I put too much tinsel on our trees. And our beloved Cocker Spaniel, Sherman loved the taste of tinsel.
Xmas ExpressOur house had a very similar Christmas morning about 25 years later. My dad found a second train in a garage he was tearing down. I got them out last Christmas and they still run. I put a video on our site.
RetinselingYup, we did the tinsel thing too, but we were thrifty New Englanders, and my mother took at least some of the stuff OFF the tree every year and carefully put it on cardboard to use it again the following year. My grandmother, bless her, had the job of untangling the resulting mess and handing each of us little handfuls to drape over the branches one by one. Needless to say, we weren't allowed to throw it because then it couldn't be taken off.
All That to be an Engineer????I can't tell you how envious I am of your father.
When I was in the ninth grade one of my teachers decided to play guidance counselor and advise me on what courses to take in high school. She asked what I wanted to be and I told her I would like to be an engineer. She told me I should take Algebra II, Calculus, Physics, etc etc etc.
I sat there in stunned amazement thinking, "All that just to drive a train????" When it dawned on me that we were talking about two entirely different things I was too embarrassed to correct her.
Where can I find tinsel?This year I'd love to introduce my kids to the fun of cheap old shiny plastic tinsel (yes I'm a masochist for wanting to clean up the mess later).  Unfortunately, I can't seem to find the stuff anywhere!  Does anybody still make plastic 'icicles' as the package often called them, or have they been made extinct by concerns over fire hazards and unfortunate pets?
Retinseling 2And I thought my family was the only one who did this, except we didn't put it on cardboard.  All the tinsel went into a cardboard shoe box, year after year.  We would add maybe one package of new tinsel every couple of years.  The new tinsel would hang straight while the old would be more and more crinkly over the years.  My sister & I had to put it on one strand at a time (except when Mom wasn't looking).  Being from the Depression era as my mother was, I'm sure that box of tinsel is still up in the attic to this day.  Our cat also loved the taste of tinsel, with predicable results. 
Lionel 027It's 027, the less expensive Lionel product compared to big heavy "O". Same gauge, lower rail, slightly sharper curves, simpler switches. We had a mixture of both, purchased used from various sources, and we figured out ways to use the 2 sizes together.
That switch is a manual 027 one, with no lighted position indicator, we had a pair of them. Didn't make the satisfying "clack" sound that the "O" manual switches did when you threw the lever. We never had remote control switches, since you could buy more manual ones for the same money.
Some "O" gauge equipment couldn't operate on 027, the curves were too sharp.
Made a serious mistake about 30 years ago, sold all of it except a couple special cars.
Smokin'!My own American Flyer set of that era had tablets that, when dropped into the locomotive's smokestack, would emit little puffs of real smoke.
Gift itI gave my 1948 3/16 model American Flyer to my grandson last Christmas.  Much better than selling.
Alas ...In 1954, just after we moved into our spiffy suburban ranch house, my uncle started a large 8 x 16 Lionel O-gauge layout in the basement.  Presumably for me, or so he said.
After everyone died off, I inherited the six large boxes of trains and all the fixin's.  Fifteen years ago I sold the lot for $450 to a dealer.  Dumb move.
But revenge is sweet as I have just started construction on a huge (roughly 100 x 150) garden train layout behind the house.
The RugWhat really caught my eye is that rug -- a dead ringer for one we had for many years!  My dad got it at Barker Brothers in 1943.  The hopper car and caboose also look exactly like the ones from my Lionel train set from the late '50s, though the rest is different.
I just wanted you to knowI just wanted you to know that you brought a tear to the eye of this grumpy old man, remembering the exact same scene from his childhood.
Thank you.
You made my day, GrumpyGlad this evoked a fond memory for you, as well as for so many others. 
Another tinsel commentGrowing up in the later 50s and 60s, we also did tinsel every year. Like many others, we would save it from year to year until it was too crinkled to hang right. Then we'd have to get one or two new packages, probably from Woolworth's or "the drugstore" since Target and Walmart were not born yet.  We kids also tossed it up to the top of the tree.  These days, I want to get some but my wife says no - you can't recycle it with the tree, she says. Too messy. Too bad.  I did see some this year at Target, except the 'new' tinsel has that prismatic glimmer to it where it reflects like a rainbow, not like regular silver stuff. I'll kep trying.
Tinsel and SnowLike Older than Yoda, I can remember taking the (metal foil) tinsel, which we always called icicles, off the tree and saving it. As soon as the plasticky stuff came out, that was the end of that. Another long-gone Christmas memory was a box of mica chips of that Mama would sprinkle on the cotton batting at the base of the tree. That box lasted years and years. When you had parents that came up during the Depression, you learned about saving. My dad: "Turn off some of these lights, this place looks like a hotel!"
American Flyer, no LionelGreat picture ... we all laid our heads on the track and watched the train coming right at us.  This is actually an American Flyer 3 rail O gauge train. It was made before WWII.  After the war American Flyer went to 3/16" to the foot S-gauge two rail track.
[If it's not a Lionel, why does it say LIONEL LINES on the tender? - Dave]
We used tinsel alsoThat brings back memories.  We would go to the woods and cut the "cedar" tree.  My family had a flocking machine, and several households on the street would put their tree up the same day, so the flocking machine would only have to be used once per year.  We also used to take a strand of tinsel, wedge it in between our front teeth, and blow.  I don't know why that was so much fun but it was.   
A (real) Christmas storyMy brothers (who were 18 and 9 years older than me) made me a train set for my 5th or 6th Christmas -- I walked into the garage while they were painting the board and I asked if I could help and they told me they were painting a sign and I could help paint it green. When I got it Christmas morning I was the most surprised boy in the world. It was a great gift that I helped make without knowing!
Disney train setWhen I was 5 (back in 1970), my parents bought me a Disneyland Monorail train set.  My father had it already assembled for me on a large piece of plywood that had been covered in green fake grass, and had miniature buildings to go with it.  Considering what that original set would be worth today, I almost wish he had just left it sealed in the box.  All that I have remaining from the original set is the 12v-18v transformer.
Maker of lead foil tinselI'm not sure if anyone is still looking for lead foil tinsel - the stuff some of us fondly remember from our childhood.
It's available from Riffelmacher and Weinberger in Germany.  Or rather it's shown in their wholesale catalogue.  See p 50 of their 2010 Christmas catalogue,  Item 91152 is silver ... exactly what we all remember!  
Now your only challenge may be ordering in bulk from Germany.
I can smell the coal smoke from the furnaceGreat picture. I love how the kid's old man gets to run the locomotive, his Uncle is playing Conductor and the kid gets to be Switchman! Gotta pay your dues kid! Looks like they just setout the hopper and tank car and are about to back the engine to re-couple onto the NYC gondola and caboose. A very similar scene played out in many households of the era. I like the Hamilton or Gruen wristwatches that the guys are wearing too.
My cousin Tom, the boy in the photo...turned 68 this year. Sobering perspective on just how long ago this was! 
Your photo and story for magazine articleHi, I am senior editor at Classic Toy Trains. We would be interested in publishing this vintage color photo and learning more about the background .
Please contact me at:
Roger Carp
262-796-8776 ext. 253
(ShorpyBlog, Member Gallery, Christmas, Kids)

Christmas With Wilbur and Orville: 1900
December 1900. Christmas tree in the home of Wilbur and Orville Wright at 7 Hawthorn Street in ... There's a lot of detail here for fans of old-school Christmas decoration. Zoom the gifts. Update: Niece Bertha is shown ... a ceiling. What? No "fragile" leg lamp in the window? Denny Gill Chugiak, Alaska Presents Beneath the Tree I ... 
Posted by Dave - 01/16/2008 - 5:15pm -

December 1900. Christmas tree in the home of Wilbur and Orville Wright at 7 Hawthorn Street in Dayton, Ohio, three years before their famous flight. 4x5 dry-plate glass negative by the Wright Brothers. View full size. There's a lot of detail here for fans of old-school Christmas decoration. Zoom the gifts. Update: Niece Bertha is shown here playing with the dish set in a different room or house.
Candles on a Christmas tree...... has got to be the most optimistic decoration ever.
"nah, it's fine,  it wont' burn up"
ToysThe toys must've been for nieces and nephews, as Orville and Wilbur were unmarried and (presumably) had no children. I wonder if the wrapping paper was leftover from their printing business.   
["Don't bother me, kid. I'm inventing the airplane!" - Dave]
No WiresThese trees were fire hazards. Also lit by candles, my mom's family tree burned down in the 1930s and took their few gifts with it. Gifting was so much simpler then, without the megahyped products and must have items of today. Dolls, books, toiletries and no batteries required!
All this stuff!Wow coin bags, dolls, candles, popcorn, and of course a star at the top. The man's head in the picture on the right is blocked by an ornament. Plus, those books are awesome, now that's a book cover. And is that a rifle I see?
[I think it is! And there's a tag on it. Unfortunately I can't read the writing. I also see roller skates and a toy locomotive. Click here for a closeup of the gifts. But only if you've been good. - Dave]
Toy$I wonder how much these toys would go for on eBay.
CeilingWow, I'd hate to wallpaper a ceiling.
What?No "fragile" leg lamp in the window? 
Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska
Presents Beneath the TreeI wonder if the gun under the tree is an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle! 
By the way, does anyone know what the cup-shaped ornaments on the tree are?  I've never seen those before.
Great presents!What great presents--the doll tea and dishes set, roller skates and some very detailed doll furniture, the train--a classic Christmas!
Electric lightsThe ceiling fixture looks electric, so I guess Dayton had electricity in 1900.
[I think those are gaslights on the ceiling. - Dave]
Definitely GasYou can see the taps for the gas just before the fixture elbows up into the light mantles (I think that's what they were called). Hard to imagine Bishop Wright spending the money (or even having) the money needed to convert from gaslight to electric. If we think about the fire danger from candles on a Christmas tree, I think we could also offer a bit of concern about a gas flame being so close to a wallpapered ceiling.
Orville & WilburTwo comments:
1) I believe they had a younger sister.  Perhaps the girl's gifts under the tree are for her.
2) As a kid, I read a book about them.  One interesting anecdote that stuck with me:  Before their Dad was a Bishop, he was just a church pastor, and his two young sons got stuck with the boring chore of folding the church bulletins every Saturday night.  To deal with this dreary task, they used their creativity and inventiveness to design and build a machine to fold the bulletins for them!  I would just love to see this contraption.  Most likely it long ago was destroyed, but maybe there's a tiny chance it survived and is in a museum somewhere, eh?
Animal in the tree- dead or aliveIs that some kind of animal in the tree?  House pet sleeping or trophy? I have never seen that before.
[Seems to be a fur stole. - Dave]
Coonskin CapOf I see it, even without zooming in it does appear to be either that or a fur hat of some sort to go along with the gun?  That is really quite funny, to place it in the tree.... maybe the brothers had a sharp wit as well as a sharp intellect......  Thanks Dave....
Christmas CandlesYou'll notice in the hi-def view that the wicks on the candles have never been lit. Maybe they were purely decorative in this instance, but I assure you they aren't as risky as they might seem.
My family has put candles on our Christmas trees for the past four decades (and lit them) without any problems. You don't exactly leave the room while they're lit, mind you, but it's actually quite difficult for a fresh cut tree to ignite from a tiny candle. I know this because my father tried to demonstrate to my mother once how dangerous this tradition from the old country (The Netherlands) was. One January in the mid-70s, once the tree had dried out and was out at the curb, he spent 45 minutes trying to set the old tannenbaum ablaze and failed utterly. We still have lit candles on the tree every year, but there's always a fire extinguisher in the room in deference to my father.
Gifts ON the TreeI believe people used to put the gifts, which tended to be smaller, on the tree itself.  You could fit them in the branches because they were further apart and not as bushy as they tend to be now. And I think the cup-shaped ornaments may have held candy or other small gifts. I think some people even tucked their nativities into the tree branches too.  There were obviously trends and fashions in how trees were decorated and I'd love to know more about it.
Wright relationsI know I'm late in the game here, but Orville and Wilbur did indeed have a sister, Katherine, but she would have been a bit old to receive dolls and miniatures in 1900 and didn't marry until she was past childbearing age (to a newspaper magnate). Their brothers, Reuchlin and Lorin had children -- one was an inventor of toys -- hence the dolls and miniatures.
Wired DaytonDayton had electricity, without a doubt, not long after Edison rolled out his first electric-enabled neighborhood in the Gramercy Park vicinity (NYC) in or around 1882.  I used to enjoy Con Ed's exhibit about same.
Dayton had a number of advanced industries - including the National Cash Register Company, which was already global by this time.
The Wright Brothers used electricity in wind tunnel tests for their wing development.
Electric Power in DaytonDayton was a very advanced city for 1903 due to its importance as a manufacturing center (NCR, Barney and Smith Railroad Car Company . . .) The Wright Family, though not rich, were fairly well-to-do. Thier father was a Bishop (pastor) of a local church.
Historical note: before they flew and even before the bicycle shop the Wrights dabbled in publishing. They produced a small local paper and were one of the first pubishers of Paul Lawerence Dunbar's stories and poems. 
(The Gallery, Aviation, Christmas, Wright Brothers)

30 Rock: 1933
... are very dramatic. When I was a small child, at Christmas, my family would go to the Christmas Pageant at Radio City Music Hall ... have posted. I work around the corner, and can look out my window at 30 Rock from 6th Avenue... my building wasn't built until 1973. Thank ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/17/2012 - 10:22pm -

New York. December 5, 1933. "Rockefeller Center and RCA Building from 515 Madison Avenue." Digital image recovered from released emulsion layer of the original 5x7 acetate negative. Gottscho-Schleisner photo. View full size.
City of the godsIn 1933, my father was a seven-year-old living up Lick Branch Hollow in the Ozark Mountains. He would read books by kerosene light in the evenings. His family kept butter and milk (and Uncle Linus' hooch) in the cold spring-fed creek outside their house. It's astonishing to think he could have boarded a train and eventually arrived in this city of the gods, only a thousand miles away.
Sign of the CrossThe double bar cross was the emblem used by the  National Tuberculosis Association. Wonder if the lights were part of the campaign to fight TB.
Gotta love those whitewalls!On the convertible by the front door. Double O's. Looks like it's ready to go somewhere in a hurry.
Released emulsion layer?Dave, can you explain the technology of this image? How does an emulsion layer get released from a negative?
[This is a process used on deteriorating acetate transparencies and negatives when they've begun to shrink. The negative is placed in a chemical solution that separates the emulsion from the film base. The released emulsion layer (the pellicle) is then placed in another solution to "relax," or unwarp, it. It's kind of like disappearing your body so that only the skin is left. More here. - Dave]
Amazing viewThe shot is incredible!  It looks almost surreal.  I love it!
Awesome scan job.I only wish I could see an even higher res version. Great work bringing this one back to life.
WowI just can't believe how beautiful this shot is.  Looks like the view from my New York Penthouse sitting there drinking martinis and listening to that new "jazz" music.
High DramaThis marvelous building, reaching for the sky as if erupting from the ground, combines amazing delicacy, impressive size, and a feeling it is built for the ages to admire. SO much more breathtaking than today's typical glass box, although you need a view like this to really appreciate the classical lines and artful massing. A nice complement to the gothic cathedral in the foreground - a true temple of commerce!
Churchly And Corporate SpiresThat's St. Patrick's Cathedral on the lower left, probably the only building from the 19th century left on Fifth Avenue, except for the Chancery House that's attached to it.
Both styles of architecture are very dramatic. When I was a small child, at Christmas, my family would go to the Christmas Pageant at Radio City Music Hall every year, and then attend Midnight Mass at St. Patrick's.
Ever since, I've never been able to separate religion from showbiz. Possibly because they really are the same thing.
Take a peekThis picture makes me want to get out the binoculars and look in the windows.
"Don't get much better"This image is a about as close to textbook perfect BW as you will find. It contains the complete range of grays from what looks like solid black in a few places to solid white in the highlights. The camera was level and the focus was dead on. As a photographer, I am envious.
Old shooter 
Reaching New HeightsThe skyscraper is 30 Rockefeller Plaza before the RCA and current GE neon signage. Not that it wasn't famous before, but the TV show "30 Rock" has made it an even more iconic. Another claim is the gigantic Christmas tree on the Plaza, between the building and the skating rink, that when illuminated kicks off the Holiday Season in NYC.
Hugh FerrissThis is like the photographic equivalent of one of Hugh Ferriss' architectural drawings, coincidentally of roughly the same era.
MagicThe quality of this incredible photo captures the magic that New York City always longs for but seldom delivers.
King Kong might have had  a chance...had he chosen 30 Rock instead.
OKLo mismo digo.
American Express BuildingThat hole in the ground, I believe, bacame the American Express Building.  If you come out of the subway at the Rockefeller Center stop, and come up on the escalator in that building, you get an incredible view of St Pat's from below, with the spectacular statue of Atlas in the foreground as well.  Very cool.
Other noteworthy background details here include the Hotel Edison, and the old NY Times Building, at Times Square, before they went and utterly ruined it in the 60's by stripping all the detail off the skeleton.
And check the skylights on the roof of what I think is the Cartier store, in the foreground! 
Send this to Christopher NolanHere's the art direction for the next Batman sequel.
SpectacularWhat a wonderful, wonderful image! I love coming to Shorpy because you never know what Dave will come up with next.
Thanks so much!
The GreatestDave, this has to be one of the greatest photos you have posted. I work around the corner, and can look out my window at 30 Rock from 6th Avenue... my building wasn't built until 1973. Thank you.
Time stoppedIs it 2:25am or 5:10am?
Can you spot the clock?
What Gets MeLooking at this photo - and it looks spectacular on my new monitor - is the sky. It has a sort of foggy twilight quality that is difficult to put into words but which emphasizes the the "star" of the photo - the RCA Building - and its nearby consorts or supporting cast over the buildings in the background which seem to fad into the mist. 
The building seems like the height of modernity, and one can easily imagine a couple of kids from Cleveland named Siegel and Shuster seeing this and making it a model for the cities of the doomed planet Krypton.
Very neat picture...Can you give us an idea of what it looked like before it was restored?
[There's an example here. - Dave]
StunnedWhat a totally wonderful image,  Sat here slack jawed at the incredible detail and the superb composition.  
I am amazedThe detail in the spires at St. Paul's Patrick's is fantastic. The amount of work that went into that building must have been enormous. I am very grateful not to have been on the crew detailed to put the crosses atop the spires!
The Future Is NowInteresting that this photograph looks into a future in which many of the same buildings are still with us. At far left midground is the tower of Raymond Hood's American Standard Building. Next to it, with the illuminated sign on top, is the New Yorker Hotel (now Sun Myung Moon's) where Nikola Tesla spent the last ten years of his life. At center is the N.Y. Times Building with its flagpole convenient for deploying the New Year's Eve ball. And last, but not least, the Paramount Building topped by a globe and illuminated clock which is about as close to the Hudsucker Building as could hope to be seen. Of these four only the appearance Times Building has changed to any extent.  A wonderful slice of time. 
TremendousTwo of my favorite photos on Shorpy consist of those like this one, showing the immense power of a huge city, even in the depths of the Depression, and those of small towns, especially when patriotic holidays were still celebrated.
Samuel H. GottschoI'd never heard of him, but one look at this photo and I'm instantly a fan.  This image is nothing short of spectacular.  
Ethereal, PowerfulThere have been many photos on this site that have impressed and pleased me, but this one is one of my favorites. Absolute magic. It's the quintessence of the power and style of 1930s design.
Time machineI admire NY photos of the 1950s. And now I see that many of the buildings in NY I admire already were erected in early 1930s! What a discovery. What a shot.
The Singularity of the MomentThis is an amazing photograph.
As one earlier contributor observed, the pure technical aspects of the black and white composition are fabulous. The spread of detailed gray shadows and whites make this photo almost magical. It has the qualities of an Ansel Adams zone photograph that makes his work so arresting.
But what really makes this photograph dramatic is what it reveals about New York City in 1933.
A vision of the future of large cities, bustling twenty four hours a day and electrified. Today visions such as these can be seen on any continent in any large city.   It has become the norm. But in 1933 there were only two places in the world that looked like this: New York City and Chicago.  
One can vicariously put oneself into the shoes of some kid from rural America or from Europe setting on Manhattan Island and seeing visions such as these for the first time. I can only guess it had the same effect as it had on 14th-century peasants in France, visiting Paris for the first time and entering the nave of the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Beautifully put!I'm sure Samuel Gottscho would have been very gratified to know thoughtful and eloquent people like Bob H would be appreciating his work in the 21st century.  
PenthouseIs the Garden Patio still across the street from the skylights?
I am in love with this photographExquisite doesn't even begin to describe it.
In Your Mind's EyeYou can smell and feel the air and hear the traffic.
It may be calm now...I have a feeling that all hell is about to break loose -- this picture was taken the day Prohibition was repealed. 
I worked hereI worked here in the 1960s for the "Tonight" show unit as as a production assistant for Dick Carson, brother of Johnny Carson. An attractive, dark-haired woman named Barbara Walters was working at the "Today" show at the same time. She is about 10 years older than I am. 
I also worked with the News department for a time. I was in the elevator with David Brinkley coming back from lunch when I learned that President Kennedy had been shot. We stayed up all Friday night and most of Saturday assembling film footage for a retrospective of JFK's life. When we weren't editing, we were visiting St. Patrick's Cathedral to light candles with others in the crowd. 
That's an absolutely amazing photo. I'm going to link this to other New Yorkers and broadcasters who might be interested.
Thanks for all your work. 
Ellen Kimball
Portland, OR
30 RockIs the excavated area where the skating rink is? I've been there once and it is very magical. Right across the street from the "Today" studio.
Tipster's PhotoStunning, but in a different way than Gottscho's. It helps when the subject is beautiful.
30 Rock 09
Here's the view today made with a 4x5 view camera, farther back seen through the St. Patrick's spires and somewhat higher than the 1933 photo. Lots more buildings now. I was doing an interior architectural shoot, and went out on the terrace of a wedding-cake building on Madison Avenue. It was after midnight. Not much wind. Strangely quiet.
As an architectural photographer I have great admiration for these Gottscho pictures.
30 Rock in Living ColorThat's a lovely photo, and it's nice to see the perspective so close to that of the original.
Design Continuum of Bertram GoodhueThe proximity of St. Patrick's Cathedral to the newly constructed tower by Raymond Hood brought to mind two "bookends" to the unfulfilled career of Bertram Goodhue.  During his early apprenticeship he undoubtedly worked on the St. Patrick's Cathedral, in Renwick's office, which greatly influenced his early career and success.  The tower (30 Roc) represents what might have been...rather what should have been the end result of Goodhue's tragically shortened career (ending in 1924).    Hood's career, which began to  emerge after Goodhue's death is far better known, but is greatly in his debt.  Hood's 1922 Tribune Tower clearly displays this link, as a practitioner of the neo-gothic style.  Much of Hood's gothic detail is a through-back to design ideas that by 1922, Goodhue had already left behind.    
Goodhue was by this time already synthesizing elements of european modernism into an new original american idiom.  Goodhue's last major projects were already working out the language of the modern/deco skyscraper; (the Nebraska State capital and Los Angles Public Library the best examples.)  Goodhue's unique career was the crucible where concepts of romantic imagery of the Gothic, the sublime juxtapositions of minimal ornament on architectonic massing was being forged with modern construction technology.  A close study of his career and work will show that not only Hood, but other notable architects of the era built upon the rigorous and expansive explorations that Goodhue was beginning to fuse at the end of his life.  
*It is also curious to me that Hugh Ferris is credited with so much of these innovative design ideas; no doubt he was a super talented delineator, his freelance services were utilized by many architects of the time including Goodhue.  Some of his famous massing studies (sketches) owe much to Goodhue's late work.            
Amazing Execution and RestorationI agree with "Don't get much Better" ! This is as good as it can get for B&W. The exposure is so right-on and this in 1933!! Is this a "night" shot.. there is a lot of ambient light. Simply Amazing. I want it!
Rock RinkThe not-yet-built skating rink is in front of the building. The empty space became 630 Fifth Avenue, where a statue of Atlas stands.
Vanderbilt Triple PalaceA long time since this was posted, but I am surprised no one recognized the southern half of the iconic, brownstone-clad Vanderbilt Triple Palaces in the foreground (640 Fifth Avenue), just opposite the lower edge of the excavated building site.
The northern half, with two residences, had been sold, demolished & replaced a long time ago, but the southern half stood until 1947 (Grace Wilson Vanderbilt continued entertaining in her usual style until WWII).
The entrance vestibule to the three residences featured a nine foot tall Russian malachite vase, once given by Emperor Nicholas I of Russia to Nicholas Demidoff, now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art a couple of dozen blocks north on Fifth.
(The Gallery, Gottscho-Schleisner, NYC)

Merry Christmas From the Family
"Dickey Christmas tree, 1922." Our fourth holiday visit with the family of Washington lawyer Raymond Dickey, who has a decade's worth of Christmas portraits in the archives of the National Photo Co. Some of which ... of richness" and for drawing back the curtains over a window into the fascinating 3-D web of lives of his family and friends. ... 
Posted by Dave - 04/29/2014 - 1:40pm -

"Dickey Christmas tree, 1922." Our fourth holiday visit with the family of Washington lawyer Raymond Dickey, who has a decade's worth of Christmas portraits in the archives of the National Photo Co. Some of which turned out better than others. View full size.
Dave's Understatement:"Some of which turned out better than others." Boy, I'll say! It's amazing how many times I find myself hitting"Send To Trash" while editing my own photos. Big plates weren't cheap I don't imagine, so these fellas had to let things slide. Merry Christmas to ALL!!! (but when More (allegedly) wrote "A Visit From St. Nicholas," Santa says "Happy Christmas to all" -- the editors changed it. So, Happy Christmas to ALL of you fine folks too.
The Barbara Walters InterviewBarbara:  "If you were this Chwistmas twee, what would you say?"
Me-Tree:  "Could someone put a little Tylenol in my water - I have the worst crick in my upper trunk."
Are We Having Fun Yet?How exciting to see a comment from Zippy the Pinhead's creator on Shorpy!  
Great Grandson of famous photographerJust bought a print of a William Henry Jackson photo from the Detroit Publishing Company, circa 1900. WHJ was my great-grandfather. I have very few of his actual photos---nice to be able to see and obtain more here!----Bill Griffith (William Henry Jackson Griffith)
Big ContrastThere certainly is an obvious difference between the grim Dickey clan and tterrace's family. 
Oh, MinBack in the 1920s and '30s, "The Gumps" was a popular comic strip, with Andy Gump and his wife, Min.  "Oh, Min!" was a catchphrase back then, so I suppose the album or whatever it is was associated with the strip.
Anything BUT merryThe juxtaposition of the message "Merry Christmas" with the subjects' grim facial expressions is extremely incongruous, and gave me an unexpected laugh.
Happy Holidays, everyone! Truly.
Way back whenBack in the day before fire safety took the fun out of everything, my elementary school had a similar Christmas tree in the front hallway.
Not only was it glorious, it smelled wonderful.
The last year we had one was 1965, the next year the principal set up one of those aluminum monstrosities.
Wonder what became of the ornaments.
Great Shorpy photo as alwaysbut like most commenters, I'm wondering about the unhappy faces.
Two theories:  Either they just found out that the Redskins once again missed the NFL Playoffs or someone recently informed them that the Great Depression was only seven years away.
The Joy of ChristmasLooks like everybody's getting socks and underwear this year.
Nice tree.The faces of the younger woman and the boys almost look like cardboard. It's probably from the flash. What a great picture.
Worn to a FrazzleThat poor Mother looks like she is just completely worn out. The hairstyle reminds me of Elsa Lanchester in "Bride of Frankenstein". The "thousand yard stare" in her eyes makes me sorry for her that Valium had not been invented at that time. Sure hope they all had a better Christmas than their picture projects.
Oh Min!Oh Min! was a song released in 1918, sung by Edward Meeker, based on a catchphrase from the comic strip "The Gumps." Apparently in 1924 there was a motion picture by the same name.
re: Big ContrastYeah, but they definitely have some of our ornaments.
Christmas CheerEggnog and Jack, STAT.
Bah! Humbug!It must be true what they say about those black-hearted lawyers!
"Don't be sad, kiddies; tomorrow we can go back to our usual Dickey lawyering!"
Aside from that, it is nice to see all those wonderful ornaments I remember from my childhood. 
Could they look any more miserable?Man this is a somber looking bunch, the only one with any real expression is the kid in the Sailor Suit.
Love the tree! Real glass ornaments with elaborate decorations, not the cheap plastic or plain glass junk you find now.
Another Christmas photo from the same eraHere's a photo from about Christmas 1922 taken by my grandfather Wilford Fletcher.  On the right is my mom, Margaret, and on the left is her older sister Dorothy.
Oh Min!What is it?
[Looks like a game or a phonograph album. "Oh Min!" pops up periodically on eBay.  - Dave]
Mry Xms -Hpy NwYrI would like to wish for each and all the Shorpyites: "Best of the Season!"
  To Dave especially - what a monumental amount of work this is - I don't think folks can really appreciate that until they've tried to do a bit of itinerant webmastering...    I can just see the typical Louis Wickes Hines photo of Dave, standing in front of his computers: 
"David, looks 65, says he is much younger, been a webmaster for several years now, makes very little for his efforts. Works 15 hours a day, gets no exercise and little sunlight or fresh air. Hands are always sore from typing and processing digital photos. Eyesight suffering. Perhaps no hope for David to have a 'normal' life."
Thanks to tterrace for his contributed (and ongoing) "stream of richness" and for drawing back the curtains over a window into the fascinating 3-D web of lives of his family and friends.
Thanks to all the Shorpy contributors, from the 'Anonymous' one-line drive-by snarkings, to the Rest of the Bunch.
  May each of us find some quiet and contentment in the midst of busy lives and times!
  So: Murray Ecksmiss and Hoppy NuYeer, etc etc!
"Merry Christmas From the Family"I hope at least a few people (besides me) got the reference made in the title of this post to Robert Earl Keen's very funny song.
Tall TreeThe tree looks like one of those shown in a past picture..
A 12 foot tree in a 10 foot room.
(The Gallery, Christmas, D.C., Kids, Natl Photo, The Dickeys)

Tinsel-Free Christmas: 1955
... December 1955. Here's our family's entry in the Shorpy Christmas tree sweepstakes. Devoid of any jolly celebrants, unfortunately, but ... Wise Men. Sharp-eyed observers may note that on the window seat, the fishbowl, vacant a year later , here appears to be ... 
Posted by tterrace - 12/26/2021 - 1:46pm -

December 1955. Here's our family's entry in the Shorpy Christmas tree sweepstakes. Devoid of any jolly celebrants, unfortunately, but at least we have my mother's curtains and drapes. Many vintage ornaments are in evidence: Santa heads, houses, a table lamp, a mushroom, an angel, a prizefighter, some birds with spun glass or celluloid tailfeathers, and one of my personal favorites, a big one we always called "the stars and stripes forever" on the left a little more than halfway up. Some were from my Mother's family and dated back to the early 1900s, including one that still had wax drippings on it from when you actually lit your tree with candles. On the right, our Motorola hosts the Nativity scene complete with plastic Wise Men. Sharp-eyed observers may note that on the window seat, the fishbowl, vacant a year later, here appears to be inhabited. My brother recorded the available-light exposure details for this Kodachrome slide on the mount: f2.8 @ 1 second, during which he jiggled the camera slightly. View full size.
No "view full size"??
[Any and every image on this site can be "viewed full size," even if there is no "view full size" link in the caption. Step 1: Open the post by clicking on the title. Step 2: Click the "View full size" link under the caption.  - Dave]
Xmas 1955 FloodsThough we weren't affected much in Hayward (some street flooding) Xmas 1955 will always remind me of the disaster not far off in Yuba City/Marysville.
We went to an area FD station to donate some used clothing.
Window dressingWell that is a perfect Christmas tree and the slight blur adds a little dreamy magic that is nice. But man, that curtan/drape combo is stunning! Your mom must have been proud!
There's no place like home.There's no place like home. There's no place like home. (Accompanied by the clicking of ruby red slippers.)
Silent NightEnchanting. Who lives here now?
Oh those trees....I wish I could still find trees like the one pictured and from my childhood of the early sixties.  They were open and airy and had enough room between the branches so that the ornaments could actually "hang," and not just lean.
Today's trees are so dense you can hardly get the lights in and around the branches, and you have to use so darn many just to light it up.
I still jigglebut that being said, I'm happy Paul is sharing those classic photos I and then he took back in the day!
-- Will, Paul's brother, who took the picture
Yesterdays once moreI can think of nothing better to say to this photo than the words of Elizabeth Akers Allen:
Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again, just for tonight!
TV set in the corner?Back in those days the TV wasn't on 24/7, a beautiful wooden cabinet with doors was a good idea. I put a 90's TV into a 50's cabinet in my 50's themed home - but now, when it's starting to letting the smoke out, I can't find any new TV's that fits into our ol' cabinet.
I'd Live There!tterrace, you continue to outdo yourself posting these wonderful slice-of-life images ... I hope you are a happy "grown up," as your posts and images lead me to believe you may have turned out. Happy Holidays to you and yours (you too, Dave!)
Full size button, please?I'd like to see the ornaments. My mother still has ornaments from her mother, German made I believe.
Love it!!!Can we see it full size? Would love to see details on the tree!
[Any and every image on this site can be "viewed full size," even if there is no "view full size" link in the caption. Step 1: Open the post by clicking on the title. Step 2: Click the "View full size" link under the caption.  - Dave]
And a Happy New Year as well...Tterrace you are twanging the heart-strings again, dammit.Ten years before and a few thousand miles away across the Pond, we had the same glass birds - the tails were made of spun glass - and little glass houses as well. And our tree was lit by little wax candles in clip-on tin holders (there was no electricity in my Granny's cottage) But, sadly, no photos (not much film around in GB in 1945). So, thank you for reminding me.
When the time comes I'll raise a glass to you, and Dave, and all the splendid folk who view Shorpy, and wish you all a very merry Christmas from Cornwall.   
Life Before EXIF  I have often wondered how film photographers kept track of exposure setting for individual photos. Did they keep a log book with frame numbers and settings? This seems like it would have a pain in the neck.
PS - Where is the "View Full Size" link on this photo?
[See above.  - Dave]
View larger It would be nice to view hi-def or just a larger size.
[Any and every image on this site can be "viewed full size," even if there is no "view full size" link in the caption. Step 1: Open the post by clicking on the title. Step 2: Click the "View full size" link under the caption.  - Dave]
Thanks, DaveI feel dumb for not clicking on the title; I've been spoiled by the obvious button and saved my brain power for looking at details in the photos.
Turns out the bird looks very like the one my mother has, and I recognize that Santa face, too. And the large bulb lights!
Interesting to note that the presents fit under the tree. These days that pile would only amount to stocking stuffers in some house I know.
Us and the floodThat 1955 Christmas flood Anonymous Tipster mentioned was the one that got our summer place at the Russian River, as seen here, and down in the comments here.
Big lights!I'm so glad the big bulb lights like the ones in the picture are making a comeback. Of course, they're a lot safer and more efficient than their ancestors, but they still have the same retro look.
I remember the days of having to wait until the tree was completely dry before hanging the lights, or you'd get sizzles and sparks.
Photo Log Pre-EXIFMy father started shooting Kodachrome slides in 1950 and kept a little log book with the exposure and aperture for a while. He would compare those with the slides after he got them back from the Kodak lab. He also wrote titles on the cardboard slide frames.  
Interesting how "photo anticipation" went from weeks (Kodachrome sent off in those nifty mailers that were eventually ruled monopolistic), to 60 seconds (Polaroids  on a warm day, a lttle more if you had to warm the Polacolor inside the aluminumu Cold Clip inside your pocket) to instant feedback as you view your JPGs on your digicam screen.
Our presents and lightsThis is pre-Christmas day, so the presents under the tree are those from friends and relatives received either by mail or from visits. The "official" presents, including the really good big ones (i.e., the ones for me) didn't get put out until after I'd gone upstairs to bed Christmas Eve.
You can't see our bubble lights, the big old-fashioned kind with tubes about 4" long and about 3/8" in diameter. They'd drive my mother to distraction because there'd always be a couple on the string that wouldn't bubble, but they were magical to me. They eventually all wore out and when they came back into fashion in the 70s they, like the regular lights, were tiny in comparison and just not the same at all. And some of those didn't bubble, either.
A while back I posted another shot of our 1955 tree, this time by flash but also a little jiggly, and with a couple people in it.
Curtains!Those curtains are a work of art in their own right.
Cold War NervesOne partially-heard TV news bulletin during those Xmas 1955 floods said something about "Russian."  In that era THAT was a major attention grabber! It was somewhat of a relief to hear it repeated in full and was only about a river.
Russian River Flooding ....I lived in the Russian River (Front Street, Monte Rio) during Christmas of 1981 and there was a terrible flood then, too, tterrace. My house was right on the riverbank and I vividly remember one terrible night of going outside every hour, on the hour, to check how much the river had risen against the stairsteps going from my cellar door down to the water. Luckily, the river crested just at the top step - but not without bringing about some miserable anxiety and tension. I'm sorry that your house wasn't so lucky.
Bubble lightsI found four-inch tube bubble lights last year at Wal-Mart.  We did not have bubble lights on our trees at home but friends of the family did and I yearned for them ever since. The lights I purchased are so far working fine and they really are magical. Wishing all readers memory making time with your families, and don't forget the camera!  Merry Christmas to you Dave and thanks for your gift of windows into the precious past.
[And we thank tterrace for this and many other wunnerful photos. - Dave]
DecorIs this the same California living room in all the other photos?  Looks it, but I'm getting the sense your mom liked to move the furniture around a lot.  Frankly, I like the curtains and drapes.  They're very Ricky and Lucy. Anything beats those dagnabbity ugly "vertical blinds" they sell on us these days.
Decor in motionFunny you should mention that, A.T. I always loved it when we rearranged the living room; it was like moving into a new house, almost. Frequently I was a participant, and at times, I think, a motivating force. Here we see the TV in one of three corners it or its descendants occupied over the years. The much-admired curtains and drapes are actually a 1940s style rather than 1950s. When my mother had them and the cornices done, she was tickled with the clever idea the decorator had of offsetting everything to the left so as to disguise how off-center the windows were.
You social climber, you!Most trees had C7 bulbs, you appear to have C9's.
Oh, what great memoriesWhat great Christmas memories. Beautiful tree, and a lovely home for the times. I was living in Marysville for Christmas 1955.  We were sent to my grandparents' home in Yuba City on the 23rd, where the eventual flood occurred.  From Yuba City we were off to a friend of my grandfather’s west in Colusa.  Christmas morning he and my grandfather flew to Sacramento to get supplies.
(ShorpyBlog, Member Gallery, Christmas, tterrapix)

Christmas in Buffalo: c. 1910
Christmas with my grandparents in Buffalo, New York. They are the couple on ... Grandmother seems distracted by something outside a window. In the front, Jr. can't wait to gulp down that holiday punch, while ... pretty dangerous. My mother recalled one of her childhood Christmas trees catching fire from one of the wax candles (mid to late 1930's). ... 
Posted by bhappel - 11/24/2009 - 3:25pm -

Christmas with my grandparents in Buffalo, New York.  They are the couple on the right.  Grandmother emigrated to the U.S. in 1909. This is likely from one of their first Christmases in America as the image comes from a glass negative. There are a couple dozen glass negatives so it would appear that Granddad moved to film stock by the Teens.
The other folks in the image are unknown by name but appear in multiple negatives from this time period. I'm fairly positive that none are relatives -- more likely other immigrant friends from Germany or acquaintances met in the U.S.
The "Charlie Brown" tree is decorated with nearly two dozen burning candles! The chandelier appears to be gas with flow regulators on each of the arms going to the globes. View full size.
Different fociA lot of focused affection in that back row.  However, Grandmother seems distracted by something outside a window.  In the front, Jr. can't wait to gulp down that holiday punch, while Mr. Photogenic on the right seems fully conscious of the occasion (as usual).  What a fascinating photo!   
Lit candles on a treecan be pretty dangerous.  My mother recalled one of her childhood Christmas trees catching fire from one of the wax candles (mid to late 1930's).  We have no holiday pictures from her childhood, so it's nice to see what her Christmas tree probably looked like.
Real candlesWonderful image. One of the few things I remember well from kindergarten in the mid-60's is a real Christmas tree in a corner of the classroom with real burning candles. And a real bucket of water standing by. Never encountered anything like it after that.
WallpaperAaaaaaannnddd now I have found a new desktop wallpaper. Thanks for sharing! The holidays have officially begun!
Explosive!Burning candles on a tree below a gas lamp. Our ancestors didn't sweat the small stuff!
Starfleet Christmas!Is that an ancestor of Brent (Data) Spiner, in front?
Beautiful!What a marvelous picture, and such a family treasure! Thank you for sharing.
Just Good FriendsThe two chaps in the foreground seem to be on very friendly terms. Mind you, judging by the jug, this is not the first round of Xmas cheer.
White ChristmasI would be willing to wager that if grandmother is looking out the window, she is seeing a mantle of snow on the ground.  It is Buffalo after all.
Grandmother's childhood treeMy grandmother told us stories of her traditional family Christmas tree during the decade after this photo.  They could only light the tree while their dad was in the room and standing by with a bucket of water.  Hooray for electrons on demand!
Very nice photo.
Across the yearsThat background couple are completely focused on each other, and I get a sense of eternal love going on there!
Great pictureThanks for sharing it, bhappel.  I love these informal pictures as it makes me able to picture what my ancestors may have looked like at that time.
Only the men appear to be holding beverage glasses. Was it considered inappropriate for a woman to be seen with a drink? Also, anyone know what the ribbon on Mr. Wicker Chair is for?
That RibbonI did some editing to look at the ribbon.  I can't detect any writing and from the 3D appearance I'd guess that it is a temporary Holiday accessory.
Thanks for the big pic of the ribbon.   It does look like a holiday adornment.  Good thing that Mr. Wicker Chair was wearing some holiday cheer as he looks a little glum otherwise.  Maybe b/c no s.o.?
Your Christmas present to US!Yes, thank you, bhappel. "Vielen Dank" to you and your beautiful German grandparents...und Frohe Weihnachten!
So familiar!And such memories. I live in the Metro DC area now, but my childhood was on Buffalo's east side, in the Polish-German area (my father is from "Kaisertown", my mother from Sloan). My grandfather's houses (both of them) were very similar to what we see in the photograph. My memory goes back to the early 50's but my 80 year old dad would sure recognize the atmosphere!
Thank you!
Lit candles on a tree (they still do that)My wife is from Germany and a couple years back we spent Christmas with her family there.  Her brother had a indoor Christmas tree with burning candles.  They all had a good laugh that I somehow thought this was dangerous!  Those crazy Germans!
(ShorpyBlog, Member Gallery, Christmas)

Shop Early for Xmas: 1922
... glass negative. View full size. Update: For the window-shoppers among us, I've posted a bigger closeup here . Lionel ... Stores could use them for window displays during Christmas. The rest as they say is history. Great picture. Also, just can't ... brother, handkerchiefs or an autograph book for Sis, etc. Christmas will never be as meaningful as when we had to budget every cent ... 
Posted by Dave - 11/06/2015 - 12:35am -

Washington, D.C., circa 1922. "Sport Mart, 1303 F Street N.W." Shorpy would like one of each, please. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size. Update: For the window-shoppers among us, I've posted a bigger closeup here.
Lionel Train SetThat Lionel Electric Train Set is to die for!! I know fellow collectors who, if they had only the original box displayed in this picture, would be in fandom heaven.   Joshua Lionel Owen invented the first toy trains in 1901 so New York City Department Stores could use them for window displays during Christmas. The rest as they say is history. Great picture.  Also, just can't imagine any store having all those guns in a front window anymore, with just plate glass in front of them as protection from theft. Were people really that honest back then?
Don't bother with the girlsLove all the signs. Also interesting to see another pre-WWII swastika, and this one is even turned 45 degrees onto a point, the same as the Nazis did.
[That's two interlocking S's, for Stetson Shoes. Ten lines. A swastika has six. - Dave]
Airguns $1I'm sorry, Shorpy, you don't want that. You'll put your eye out.
Western Auto, Carroll Cut Rite....In the small mill town where I grew up, we had the two stores mentioned as well as United Cigar and Hart's 5 & 10. Their windows examples of just about every single item in inventory. The multitude of tiered shelves allowed one to see what was inside without actually going in. For the kids (like me) that had a total of $10 to buy six gifts, it was great to stand in front of the window and budget out the allotment, figuring out who would get what before actually buying. Mom always got the blue bomb bottle of Evening in Paris or dusting powder, Dad got something in Old Spice, an inflatable toy for my baby brother, handkerchiefs or an autograph book for Sis, etc. Christmas will never be as meaningful as when we had to budget every cent because it really meant something more than just purchasing merchandise.
I'll take the...Kodak Autographics, bike and Lionel train sets, please!
Santa Please......bring me the sled that looks just like Rosebud, and the Lionel trains, and the golf set with those fabulous hickory shafts. I need a new niblick.
Alice MaynardOne wonders what Alice Maynard is selling "upstairs." Probably entirely innocent - probably ladies clothing based on what we can see in the second floor windows - but the filthy mind gets all sorts of ideas.

Can I have the .22 please?That Winchester pump .22 would be worth big bucks if it were in good condition today.
Re: Santa Please...I couldn't help but notice the fatness of the "pre-pass" era type of footballs. More like a rugby or Aussie rules football.
Toy StoryGreat photo, Dave. I can't tell how much the chess set is, but it looks like a nice one. Cowboy suede holsters and Indian feathered headbands would be frowned upon today. I am puzzled why a thermos is more expensive than a golf set. There's so much to look at. By the way, are those irons (the kind for pressing clothes?) What's with that?
[The sign under the vacuum bottles is for a $15 "tackle outfit." - Dave]
I have a pump .22 a lot like the one in the window......but its a "Savage" vs. a "Winchester", octagonal barrel, you can take it apart with one screw. Last fired about 25 years ago!
Not to Nitpickbut it's Joshua Lionel Cowen, ne Cohen.  He was the great-uncle of the infamous Roy Cohn, who later was board chairman of the train company.
Fix bayonets!That Daisy BB gun has a bayonet on it -- more fun than lawn darts!
SavageI believe Savage was taken over by Winchester way back when. I had a 1918 Winchester pump as a kid. I really loved it and used it in the late 40's and 50's. Wish I could find another under $1k.
Aw, Why do I have to be a girl?I'm looking at all the really neat stuff in the window. All my friends were boys when I was growing up and their toys were the best.  If I lived back then, my mother would have shopped for me one door over to the right, where they have a selection of ugly, boring dolls.
Dreaming of the train set...
.38How long would those pistols last in a glass storefront in 2008? Not long.
Pistols..The pistol on the right is most likely a Colt Model 1903 .32 ACP or perhaps a Model 1908 .380.  The Revolver is a Smith and Wesson.  I can't identify caliber size or frame type.  As to the pistol on the left, your guess is as good as mine.
It's interesting that Washington D.C. in the 1920's where you could buy guns no questions asked at a department store with glass windows was much safer than 21st century D.C. where possession of any one of the firearms in that window was a felony until recently.
What every boys wants...but should he get a revolver?
Oooooh! Oooooh!I was born 25 years later, but in spirit my nose- and handprints are all over that Sport Mart window. I have hundreds of engines and cars in my collection but no Lionel that goes back to the 1920s, much to my sorrow. Dad couldn't wait to put one under the tree, so I had my first one at age 4; at 62 I still play with trains! (Sadly, electric train sales have fallen on hard times and only the old boys are interested.) I do have most of the cameras in that window but they aren't quite so shiny -- but they do work, even the ones going back to the 1870s. 
Air rifles weren't allowed in my family (had to play with my friend's guns on the sly) and they sure couldn't be had for a dollar then! 
Even the boys in my family spent a lot of quality time using an iron (the ones that put a crease in your britches and made your starched shirts crisp -- not the ones you hit little white balls with) but I don't remember thinking it was much of a sport! Note that the golf balls there are individually wrapped. I don't recognize the bike in the window, but it looks big; in the early 1950s we had a hand-me-down of indeterminate origin, the only 38-incher in the neighborhood. 
Not much in the window for the little girls in 1921. The signs seem to indicate they may not have gotten them personally as gifts, but in some families the "tomboys" had their ways! Some things have changed for the better.
A Visit from the Innuendo FairyDon't all "bicycles" have "reputations?" Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more!
ShockingBesides the toys there are bunches of household items on display (but don't get me wrong, I want the train set and a basement to put it in).  I'm suddenly interested in the parallel history of the battery and portable electrical devices.  Things like flashlights had to have been introduced for the consumer with a battery in mind.  Of course after a few years batteries became ubiquitous, but imagine going to a store and picking up a battery and not already owning anything to put it in.
Lionel for ChristmasI had a circa 1941 Lionel freight train complete with all the cars and a headlight. I got it for Christmas. It also had little tablets that you could drop down the stack so that the engine puffed smoke as it tore around the three-rail track. Alas, my dear mom gave it away to Goodwill one day when I was in high school. Sigh!
Indoor SportsSome of the Christmas Specials in this display window bring new meaning to the term Sporting Goods. The lower left section is filled with electric-powered household appliances: Irons, a toaster, a coffee percolator ("perculator" in the sign) and a set of antler-handled carving knives for that Christmas turkey. When I was a kid in the 1950s there were a few moms in our neighborhood who seemed to think that Extreme Ironing was a competition sport, but they usually got their gear at Sears. And what about that accordion in the back row next to the electric space heater?
$16There's a sign just below the sled for $16 but I can't make it out. Can you blow it up?
[Kaboom. - Dave]

Electric TorchJust to feed everyone's new interest in the subject, here's a post from the inimitable Daniel Rutter that includes some early flashlight background.
$5.50 for a dozen golf balls.A lost ball in a water hazard or the rough had to have hurt!
Made In U. S. A.For an advocate of American-made goods which are currently difficult (to impossible) to find for gift-giving, I assume that almost everything in this window was made right here in the USA.  A twinge of sorrow takes over as I wonder if Lionel is still made here, or Daisy Air guns or Flexible Flyers.  Christmas lights shown here for $8.50 (a huge amount of money in 1921) can be bought today for a couple of dollars.  Yes, imports are cheap, cheap, cheap, but also disposable and short-lived.  Time marches on and even Levis are made in Mexico, Converse in China.  I did find nail clippers made in the USA last week for $1. Maybe I'll be like Jack Benny and give gifts of just shoelaces and nail clippers this year.  Don't know of ANY toys or electronics made here.  One other non-imported gift suggestion is to give the gift recipient a hand-made gift card for FOUR HOURS of personal advice.  (few people will cash it in)  Merry Christmas fellow Shorpy addicts.
Get the boy something he wants...All he wants now is a Wii, a Playsatation, a Game Cube, an iPod...
How unfortunate.  I want a time machine.
How dare they...Look at them!  Creating these restrictive gender roles and explicitly marketing them to impressionable children?  The audacity!  The horror!  Someone call the NOW and shut these advocates of boyhood down!
Rampant (and refreshing) political correctness aside, this is a fabulous picture.  I love these, where you can just drink in wonderful little details.  You can even read the sign company name on the SportMart sign.  You really do a great job sharpening these up, Dave.
What's the white squiggly line in the upper left corner?  Looks like the border of a postcard or something, but how did it get in that rather strange location on this picture?  Either that, or I'm missing something very obvious and it's a water pipe or something.
[It's the decoration (or alarm tape, which did indeed exist in 1921) on a windowpane. - Dave]
Made in USA.Yoda, I know what you mean, but on the other hand, today when we sub out low end manufacturing, the material wealth is so much higher.  Most kids today would already own some or most of the goods in the window display, whereas I bet that the overall market penetration of electric trains, etc. was much more limited in the 1920s.
Is that a Red Ryder BB Gun?Santa sez "You'll shoot your eye out, kid. Merry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho!"
Jean Shepherd must be chortling (yes, chortling, that's what he said) and smiling down on this scene.
Nice gunsGrew up in Rogers, Arkansas where the Daisy plant was located. I had a lever-action '.30-.30' style bb rifle that you loaded from the side - it lasted for years and received all kinds of mistreatment. Also, learned to shoot with my grandfather's .22 that looked quite similar to the one pictured, but I cannot remember what make it was.
Smith & WessonThe 3 pistols in the front center appear to be Smith & Wesson. Their boxes sport the distinctive (intricate) S&W Logo, or an earlier version of it.
Small Pistol on the LeftI realize this is 6 years later, but what the heck.  The small pistol on the left in the group of three pistols appears to be either a Mauser 1910 (25ACP) or the 1914 (32 ACP).
(The Gallery, Bicycles, Christmas, D.C., Stores & Markets)

Clam Chowder Today: 1905
... in front of that building. Haunting Best face-in-a-window shot in a long time. Looks like a painting, and speaks of timeless ... and canceled all motion-picture exhibition licenses on Christmas Eve 1908. Perhaps that's why he was not encouraged to run for ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/14/2012 - 2:37pm -

New York City circa 1905. "Exterior of tenement." The longer you look at this, the more you'll see. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.
Time for some road repairWow, that's a nasty bit of road in front of that building.
HauntingBest face-in-a-window shot in a long time.  Looks like a painting, and speaks of timeless solitude across a century.
308Who'll be the first to post a Street View?
S&H Green StampsAnd here I thought they were a product of the 1950s, or earlier.
["Earlier" would seem to be correct. - Dave]
Pop. 2So far I see two people in this photo. Not counting George McClellan.
I wanna buy that mason a beer!Those are the coolest headers I've ever seen! There's probably a term for that style, for all I know. 
The cobblestones on the street are another story. No doubt a mosquito plague after every rain.
DeepI think I lost a truck in that pothole.
Scared the bejesus out of me!The shadowy lady in the doorway! And the pensive woman in the window looks so lost in thought. The people in this photo are the best part!
Down in flamesHmmm, fire escapes that go nowhere.
Maybe notI was thinking of swiping something out of that tool chest, then I read the label!
Loafer DeterrentThose sharp triangles on the top of the railings look to be very effective at keeping people from sitting on them.
[Also effective for loafing pigeons -- note that they're also on the lower rung. - Dave]
Trading stampsThat S&H Green Stamp sign would be quite a collectible now. Sperry & Hutchinson began in 1896. They're still around, just virtual.
Give the man a steak to go with the beer!The brickwork is fantastic. Look at the fancy work above the second floor windows and the double diamondwork up the walls. I have never seen diamondwork in brick before.
It does not survive.308 East 40th Street (courtesy of the 1915 city directory).
View Larger Map
Chillin at the windowI count two windowsill milk bottles. Plus some paper-wrapped packages, maybe meat or butter.
I just figured it outWhy do vintage street lamps always those two arms sticking out? To support a ladder for maintenance!
Thank you!Clicking on these photos to get the full-size view is like opening gifts!  I'm thrilled every time.  Thank you.
Tudor City308 East 40th Street in Manhattan is just off Second Avenue on the south side of the street and just a few doors away from the Tudor City apartment and park complex. Back in the 1980's, there were some terrific restaurants in that immediate area.
Tenement?In New York City a "tenement" is considered to be a small (under five story with no elevator) overcrowded run-down building. The houses on the Lower East Side in the early 1900s were tenements.  308 East 40th Street does not fit that description.
[Meanings change over time. Strictly speaking, a tenement is any tenanted building, i.e. apartment house. Below, NYC real-estate listings from 1905. - Dave]
GaslightThe lamplighter would lean his ladder against those arms.
It's a gas!I see that H. Kino the Tailor still uses gaslights (in the front window) -- but seeing as how this building was a "tenement," I suppose electrification was a low priority.
Fire EscapesThe two "Fire Escapes" I guess are not  balconies but have no apparent way to get down to street and away from the conflagration. The only thing I can figure is the NYFD would come and raise  a ladder to them. We can't tell how tall the building is but I imagine no more than four or five stories [Actually, seven. - Dave]. The fire escapes for the floors above must be on the sides and rear of the building. I am having trouble identifying the metal bracket affixed to the wall between the tailor shop window and it's door. It looks like it could have held a hanging sign but appears to be too low.
Morning scrubbingThe lady in at the doorway seems to be scrubbing the floors. You can see the water dripping down the front step.
Graffiti If you zoom in you can see initials chalked on the bricks.
JuniorIn spite of the apparent distaste someone in this neighborhood had for George B. McClellan, he won his mayoral campaign. The name sounds familiar, of course, and the man on the poster is the son of Civil War General George B. McClellan. He served as mayor of New York City from 1904 to 1909 (he was elected first for a two-year term, and then for a four-year term).
Apparently he was a little moralistic, and canceled all motion-picture exhibition licenses on Christmas Eve 1908. Perhaps that's why he was not encouraged to run for reelection for the 1910 term.
Once, tenements were even respectableLovely curtains, with lace or bobbles or fringe, at every window. No broken glass. Well-kept and middle-class.
Jacob Riis had shown New York tenements as nothing but degrading slums. "How The Other Half Lives" was only 15 years old when this photograph was made. But there was always a strong sense of middle-class values that resided in the people who lived in the "better" tenements. They embraced the Settlement House movement, strove to present a "decent" face to the world, and certainly didn't want to be tarred with the same label as those dirty, disreputable slum-dwellers downtown.
What an amazing image. There's so much we've forgotten. Thank you for reminding us.
George B. McClellan JrMayor of New York 1904-1909.  Born in Dresden, Germany, and son of Gen. McClellan of Civil War blundering.
Elmer's GantryOn the wall above the cellar stairs, there's a triangular rig for hoisting stuff up out of the basement.
Where'd the cart go?There are two other photos of this tenement in the Library of Congress collection. They look much more inhabited and show how this image might have been manipulated for effect -- the other images show the address number (curiously missing here), the awning down, and a cart of produce in front of the building, a much more inviting view.
[Nothing was "manipulated." You can't see the address numbers because they're on the front doors, which are both open in this view. - Dave]
Lace Curtain IrishIf this is chowda, it must be Friday.  When I was a kid, every Friday was meatless and during that era, the better-off Irish were referred to as titled.  Likewise the Polish people who were "comfortable" were "silk stocking Poles" and my father used to call us cotton stocking Poles.  Both ethnicities were Catholic and Friday always meant seafood, (Irish were also referred to as "mackerel snappers) and odors of frying fish, tuna salad and chowda permeated the neighborhoods.  My mom made three kinds of chowda, New England with a creamy, white base, Manhattan with a tomato base and lots of vegetables and Rhode Island which was a lighter version of the N.E. kind but with added broth.  I love them all but also miss the smell of everybody's tuna and onion sandwiches at school lunch and fish frying aromas wafting through our town at supper time.  I do remember that fresh mackerel was ten cents a pound and almost everyone could afford it.  Thanks for the great nostalgic picture, the despairing lady in the window seems trapped and scared, there has to be a story there.   
Windowsill gardenI love the window with all the plants in it! Hard to tell what they are, though it looks like one may be an orchid. I wonder if they were purely ornamental or if some were herbs for cooking. Either way, you've got to cram as many as you can into your available sunny spaces!
Francie is gazing out the windowIt could be Francie. It could.  A Tree Grows In Brooklyn was my favorite book as a young adult and this detailed photograph brings a better understanding of the novel.
Almost "Norman Rockwell"Imagine a 5000-piece picture puzzle with this photo as the topic!
I LEARN so much from the comments!This is one of my favorite sites for resting my weary eyes during work breaks. And while I certainly savor the photos, so many layers are added by the comments. Thank you, everyone, for sharing your knowledge.
Holy horse dung!Having lived in Manhattan for 12 (yes, only 12) years and having moved away, this photo leaves me speechless.  
The detail of the photographic process is amazing and the subtle (and somewhat hidden) joys on view here make me wanna head back for any chowder--even the famous Gowanus Canal Chow.  All the sights, smells and sounds of the greatest city on earth come back to me. Many thanks.
I now live on this spotOr possibly right next to it.  I live in the Churchill, a 33-story apartment building at 300 East 40th Street - it takes up the entire block between 39th and 40th Street, and 2nd Avenue and Tunnel Entrance Street.  308 was either torn down to make room for the Churchill (built 1968) or possibly during the building of the Midtown tunnel and its approaches (1936-40).
What am I missing?Just wondering how "swein" determined that this was E. 40th; might I be enlightened on this "1915 directory"? I'm half-cringing in anticipation of a "duh" moment but I've looked over the pic & the comments -- and I'm not getting it.
[Swein consulted the 1915 Manhattan City Directory for Wm. Inwood, Grocer, and found a listing that matched the 308 address in the window. - Dave]
Do You Supposethe Sicilian Asphalt Company also offered a line of concrete shoes?
(The Gallery, DPC, NYC, Stores & Markets)

Merry Christmas: 1951
        A Christmas chestnut from the Tuttle attic: "Tree -- Dec. 25, 1951." Merry Christmas from Blue Earth, Minnesota, and from Shorpy! 35mm Kodachrome by Grace ... we did not have was that white stuff you can see thru the window. Never did experience a white Christmas until I was 16. Thanks for ... 
Posted by Dave - 12/25/2017 - 10:32am -

        A Christmas chestnut from the Tuttle attic:
"Tree -- Dec. 25, 1951." Merry Christmas from Blue Earth, Minnesota, and from Shorpy! 35mm Kodachrome by Grace or Hubert Tuttle. View full size.
Tinsel on the treeAnd snow on the ground.
The Box!What jumped out at me about this picture was the Campbell's Soup box! I remember having these at home with stuff stored in them. A product of the days when people would go and get empty boxes from the back of the grocery store to use for storage.
Tinsel perfectionistWould have made my sister proud; whilst my brother and I preferred to throw handfuls at the tree; she always insisted on draping them one strand at a time.
There were some years we hated her.
My first electric trainAnd a red AMT '51 Pontiac were under our tree on Christmas 1951!  Wish I had both back!
At Last!Something that can compete with the wallpaper!
Takes hours to wrap, minutes to destroyMy eldest sister's first job was at a department store in the gift wrap department. She is now in her middle 60s.  To this day, when I receive a present from her, it is wrapped to perfection, taped and ready for presentation.
These presents remind me of her skills.  As a man, I really prefer the gift bags with tissue paper.  
1950s OrnamentsWe have some of the same ones (notably the glass birds with the glass fibre tails) on our tree, handed down and carefully preserved. A nice reminder of Christmas growing up in the '50s.
Merry Christmas Shorpyites!
The plant standAnybody notice the plant in a Calumet baking soda can?
Fire Hazard ReductionAlas, no wax candles, as far as I can tell. 
Being traditionalists, my parents didn't go electric until the late 1970ties. 
The smell of real beeswax candles on a real tree is unsurpassed. As well as the arrangement and re-arrangement of the candle holders until daddy was satisfied that all candles well were clear from any branch above. Which took hours. Not to mention daddy's hawkeyed supervision of his kids dearest lighting those candles on X-mas eve. Once. With all due care. And him not leaving the living room until the candles were out again. 
Soup boxI assumed the soup box is how the relatives brought over the presents and they just hadn't gotten around to unloading them before the picture was taken. 
We used boxes like these when we went camping.
Christmas TreeEven today when I think of Christmas trees this is what I think of. All through the 50's and 60's this was the only type that were usually sold in the Houston area. I was even a little mad when one Christmas season I was very sick and my mom went out and got a tree for my apartment and she got a spruce instead of a "real" Christmas tree.
What is Real?Is it then or now. Most kids today might say sometime in the future that their parents had "real" Christmas trees that were hand made in China.
Up until the first 'fake' Christmas tree, there were only real ones. I remember the smell of pine and my grandma saying "Now dear, do not touch the tree if you do not want to get sappy"
I guess in the end I am still sappy, but only about Christmas memories like this one from Shorpy.
[This blue spruce reminds your webmaster of his own childhood! - Dave]
Blue Earth on ChristmasThank you, Shorpy.  I didn’t realize how much I needed some of the Tuttle family for Christmas until I saw this image today.  The Blue Earth series is my favorite. Merry Christmas to all, and thanks again for being a part of my daily life.
PerfectHere's wishing that the entire Shorpy family is having a wonderful Christmas Day  Thank you, Dave
Full TreesLiving overseas in the 50s.  I remember my parents and my aunt and uncle getting three real trees.  One would go to them, one for us.  The third was used to fill out the other two.  
And they were big.  Or I was little!
The tinsel is what always got me.  When taking the trees down, we could not just put the decorations away.  No, we had to preserve the tinsel.  We could not buy it where we lived.  To get more in time for Christmas, would have to get in the middle of summer in the US.  Not worth it.
We also had to preserve the wrapping for the same reason.
What we did not have was that white stuff you can see thru the window.  Never did experience a white Christmas until I was 16.
Thanks for the memories.
Tree memoriesThis is exactly what out trees used to look like in the 60's.
The mismatched ornaments, the Santa, the Stars, the indented ornaments, the Tinsel, the green & red wiring running all over and of course the Topper! 
(Christmas, Minnesota Kodachromes)

Christmas Eve 1954
... this was the same year my brother took me to see Rear Window . But, since it's the only one of me hanging my Christmas stocking (or of anybody in our family hanging one), I'm stuck ... 
Posted by tterrace - 06/24/2009 - 5:04pm -

December 24, 1954. The only explanation I can come up with for my disturbing expression is that this was the same year my brother took me to see Rear Window. But, since it's the only one of me hanging my Christmas stocking (or of anybody in our family hanging one), I'm stuck with it. And my brother jiggled the camera. Funny thing is, there's already stuff in the stocking (probably with a tangerine down in the toe, like always). I'm 8 and well past the Santa Claus pretense, so I'm probably just helping with the decor. Anyway, what I'm mainly interested in is all the really good stuff that'll be there the next morning. My favorite thing here is all the junk (undoubtedly mine) exploding out of the shelf behind the TV.
Many thanks to everybody who's said nice things about my photos, and gigantic thanks to Dave not only for Shorpy itself, but for his ever-expert editorial emendations. I've had a ball here. View full size.
Ominous"I've had a ball here." ... Oh, I hope the use of the past tense doesn't mean anything ominous.  I certainly look forward to more of your pictures.
Thanks, tterrace, and Dave.  Thanks to you guys, Shorpy is usually the highlight of my day.
Eman ... Emen ... Wha?You are very welcome! A big shout-out to tt, Stanton Square, Joe Manning and all the other contributors who have helped make Shorpy what it is today -- the 12,078th most popular website on the planet! (Earth, 34-50 demographic, Quantcast metrics 4Q 2008, terms and conditions apply.) That box of Chiclets is from me, by the way.
Below, tterrace the day after Christmas.

Dittoon Ominous' comments.  I've been addicted for only 6 months or so now, but I'm at the point of checking Shorpy 5 or 6 times a day for new photos or comments. 
I'm north of your 35-50 demographic, but being retired gives me more time to evangelize my friends about the great stuff to be found here.
StockingThat looks like one of those bought stockings that are made of that red netting. We used to get those. There were no other stockings.
Christmas Evetterrace thank you for your posts, Dave you are the best!!
Merry Christmas to Shorpy and all of the "Shorpies" on this great site.
THANKS DAVE AND TTERRANCEThe tangerine was always is in the sock; one year and one year only, it was CHOCOLATE. That's a mighty nice handmade sweater vest, Tterrance. Maybe this photo was made to commemorate it.
Computer monitor?What is that on the shelf just beyond your shoulder? Impossible as I know it is, it sure looks like the sort of computer monitors popular before flat screens became affordable.
The stockings were hung with careI can't believe I just found Shorpy (where have I been?) and am looking forward to further exploring it and sharing some of my old photos.  Dave,I love this site!  tterrace - I was born 18 days before this picture was taken.
Thanks and happy holidays!
1954 output devicesWell, Retread, depending on which shelf you're talking about, the thing you said looks like a computer monitor could be one of two formerly-popular information display devices: on the top shelf, mounted photos; on the lower shelf, books (in this case, a set of The Book of Knowledge from the teens or twenties).
Sorry my use of the past tense caused consternation; I have no plans to jump the good ship Shorpy. Errymay Ristmaskay!
Another opportunity for giving thanksThank you so much for sharing these little glimpses, tterrace. You enhance Shorpy by making it personal.
Thanks to Dave, again, for all your wonderful work. I've been a member for a little over a year now and though I wouldn't want to count the hours spent here, I'm certain my boss might. Shhhh...
I'm also hoping for at least one more year of making comments that you don't make fun of.
Thanks to Stanton_Square and Joe Manning for your stellar research. I've learned so much, I can't ever call this wasted time.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Shorpy TalesMight solve a mystery, or rewrite history!
I hope we get to dive deeper into your family album and others of us find those hidden Kodachome moments that we all can relate too. 
Bring on the state fair! Bring on the state line! To continental divide, to the oceanside! Post them! Post them! Post them all!
Tterrace, don't leave us!I'm a bit concerned by "I've had a ball here".  Please tell me that we'll have many, many more photos from you.  I love these peeks into your past.
Merry Christmasand Happy New Year to all. And thanks to Dave for a great site!
A Visit from the Christmas JigglerDidn't your brother jiggle the camera in one of the other Christmas pictures, too?
I think these lovely old Yuletide pictures have been the best Christmas present ever. I lost my Grandma two years ago, and most of the old holiday customs - including a chance to look at pictures of Christmases past - have gone with her. Hanging out at Shorpy has brought a little of that back into my life.
That's such a good-natured-looking kid, I want to go back in time and put some extra oranges in his stocking.
If I ever did believe in Santa, it was over well before my fourth Christmas, which is the first one I remember. And still, stockings were the biggest part of the fun. When Sis and I got old enough to buy presents, we just naturally started putting some in each other's - and Mom and Dad's - stockings, just as the parents had always done.
I'm firmly entrenched in Shorpy's age demographic (albeit in the lower end), and Mom, Sis, and I still fill stockings for each other.
(ShorpyBlog, Member Gallery, Christmas, tterrapix)

Koh-I-Noor: 1902
Detroit, Michigan, circa 1902: "Window display, art and drafting supplies." Our second look at Richmond & ... Beyond the scope of the photograph, the reflections in the window are intriguing. I see an Army recruitment center across the street. Is ... just waiting to be nibbled on! Dear Santa With Christmas fast approaching, can you go back in time and get me that Thatcher ... 
Posted by Dave - 09/13/2011 - 11:52pm -

Detroit, Michigan, circa 1902: "Window display, art and drafting supplies." Our second look at Richmond & Backus, printers, binders and "office outfitters." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
The reflections are interestingBeyond the scope of the photograph, the reflections in the window are intriguing. I see an Army recruitment center across the street. Is this enough clues for someone to come up with an address?
[111 Woodward Avenue. - Dave]
Window GlassInteresting reflections!I think the male reflection is the photographer.
French CurvesDarn! Those sure are some sexy French Curves in that window!!!
Same in 1982 as 1902Most of the items and brands in this window were still what we used in architecture school 80 years after this was taken.  It's only in the last 15 or so years most of these drafting supplies became rare - everything's on computers now.
The Fox in the HatHubba hubba!
Take our brief survey.Looks like surveying scales mixed in with the drafting implements. 
Richmond & Backus adFrom the 1902 Detroit City Directory. Perhaps created in the "bohemian lair with lots of flair."
Cuff GaitersThat's what I need to keep the AutoCAD smears off my shirt!
Office ImplementsI have a cased surveyor's tape almost identical to the one on the far left; our son gave it to me some years ago (hand-me-up?), purchased from the Greenwich Observatory gift shop.
And it's been forever since I last saw those circular erasers, although these don't have the conveniently attached brush!
Hand-me-downsWhen I went into art school, Dad presented me with one of his sets of Koh-I-Noor drafting sets (he was a mechanical engineer - heating, cooling, and refrigeration). They had stood him in good stead for over 30 years. I gave them to my brother about 20 years ago and he's still using them for projects. Hopefully, his son will get them.
A Different Skill SetHow much "hand skill" went into drafting!  We've all crossed the borders between eras in some way; I remember practicing my alphabet in college at 19 (or I should say relearning), and now it's point-and-click.  I'm honest enough to admit that saying I miss the pencil and eraser sounds old, and watching a good CAD draftsperson is like watching magic, but producing a good drawing with your head, your eye, AND your hand -- a different skill set.
Library Paste ... Yum!Some big jars of great smelling minty tasting paste there, just waiting to be nibbled on!
Dear SantaWith Christmas fast approaching, can you go back in time and get me that Thatcher High-Precision Slide Rule? It's the grooved drum in the top center of the display. In my time they cost one or two thousand, can we strike a deal on this one?
Railroad curvesI have a box like that sitting on my drafting table at work loaded with railroad curves. It even has the two hook latches to keep the lid closed. And it looks like engineering or architectural scales in a circular holder on top of the box.  Leaning on the box is a range pole, with three Philly Rods and targets in the window.  I still have my Koh-I-Noors in a drawer at work - but I haven't used them in years.
DetailsThis picture is a perfect example of why I love this site so much. The small details and the memories they trigger are fascinating.
E. Faber

The School Journal, Vol. 59, 1899 

The lead pencil and paper has largely taken the place of the slate and pencil in school, and no wonder. Cleanliness is one consideration and not the only one. The pencils of E. Faber, New York, and Chicago, will be found of an excellent quality. He also manufactures standard sorts of pen-holders, rubber erasers, rulers and other articles in this line.

Sign of the timesIn the upper left is Prang's Standard Alphabet - which, among other things, could be used as a standard for sign painting.  If that copy still exists in good condition, it might be worth quite a bit (though possibly not as much as the linked first edition.)
ComputerWould the device prominently displayed center top of the case be used to convert various measurements to drawing scale?
Thacher's Calculating InstrumentThe device at the center of the top shelf is Thacher's Calculating Instrument.  It is a cylindrical slide rule, four inches in diameter and 18 inches long.  The inner cylinder rotates and slides longitudinally within 20 scales.  These give the instrument an effective length of 30 feet and an accuracy of up to five digits.  Basically, it's a slide rule on steroids.
They are very desirable today and bring in excess of $2,000 at auction.
Koh-I-Noor: 1902 extended through at least 1959I was a photo interpreter and photogrammetrist in the USAF during the years 1956-1960. Part of the equipment issued was a "P.I. Kit", offering most of the tools required for those jobs. Kit included a sheaf of Koh-I-Noor pencils. Very good for their purpose: Drawing precise lines on an acetate overlay that would eventually be photographed and printed as a (Sectional Aeronautical) Chart. 
After my service, some folks presumed my "USAF" implied I was a pilot. 
"What did you fly?"
(The Gallery, Detroit Photos, DPC, Stores & Markets)

Yesterday's News: 1940
... "Men and a woman reading headlines posted in window of Brockton Enterprise newspaper office on Christmas Eve." 35mm Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano. View full size. ... Santa and that he might not finish up his route until Christmas morning! Men Without Hats The style changed, I believe, with ... 
Posted by Dave - 03/28/2018 - 8:56am -

December 1940. Brockton, Massachusetts. "Men and a woman reading headlines posted in window of Brockton Enterprise newspaper office on Christmas Eve." 35mm Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano. View full size.
FedorasYour best bet finding them are in Hasidic neighborhood stores.
Anthony UtoI think the sign reads "Enterprise Barber Shop." I have no doubt tho that the sign was changed to something that did not resemble the imperial battle flag!
Still AroundUnlike the Seattle Post-Intelligencer or the Rocky Mountain News, the Brockton Enterprise will still deliver a physical newspaper to your home. I find that comforting.
You two, yeah you, get out of the wayI really want to know more about problems with the schoolbooks, but those two guys are in the way.
Twitter 1.0Just a few short words on a subject, broadcast for all the world (if the world happens to walk by that window) to read. 
Japanese Barber ShopThis picture was taken in December 1940. I'd be willing to bet that one year later "Anthony Uto's Japanese Barber Shop" was no longer in business. 
["Japanese"? I think you're misreading the sign. - Dave]
It Comes Full CircleI was wetting my pants in 1940 and here we are back in the same mode, its deja vu all over again.
Brockton EnterpriseThe Enterprise of Brockton is still there:
And it still resides at 60 Main Street in Brockton.

And W.B. Mason (2nd Floor) is still going strong as well.
R.I.P. Billy HillBilly Hill, Boston native, wrote a number of popular songs including The Last Round-Up, Wagon Wheels, Empty Saddles, In the Chapel in the Moonlight, The Glory of Love.  At the age of seventeen he went out West and spent the next fifteen years working at various jobs including dishwasher in several roadhouses, cowpuncher in Montana, payroll clerk at a mining camp in Death Valley, and band leader at a Chinese restaurant in Salt Lake City.  Sadly, Billy "lost his battle with alcohol" on Dec. 24, 1940.  You can learn more at 
Staying connected to your world.Wow!  I wish we had a place to go today to read news headlines.
Enterprise Barber Shop?Is that what is says? Although, when I saw the "Empire of the Sun" sign, my first thought was "Japanese" as well.
School Board,not schoolbooks.
The past is prologueInteresting how the formatting of newspaper pages on the window presages the formatting of information on the screen of my iPod Touch.
Quake?There was an earthquake? Indeed, two? In Massachusetts? 
Many years back I read that there is a fault line running under Manhattan. I suppose this may be connected. 
EarthquakeThe USGS website confirms the headlines in the window.  A magnitude 5.5 earthquake struck the Lake Ossippee region in New Hampshire on December 20th and 24th of 1940.  It reports that aftershocks were felt throughout the northeast.
News FlashToday this would be replaced with the news "zipper" like in Times Square, New York.
Evergreen street tree?Is that a Doug Fur or Canadian Hemlock in the corner of the picture?  It looks like there is an ornament on it, which would make sense, but it seems like an odd place for a Xmas tree that size in the middle of the sidewalk.
Keeping an eyeWas everybody a private detective in those days?
Hatzoff, Fedora ManAs I grow older (and balder), I find myself coveting those fedoras.  Gonna go find me one, somewhere...
Get Your News HereUnlike today, there were no text messages, no blogs, no CNN, only newspapers and radios. There were no all news stations but there were morning and afternoon papers. Things changed much later on and I believe we are all the better for it.
FedorasGosh, I really like the look of a man with a nice hat on. I remember that growing up in the 50's and 60's, practically all men wore them. I don't know why they stopped, but they sure look elegant.
SantaI like that even back then they were "tracking" Santa and that he might not finish up his route until Christmas morning!
Men Without HatsThe style changed, I believe, with John F. Kennedy, who was the first U.S. President to regularly go hatless. This encouraged a lot of other young men of his generation to follow suit (but not hat).
Then there was the disastrous collapse of the once-mighty Japanese-American barbershop industry, which has yet to be fully documented. Not by me, though. Still, the familiar Kabuki barber in his garish makeup and flowing silk costume used to be a fixture in American cities from coast to coast, like Howard Johnson's restaurants and motels.
For some reason or other, they never made a comeback after 1945. Maybe it was because, as my WWII veteran Grandpa used to say, "I'll never, ever trust one of those little guys with a razor again!"
Since the average customer wasn't getting shaved bald any more (except for the traditional Samauri topknot, on request), the hat was no longer needed.
[Disclaimer: If you don't think that real history is entertaining enough, you can always make up your own].
Marciano and HaglerBrockton is indeed home to boxing great Rocky Marciano.  It is also home to another boxing great, Marvelous Marvin Hagler!
Window vs. Web LogsBrockton, Mass.  Who knew it was the birthplace of blogging? This is also a very early use of Windows Media.  
The Brockton BomberWasn't Rocky Marciano from Brockton?
Eaton CuttersSomething about Eaton sounded familiar. The Eaton Cutters post for the army shoe workers is a reference to the Charles A. Eaton Shoe Company founded 1876 in Brockton, eventually adding their golf shoes to its line. In 1976, the company changed its name to Etonic.
Read all about itAs a newspaper editor, this photo is evocative of a time when people truly treasured their daily or weekly newspaper, read it religiously, wrote letters to the editor, subscribed for generations, and hungered for important news as it was packaged in those days--on paper. Sure, they listened to H.P. Kaltenborn, but they still read all about it. Just a year later, when I was a month old, the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor, leaving our generation to question why anyone in 1940 used a rising sun motif for their outdoor advertising! Nowadays, our industry is on the ropes, but I'm glad to see that the Brockton Enterprise is still going strong, right where it started. For how long, though? Reading is becoming a lost art, alas.
Re: As a newspaper editorRe: As a newspaper editor, this photo is
That's saying this photo is a newspaper editor. I thought it was reporters who fell into the trap of the dangling modifier, and the editors were the ones who pulled them out!
Oops, ya got me!Anonymous Tipster is so right. Those dangling modifiers are pernicious. What is missing are the words "I find" from my original draft, inserted just after "editor," and just before "this." Good catch!
I know who caused the earthquake!My dad, who would have been 14 at the time of this picture, grew up in Manchester, NH, and told me this story several times:
One day he and his younger brother were in their upstairs bedroom doing nothing in particular while their mother was in the kitchen.  Suddenly the dishes rattled and the cupboard doors shook.  Mom marched to the foot of the stairs and shouted, "YOU BOYS CUT THAT OUT!"
They looked at each other, then replied, "We weren't doing anything."  (They were fond of fighting and wrestling, so Mom had every reason to blame them.)
"You rattled the dishes down here!"
"It wasn't us, honest.  It must have been an earthquake," they countered.
Well, that was ridiculous because earthquakes just don't happen in New England.  However, when the next day's paper reported an earthquake, they all had a good laugh, and Mom was reassured that her boys weren't lying.
The EnterpriseThe Enterprise is no longer at 60 Main Street in downtown Brockton. Delano's photo shows where the old Enterprise offices were, where the city of Brockton water/sewer offices currently reside, I believe. 60 Main is to the right, on the other corner. The building has been sold to a developer and the presses were dismantled and removed in 2008. In October 2008, part of the newsroom operation moved to a nondescript office on the city limits.
Flying SantaThe "flying Santa Claus" referred to was Edward Rowe Snow, a local historian who every year, with the help of the Coast Guard, delivered Christmas packages to lighthouse keepers and their families. You can find more about him here.
Grandfather Uto's barbershopThis was not a Japanese barbershop. My grandfather Anthony Uto came to this country from Italy in 1899 and opened his shop under the Enterprise building in the early 1900s. Until his retirement in the late 1960s, that was his shop.
(The Gallery, Brockton, Jack Delano)

Nawlins: 1903
... and Pfaff printers (displayed here across a 3rd-story window) led to an incredibly-informative biography of William Pfaff. ... this vantage point. Streetcars and Saints I spent Christmas in New Orleans with the girlfriend, and was surprised to find out ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/19/2012 - 4:32pm -

Circa 1903. The caption for this glass negative has been misplaced -- who will be the first person to identify this city and its famous thoroughfare? UPDATE: And the answer is, as most guessers correctly guessed, Canal Street in New Orleans! 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
Who Dat!Very apt posting a pic of old New Orleans here.  If my Steelers can't win the Super Bowl this year, then Go Saints!
Would it beNew Orleans? I think it is!
Anytown, USAis New Orleans.
Krower ClueLeonard Krower had a shop at 536-538 Canal Street in New Orleans.
Might it beCanal Street in New Orleans? Found this through google:
Canal StreetCanal Street, in New Orleans.  Personally, I've never been there, but searching for "Leonard Krower" shows he was a prominent jeweler in the city.
New Orleans?
Never been there, don't know if it looks like it or not.
Semi-wild guessMain Street in Charlottesville, Virginia.
New OrleansS.E. Worms was a retailer and appears in a few court proceedings and in "History of the Jews of Louisiana."
By the breadth of the street, I would guess it's Canal.  I haven't found an address of Mr Worms' establishment.
I do hope he renamed it at some point.  "Hey, you like my Worm suit?"  doesn't sound all that great.
My GuessCanal Street, New Orleans.
Yes, Canal St in N.O.
"Dalsheimer & Worms Notions & Gents. Furnishing Goods New York/New Orleans (Canal St.). Business form with elaborate letterhead. Acc. No. 1983.3.1."
Looks Like...Canal Street, New Orleans
Canal Street, New OrleansIt looks like thats Leonard Krower @ 536 Canal Street in New Orleans, LA (ad for them here: 
Is this New Orleans?Canal Street.
New Orleans?Leonard Krower Jewelers building was my clue.
Anytown, USA, foundThis looks like New Orleans, LA., at least according to Google. S. E. Worms and Leonard Krower companies were both there in this time frame.
New Orleans, LaWhat did I win?
New OrleansCanal Street, New Orleans
New Orleans!Looks like New Orleans, here's a pic
Where is This?Canal Street, New Orleans
Canal St. NOLALooks like Canal Street. A load of cotton seems to be in the middle of the pic.
It could be ...Canal Street in New Orleans
New OrleansNotions on 76 & 78 Canal Street.
19 streetcars!On Canal Street, New Orleans.
Future Saints fansIt looked like a Southern city even before I saw the cotton bales.  Most likely Canal Street in New Orleans.
NOLA, maybe Krower Wholesale Jewelers (@ left) and the Bucklin Advertising Concern (obscured sign @ right) both appear to have been New Orleans firms.
A few  - not 100% convincing - Web sources put Krower at 111 Exchange Place (at Canal).
My guess?Canal Street, New Orleans.  Found this stereo photo from long ago ...
Canal Street, New OrleansA Google search on '"S. E. Worms" notions' turned up this entry from Google Books on the undated (apparently late 1800s) book "New Orleans and the New South":
The building's 76-78 Canal Street address is helpfully noted right under a charming blue-ink drawing on page 107 of the same building seen here in the photo.
And for extra credit, here is a Google Street View of roughly the same address today:,+New+orleans,+la...
Worming That's Canal Street  in New Orleans. In the foreground we have 76-78 Canal, the former home of S. Dalsheimer & Co., which was illustrated in "New Orleans and the New South," by Andrew Morrison.  Mr. S.E. Worms was the resident partner, and it looks like he took over the business eventually.
"The engraving which illustrates this matter hardly does justice to the premises they occupy - premises themselves indicating a house which is conspicuous by reason of the business done by it throughout the trade territory of New Orleans."
Some Google-triangulating suggests..Canal Street, Mew Orleans.
It could be ...Canal street  New Orleans La Identified by the streetcars, cotton bales and Searcy & Pfaff printer business. Future home of the Saints! Who Dat?
Saints Alive!We're apparently seeing a scene from Leonard Street in bustling New Orleans.
Anyone from Nawlins able to tell us if that street's been renamed?
Enjoyable challengeAlthough I've never been to Louisiana, some brief research indicates that this photo is of St. Charles Street in New Orleans.
A Google search of Searcy and Pfaff printers (displayed here across a 3rd-story window) led to an incredibly-informative biography of William Pfaff.
"On November 1, 1889, Mr. Pfaff, then only eighteen years of age, became associated with his brother-in-law, David J. Searcy, in the operation of a little job printing establishment occupying one room on the third floor of a building on St. Charles Street, near Gravier."
Could it be?  Will some true New Orleans people confirm?
 I think I knowBy looking at that white building with the rounded corner, about a block from the Orpheus Theater, I would say this was Canal Street in New Orleans. If that building is on Carondelet Street, that's got to be it!
H.B Stevens et alA short session of Google-business-name-triangulating suggests it's Canal Street, Mew Orleans.
[Funny, you're the second cat to guess Mew Orleans. - Dave]
Lovely Canal StreetI believe we are looking at Canal and Camp streets.
View Larger Map
ShreveportHow about Shreveport, La.? According to Shelden's Jobbing Trade & City Offices (published in 1901), the firm operated at 43 Leonard St.
Holy Toledo, I count 19 cable carson Canal Street.  Business is good!
[The number of cable cars in this photo is zero. These are electric streetcars. - Dave]
Sharp ShorpiansShorpsters were once described by our host as "a school of fact-checking piranhas." I saw this pic about an hour after it was posted and there were already 37 guesses and most were correct.  Way to go Shorpsters!
I'm in awe!All you knowledgeable people impress me! Is that the spire from Saint Louis Cathedral visible behind the building that says H.B. Stevens?
Is that fellow posing?Or is the fellow in shirtsleeves and a bowler, standing on the roof of the building behind Dalsheimer's, just getting a breath of air while enjoying the view?
I never fail to marvel at the lack of vertigo apparent among some of the folks caught in these frozen moments. The window washers and roof-ridge-walkers couldn't possibly have realized that they were being included in a camera shot at the time the photograph was taken. Were people that much less fearless then?
The spireBased on the time (just after 9 a.m.) and the shadow, the camera is pointing almost due west.  
So that cannot be St. Louis, which is east of this vantage point.
Streetcars and SaintsI spent Christmas in New Orleans with the girlfriend, and was surprised to find out that the city has the oldest functioning streetcar system in the country -- when other cities began giving them up in the 1930s, N.O. hung onto its.
And ... GEAUX SAINTS! A lifelong dream has been realized.
VantageI think this photo was shot from atop the Custom House. It is looking towards the lake. The big building in the middle still stands at Carondelet and Canal. Find the building with the storm shutters, directly to the right of the picture, towards the bottom. It is the oldest building still standing on Canal Street. It is at the downriver, lakebound corner of Canal Street and Decatur Street. It is now a Wendy's or an Arby's.
Great Birthday CityThis is one of the world's great party cities.  In fact, next Tuesday Kairha and I embark on a 10 day road adventure, ending up in N.O.  And I recently found out that on my birthday (Tuesday, week) the entire city has gotten together to organize a huge celebration for me!
With parades and everything!  What a city!
CaryatidsLeonard Krower has a fine set of them holding up the roof.
H.B. StevensH.B. Stevens (Est. 1860) merged with Porter's on Baronne Street to become Porter Stevens in the 1970s.  It is the oldest men's clothing store in New Orleans.  The building in the picture was built in the early 1880s.
Here's another view of the same building.
Photo Taken from Stauffer, Eshleman & Co. Wholesale HardwareWe featured this picture as our weekly photo quiz on  Diane Burkett and Arthur Hartwell, a couple of our top Quizmasters, pointed out that the Godchaux tower was close to the photographer, and that there is no break in the awnings to indicate the picture was taken on the river side of the corner of Canal and Dorsiere Sts.  
Diane found that Godchaux's was then located at 527 Canal (the street has since been renumbered), and that the most likely location for the photographer was from the upper stories or roof of Stauffer, Eshleman & Co., 519 Canal St.  This is now the location of the Marriott.  Diane consulted the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps to come up with this conclusion.
I am from New Orleans, and have featured several NO pictures in my weekly quizzes. A couple have come from Shorpy.  To see them, scroll down the answer page (linked above), and look for the box in the right margin near the bottom.
Colleen Fitzpatrick
Quizmaster General
Forensic Genealogy
Yes, Canal St New Orleans towards the RiverAs most figured, this is definitely view down Canal Street in New Orleans towards the lake. Several of these buildings still exist. At least one business also still exists: Werlein's Music (they moved to the other side of Canal after this photo was taken (that building now houses the Palace Cafe restaurant), and in the 1980's moved the suburbs.
Note that drays are traveling in both directions on the downtown side of the neutral ground, a situation that lasted into the early automobile days.
(The Gallery, DPC, Horses, New Orleans, Streetcars)

The Christmas Tree: 1950
"Sierras, 1950, Nevada." The Christmas Tree Lodge on the Mount Rose Highway south of Reno is the backdrop ... Sierras. Egad! Looks like some kind of surplus window size experiment. Snowmobility I had a hat like the young man is ... Ontario in 1952. We are bundled up like the kids in "A Christmas Story." A Christmas Story THOSE are the icicles that have been ... 
Posted by Dave - 03/07/2021 - 8:56pm -

"Sierras, 1950, Nevada." The Christmas Tree Lodge on the Mount Rose Highway south of Reno is the backdrop for this latest Kodachrome of Don Cox's 1939 Mercury. The restaurant, which touted its "mahogany-broiled steaks and chops," is no more, replaced by the Tannenbaum Event Center. Now, who's gonna squeegee that tyke off the bumper? View full size.
SkeechingMy nephews and their cousins did that around here in Northwest Indiana. I don't know if the word is the "official" name for it, but that's what they called it in these parts.
The plaid-jacket era for boysI'm reminded of that scene in "The Bishop's Wife" in which Cary Grant as the angel conjures up attendance at the boys' choir practice and every one of them is wearing a plaid jacket similar to the one the kid is wearing in this photo. I was born in 1947 and had one, too, but it was my older cousin's hand-me-down.
Paul Simon got it right"Mama don't take my Kodachrome away."  Don Cox took some supernaturally beautiful pictures in the winter Sierras.
Egad!Looks like some kind of surplus window size experiment.
SnowmobilityI had a hat like the young man is wearing. We used to grab hold of bumpers like that and get pulled up and down street on our sleds during winter. Great fun.
That Hat When I was five years old I had one just like it. This photo was taken in our back yard in Riverside (now Windsor) Ontario in 1952. We are bundled up like the kids in "A Christmas Story."
A Christmas StoryTHOSE are the icicles that have been known to kill people.
Now The Tannenbaum

Let there be LOTS of lightAbsolutely beautiful Kodachrome. What has always impressed me about snow photography - the immense amount of reflected light equals tiny aperture (and/or fast shutter) equals huge depth of field and razor sharp focus. This photo epitomizes all that was good about Kodachrome combined with photography in the snow. 
(The Gallery, Kodachromes, Cars, Trucks, Buses, Christmas, Don Cox, Eateries & Bars, Kids)

Christmas Corner: 1921
... Market Space." A nighttime view of the festive six-Santa Christmas display previously seen here . National Photo Company Collection ... "Hey, how tall are those rooftop Santas? 10 feet?" Window dressers Window dressing must be a lost art! I remember all the ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/17/2012 - 10:35pm -

Washington, D.C., in 1921. "Parker Bridget & Co., Ninth Street and Market Space." A nighttime view of the festive six-Santa Christmas display previously seen here. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.
Bedford FallsHow many of you thought of the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" when you first saw this pic?
Wishful ThinkingSome of the pictures posted on Shorpy's I would just love to be able to step into them and walk around.  This is one I would like to be able to do that, too.
Bedford Falls IINo, my first thought was, "Hey, how tall are those rooftop Santas? 10 feet?"
Window dressersWindow dressing must be a lost art!  I remember all the department stores in downtown Minneapolis had such beautiful Christmas windows - not so much anymore!  Sad.
Somebody colorize this!What fun you will have, and a month to do it in, almost.
7th and The AvenueThis is the NW corner of Seventh Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW -- all of the buildings visible here have since been demolished.
The site is now occupied by a condo / office building, Market Square East (701 Pennsylvania Ave.)
What I like bestNo parking meters!
(The Gallery, Christmas, D.C., Natl Photo, Stores & Markets)

Five and Ten: 1921
... D.C., circa 1921. "Whistle Bottling Works. Woolworth window." An elaborate dime-store window display for Whistle orange soda, "the ... and Ten When I hear "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas," I wonder if people under 30 or even 35 know what the term "five and ... 
Posted by Dave - 09/12/2011 - 10:35am -

Washington, D.C., circa 1921. "Whistle Bottling Works. Woolworth window." An elaborate dime-store window display for Whistle orange soda, "the food drink." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.
We miss you, Woolworth'sWoolworth's was part of America's 20th century memories.  Who over 50 hasn't bought housewares, pens, books, toys or records at Woolworth's?  I still have happy memories going shopping downtown with my mother, and stopping for lunch at the Woolworth's luncheonette.  It was (along with the drug store) one of the few places where we ever "ate out."
I've got your "food drink"Try dunking a graham cracker in a cup of hot coffee.
Quartz for a dime?What is that in the other display window? It almost looks like rocks on display cards.
[Jewelry, maybe. Dime-onds. - Dave]
ReflectionThere appears to be a reflection of someone, possibly the photographer, under the Whistle sign to the right of the door and also to the far left of the picture.  He appears to be wearing large headphones.
Why the headphones?  Could it be someone inside the store?  Did Woolworth's have a record department where people could listen to records?
[Those are reflections of the mannequin in the window. He's wearing a radio headset. - Dave]

The Big Woolworth'sThe Woolworth's on Hemming Park in downtown Jacksonville Florida was the "Big" Woolworth. Two floors. Upstairs was the candy department with the caramel corn, and downstairs was the toy department with Corgi cars, balsa wood gliders, and bins and bins of rubber lizards, snake, and bugs!
Woolworth'sMy dad, who was killed in France in 1944, started at Woolworth's as a window dresser in 1938, and worked his way up to manager. As a kid I sometimes heard my Mother singing
It was a lucky April shower,
It was a most convenient storm.
I found a Million Dollar Baby
In the five-and-ten cent store.
Thanks again for all the great pics, Dave.
eBayThere's a fortune in memorabilia in that window.
Battery AcidBattery acid and orange food coloring were the ingredients making up Whistle, at least according to smart schoolkids in St. Louis when I was growing up in the late 40s and 50s. It was drink of choice when consuming White Castle hamburgers!
Cincy Caramel CornThe Woolworth store in downtown Cincinnati had one loooong counter at the entrance of the store dedicated to the making of caramel corn. You could smell it all the way down the street. The aroma was heavenly and so very enticing.  They left their door open to traffic, which came in droves. Warm butter + popping corn = Woolworth caramel corn.  We pleaded to go downtown just for the warm caramel corn.
5 & 10 againWho of us who have some age will ever forget the "five and dime" or "the dime store."
Woolworth was of course the biggie, but there were the Ben Franklin stores, G.C. Murphy, and SS Kresge (now Kmart) among them -- some with soda fountains, some not. And 10 for a penny candy.
Five and TenWhen I hear "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas," I wonder if people under 30 or even 35 know what the term "five and ten" refers to.
Take a look at the five and ten
Glistening once again
With candy canes ...
UK WoolworthsAll of the remaining UK "Woolies" are to be closed in the coming months, victims of the times.  
No thanksWhen I want a food drink, I hoist a pint of Guinness.
The 5 & 10I remember Woolworth's and its "5 and 10 cent" motto.
Today it would more likely be "5 and 10 DOLLAR" store! :( 
Hey!Is that a folded dollar bill lying right by the door? You could get 20 Whistles with that. 
Where's Woolworth's?Any ideas as to where this store was?  At the far lower right of the photo is a small sign for the store next door that says "Bee Hive Store 906."  906 was probably the address, but what street?
[906 Seventh Street N.W. - Dave]
The Five and DimeMany also referred to these popular stores as Five and Dimes.  As I learned this term after moving away for college I believe it is another example of colorful regionalized language.
[The region there was pretty much the entire United States, once upon a time. Five and Dime might be more generational than geographic. - Dave]
Oasis on a rainy dayMy earliest memories of the old five-and-dimes include the smell of old wood -- wooden floors, bins, and counters -- and the buttery warmth of incandescent lights. 
Woolworth'sOur local Woolworth's in upstate NY was turning a great profit into the '90's, but had to close down when the rest of the chain did. The building is a library now.
"Who cares if I drink my lunch? It's the Food Drink!"
Grilled cheese & tomatoGrilled cheese & tomato sandwich at the Woolworth's counter - a great delicacy in my mind.
More seriously, while we're talking Woolworth's lunch counters, the one in the Smithsonian recalls a bit of bravery in recent American history.
MemoriesThat lunch counter In Michigan City, Indiana. Oh yeah. Hot turkey sandwich plates with green gravy. Pistachio, I'd guess.
First JobMy first job was sweeping floors at the Woolworth in Hollywood at Hollywood & Vermont (Barnsdall Park) in Dec 1975.  I later worked in the kitchen and out on the floor straightening and stocking shelves.  I loved the hot dogs from the luncheonette.  They had buns that were all attached and when you pulled them apart the sides were uncrusted.  They would brown the sides of the buns in butter (ala a grilled cheese sandwich).  Delicious! 
5-10-15The expression was everywhere. In Longueuil, Quebec, near Montreal, where I used to live in the 50s, we had a Jazzar store, part of a small chain whose signs read "5-10-15." We used to say that we were going to the "cinq-dix-quinze." Were there 5-10-15 stores in the States? (Now, springing up everywhere are the Dollarama stores where everything is. .. a dollar.)
WhistleFounded in 1916, Vess Beverage still makes a Whistle brand soda. The company is now owned by Cott. Charles Leiper Grigg invented the flavor.

Yesterday 50 years agoWhen I saw this picture this morning the first thing I thought was Oh, how I wish I could walk through those doors one more time! They just don't make stores like that anymore. The smells of wood, of the soda fountain, the candy to be had for a penny a piece, the 10 cent toys.  I'm so glad I have those experiences to remember.
Kresge KristmasI have memories of going to the Kresge's near our house at Christmas time. I "rode" my bicycle through sloppy snow to choose treasures for Mom, Dad and my sister. I retrieved the glorious pink with white daisies Kleenex box cover and cup I bought on that trip from Mom's last year when we closed out her house. The matching johnny mop holder is lost. I'm happy she got 40 years of use out of them.
I also went there with Dad to use the tube tester to ascertain which TV or radio tubes needed to be replaced. Holy crow, am I getting old.
Cunningham DrugsWe always thought Cunningham Drugs was an upscale Woolworth's because they had their name tiled in at the front entrance.
To this day, when I walk into an old building that used to house a drugstore or five-and-dime, I look for the tiled name.  In old towns, I find the names quite often.  It's always a little treat (probably also indicates a lifetime lack of big treats).
I Found A Million Dollar BabyRob's bittersweet memory of the song, which captured the homey American love affair with five-and-dimes, sent me looking for a recording. This was one of the most popular songs of 1931 and thereafter, and was introduced on Broadway in May, 1931 by Fanny Brice, in the musical revue "Billy Rose's Crazy Quilt." Those who have Real Player on their computers can hear the best-selling 1931 recording of the song (Fred Waring's Orchestra, with vocals by Clare Hanlon and the "Three Girlfriends") at Those without this player can find several 1931 recordings of it by visiting and entering I Found A Million Dollar Baby on the page's search engine.
All That JazzThanks Anonymous Tipster for the link to jazz online. That's really appreciated. If someone has other links to classic/traditional Jazz (New Orleans/Chicago/N.Y. but not Ragtime) please post. Thanks. Red Hot Jazz (history of jazz before 1930) is one of my favorites. I was also glad I found Jazzology. Merry Christmas to you all.
The Dime StoreI was born in 1973, but my mom and dad always referred to the Ben Franklin store as the dime store.
Nosey Little GirlI would always head for the pet department, candy, and toy sections. The candy counter had a real person who gave me what I wanted without a bar code. I always reported any animals that appeared sick, or dead, to the nearest clerk on duty. Heaven help them if they didn't remove the dead fish right away ! I would tell my mother. I miss dime stores very much. I won't go into Wal Mart.
(The Gallery, D.C., Natl Photo, Stores & Markets)

A Hotpoint Christmas
An appliance store at night. Christmas 1931. View full size. Stocking Stuffers Nothing says Merry Christmas quite like a new appliance! I'm sure that was tops on the list of ... Can we go inside, please? I just want to look around! Window Dressing This store doesn't look very big or important, but look at ... 
Posted by John.Debold - 11/07/2008 - 10:20pm -

An appliance store at night. Christmas 1931. View full size.
Stocking StuffersNothing says Merry Christmas quite like a new appliance!  I'm sure that was tops on the list of every housewife in America in 1931.
WonderlandI'd love to walk into this picture (in perfect period dress of course!), and shop along that 1930s street!
I actually have cooked on a stove just like that one!
Advertising -- not always accurateIf you think giving "the little lady" appliances on Holiday occasions is a gift that "keeps giving," you're mistaken!
Steve Miller
"I do nothing productive. I'm in advertising."
Someplace near the crossroads of America
Awkward!The stove would be fine for righties, but not so great for us lefties. I'd be burning my stirring hand on the side of the oven. 
However I'd much rather cook on it than one of the wood or coal powered stoves that are common in the Shorpy archives. The women (and men) who mastered those have my admiration.
How late are they open?Can we go inside, please?  I just want to look around!
Window DressingThis store doesn't look very big or important, but look at the effort that has gone into those decorations. The house is quite amazing as are those glitter covered signs. Everthing would have been handmade and remember, this is before plastics.
[There were plastics aplenty in 1930. Cellophane, Bakelite, styrene, etc. - Dave]
Where is the Hotpoint store?Does anyone know where this is? I am surprised it isn't noted in the caption.
Hotpoint is great.But I think the shopper should also take a look at some Norge, Kelvinator or Tappin products...I have a 1952 Chambers Model 90-C stove that still works great...even cooks "with the gas off"--now that's impressive.
Surprised at youI thought you only showed socially useful pictures from the depression years. Hmpf! Tool of the bourgeoisie that you are, you'll probably be posting pictures of shiny new V-8 Fords and Moderne interiors before long...
ClockThat triangular chrome clock on the stove is the TM-8 designed by Ray Patten.  It's interesting because GE owned Hotpoint and all GE's clocks were made by Telechron but not this one.
(ShorpyBlog, Member Gallery, Kitchens etc., Stores & Markets)

Motoress: 1921
... Washington, D.C., circa 1921. "Woodward & Lothrop window." Department store display with a motoring theme. National Photo glass ... Santa I'd like that huge and well crafted model car for Christmas. The American Guide K2, I have a copy of that book, too. I ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/24/2012 - 9:48pm -

Washington, D.C., circa 1921. "Woodward & Lothrop window." Department store display with a motoring theme. National Photo glass negative. View full size.
Sporty Knicker SuitThe mannequin is wearing a woman's wool knicker suit, with matching plaid fabric on the pocket facings as on the short pants. The tight button or buckle fastener band just below the knees identify the knickers. Vaguely scandalous knicker suits for women came in with bicycling in the 1890s, and remained fashionable as outdoor sports attire through the end of the 1920s. The arrow clocks on her stockings (which may be decorated seams) and her two-tone shoes indicate sports activities also, perhaps golf, or just hacking about the countryside on what was then still called a pic-nic. 
FirstsApparently the Woodward & Lothrop stores were the first major retailers to sell chemistry kits (Chemcraft) to the public, as well as the first store to introduce Play-Doh in the 50s.
Still doesn't make this yawn of a window display any more exciting though...
ProsceniumWhen I first looked at this, I thought it was a stage. Great dressing, and great lighting, highlighting the shape of the proscenium arch.
Touring BookThe book on the floor with "Kelly Tires" on the spine is an "Automobile Blue Book" - a highway touring guide that listed point by point travel instructions for regional travel. ABB changed formats in the late 1920's, changing from the almanac style shown here to a wider book format in the late 1920's. I have not seen any publications from them in the 1930's. The directions were more detailed than modern triptiks or the directions you get from online mapping services. In older areas, you can still find the landmarks these guides referenced. The map on the wall is AAA. No highway numbers were used in this area at the time, any numbers you could make out are mileages. The turnpikes and interstates are decades away, but the roads that would make up the US highway system five years later can be seen.
A Short TripTrip's off. I don't see how she's going to get in that car.
Still touringI have a similar book -- "The American Guide," published by Hastings House and dated 1949. Think I picked it up from the throwaway pile at my local library! 1270 pages of directions, followed by bibliography and index for a total of 1348 pages, all without benefit of advertising support. Take that, AAA!
Heaven's AboveThe stockings with the up-pointing arrows reminds me of an old joke Groucho Marx told about a girl he once knew: "She was very religious. She wore an ankle bracelet that said "Heaven's Above."
Dear SantaI'd like that huge and well crafted model car for Christmas. 
The American GuideK2, I have a copy of that book, too.  I can only imagine that it had to be read aloud by a passenger while the driver tried to follow the directions.  It's much easier to follow the gal's sock arrows.  (Oh, and her shoes look like a marriage of saddle shoes and spectator shoes that produced ugly kids.)
Map on the wallThe Baltimore-Washington map is interesting. It's big enough to see that there were far fewer roads in 1921. I wonder how many were still unpaved.
Ho, Ho, HosieryThose stockings on Miss Mannequin are highly suggestive.  To what are the arrows pointing?  
A little racy?I liked the upward pointing arrows on the mannequin's stockings. Reminds me of some of the less than subtle lingerie I have seen advertised but the shoes might be a mood killer.
Eye-openingWell, this might be yawn inducing for A. Tipster, but that model car made my eyes fall out of my head. Is it too late to get a letter to Santa?
Spiffy socks!!I love the socks on that dummy!
Skiddoo!I like the arrowhead clocks on those stockings. Very spiffy.
She's gone all out in packing her picnic for two -- salad AND entree forks, two spoons, two knives, three spreaders, and enough wine to guarantee post-prandial petting in the back seat and a nap.
Cigarette?What is she holding in her right hand?
[A glove. - Dave]
Stunning Model!The car, I mean. I have been trying to gauge just how large it is - surely at least four feet, perhaps more. A model that size, detail and workmanship had to be an expensive item, not the sort of thing you might expect for the typical window shopping display. Not a toy. I would be amazed if it hasn't survived to grace someone's private or museum collection.
Sock ArrowsMaybe they were to remind you how to put them on. This end up.
A hole in oneI believe those arrowed beauties are part of period golfing attire. That said, they best belong on that mannequin.  Or on a hussy, advertising her wares.
1921 Blue BookThe 1921 Automobile Blue Book cost $4 in 1921, and came with advertising. It is very similar to today's AAA regional guides: Locational advertising for placves like Poland Spring, Maine, The Balsams at Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, The Belleview in Bellair Heights, Florida... "National Touring Objectives" Local garages are listed throughout the guide, as well as hotels (American or European Plan) Fireproof was a big selling point. There were also ads for tires and other auto accessories. Inset maps for 1921 as usually still accurate today, very few places have totally destroyed the old downtown street grid.
(The Gallery, Cars, Trucks, Buses, D.C., Natl Photo, Stores & Markets)

Gifted: 1951
... E.S. - Dec 25 1951." It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in this latest episode of Minnesota Kodachromes . Photo by Hubert ... Mercury Options This car has the accessory rear-window wiper. A joy of living that transcends decades and continents ... 
Posted by Dave - 12/21/2014 - 9:54am -

"Bill, Emily & E.S. - Dec 25 1951." It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in this latest episode of Minnesota Kodachromes. Photo by Hubert Tuttle. Full size.
Mercury OptionsThis car has the accessory rear-window wiper.
A joy of living that transcends decades and continentsAlmost all the Minnesota Kodachromes convey such joy of living!
They really make you feel the happiness, which seems to have been preserved in a time capsule. Not so long had passed since the terrible WWII, so I believe people must have been elated at the thought the ordeal was over.
Anyway, this photo is so uplifting and all I can add is Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Romania to all Shorpy fans all over the world!
Keeping up with the Joneses, er, SwensensA nice 1950 Mercury with sunshade and dual outside mirrors, and fur coats for the wives.
James Dean... drove a similar 1949 Mercury in "Rebel Without a Cause."  His was a two-door.  This one has accessory fender skirts and sun visor.  Letters on the wheelcovers and rounded rear window mark this as a '49.  '50s had smooth wheelcovers and '51s had a larger rear window. 
Christmas casserolesI'll bet that's a covered dish of some kind, that she has covered with that brown paper bag!  Scalloped potatoes, or baked beans? I wonder!
Ringgenbergs of AlgonaThese are likely Bill and Emily Ringgenberg and their only daughter, Emma Ringgenberg Lighter, all of Algona, Iowa (the next county seat south of Blue Earth). Ms. William Ringgenberg was identified in a 1960 Kossuth County Advance as a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Abe Tuttle of Blue Earth, who were then celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary.  This would make her one of Hubert's sisters. The 1940 census provides her first name (Emily), and identifies her husband as Willard, and their fifteen-year-old daughter as Emma.  Bill died in 1973, but Emily would see another half-century before her death in 2002, at age 96.
Hot Dishis what Minnesootans call dem casserole thingies, ya know?
FootwearI'm amazed that the young lady is wearing heels while walking in the snow.  What we women go through for fashion's sake!
Ringgenberg?Algona, Iowa, you say? Now you're getting close to home. I went to high school there, but it was in the '60s and I didn't know any Ringgenbergs.
The snow, the elm-lined streets, the style of houses - all very familiar to me from that part of the country.
Actually a '50Yes, it has '49 wheelcovers, but the side trim with the "MERCURY" lettering over the front wheel opening, and the rear windows that wraps into the C-pillar show it to be a '50 model.  The side trim on the '49 is plainer, and the "MERCURY" lettering is at the front of the trim.
Muskrat, the other minkMy bet is the ladies are sporting muskrat coats which were very popular at that time. Muskrat could be trimmed and dyed to mimic mink. My mother had one about the same time period with a matching hat and muff. In the early 60's my father purchased her a black Persian lamb jacket which replaced the muskrat. As a kid my sister and I would love to stroke the muskrat to fulfill our "Lenny" urges. Happy Holidays to all the Shorpy fans.  
Oh fun photos even for one living in MNThe rain killed what we should have as in the photo but the joy is still here because of greetings from far away from Micaela!  Merry Christmas and Cheers all.
Happy even in the snow!Love this photo! The classy car with suicide doors and the sun visor and fender skirts. Wonderful coats and hats on all three persons and they are happy. Merry Christmas!
YummyAnd I'll bet the white bag with the round container holds a tin of home made Christmas baking,  maybe cookies.
Merry Christmas to Shorpy and fans!
Thanks, Micaelafor your happy greetings across the Atlantic. Greets, love and light to you.
Ya, surestuart51, green bean casserole's in the bag, and jello salad in the bag. 
jsmakbkr, thanks for the update on this charming Minnesota family.
Merry Christmas Shorpy fans, far and wide
What is the correct model year?The rear window on a 1950 Mercury has one piece of glass. The '49 has a three piece window with chrome dividers. This photo clearly shows those chrome dividers.
[And yet it also has the 1950 front fender trim; a mystery. -tterrace]
1949 MercuryThe car has 1949 Mercury wheel covers, and the '49 also had Mercury written on the fender trim.
[Compare the lettering style and position between 1949 and 1950 - taken from Mercury brochures - and our car. -tterrace]
What a guy!Bill stands with his hands in his pockets while the girls cart in all the stuff.
I am glad to see, however, that he had the sense to BACK into the driveway so the women could get out in the cleared path. I bet Emily suggested it, though.
Makes you feelWarm and cold at the same time. Brings back nice memories of living in the North, and how the ladies in my family always wore lovely long coats, and until I was big enough the way I found my mom in a store was by the coat she wore. 
Mercury MysteryThe door handles are the pull type, early 1949.
The split rear window is 1949
Why the front fender trim is 1950 is a mystery.
Maybe replaced due to damage?
The sun visor is an aftermarket Fulton. 
Cut Bill A BreakBenefitsspecialist complained about Bill just standing there like a bump on a log.
There is a good possibility he spent some cold time cleaning snow off of the car and had the heater going so when it was time to back into the driveway the ladies were presented with a clean and warm car.
Even if he only went out to warm the car and back it into position he deserved a cup of hot coffee with maybe a wee shot of Seagram's 7.
(Cars, Trucks, Buses, Christmas, Minnesota Kodachromes)

Father's Only Vise: 1962
... how many of you wouldn't be thrilled to get a new vise for Christmas? Father seems pleased with this ultra-modern, high-tech aluminum ... Kodachrome II slide by me. View full size. A window into the past. Thanks for sharing that photo. If I had one like that ... 
Posted by tterrace - 12/10/2010 - 4:34pm -

Be honest now; how many of you wouldn't be thrilled to get a new vise for Christmas? Father seems pleased with this ultra-modern, high-tech aluminum model, undoubtedly looking forward to replacing the old-fashioned steel one on his workbench in the basement. Unfortunately, the screw soon developed a slight bend (I may have had something to do with that) and it never again worked quite as smoothly. Mounted on the same workbench was a hand-cranked grinding wheel that I liked to spin up to as many joist-shaking rpms as possible, thereby provoking immediate maternal castigation from the top of the stairs. At which point I stopped, until the next time I did it. Among the items here on the shelves are a selection of handyman books my mother kept buying and which Father kept ignoring for the most part; generally, he relied on his own ingenuity. A timely discovery: on the middle shelf, lying sideways, is a copy of Uncle Frank's book, as mentioned last week; I think my sister has it. I count nine items now in my custody, including my picture. Oh, and help yourself to a piece of See's candy. Kodachrome II slide by me. View full size.
A window into the past.Thanks for sharing that photo. If I had one like that I would hardly be able to take my gaze from it. In fact, when I visit my mom, I carefully go through my dad's desk drawers, his workbench in the garage, looking at his assembled life. This photo must do the same for you.
Father's booksExcellent, Dave. Us being Westerners, next to it on the shelf is a Sunset Outdoor Building Book and a very early, spiral-bound Sunset Garden Flower Book. Haven't been able to find images of those specific editions online, but I think I've seen both copies at my sister's place. There's also a complete multi-volume handyman encyclopedia - the ones with the white at the top of the bindings. On the top shelf, our Heritage Press collection, my first introduction to Dickens, Lewis Carroll and Mark Twain. The red collection on the middle shelf is the Smithsonian Series of the 1940s. Not seen, on another shelf: a complete set of The Book of Knowledge c.1910. By the way, this is from my first-ever roll of Kodachrome.
See'sOooh, that looks like a two-pound box.  See's candy seems to be the number-one Christmas gift around my office, because it shows up on everyone's desk this time of year.  I've already informed my coworkers that I will happily take any of their unwanted chocolates.  I consider it a duty of my job.
Re: Handy with tools.That's the edition! The one with the woman in the background, shrieking, "My table! Somebody stop him!"
The candy's a bit staleI'm more interested in coveting that leather chair.
We had a copy of that Handy Man's Book.  I have no idea if Dad ever consulted it before embarking on a household repair project, but I'm pretty sure you couldn't find any of the fine and hair-raising swears that subsequently filled the house in the index.
Doomed to failureI bent my father's 6-inch steel vise on his workbench in 1960, an aluminum vise would only be for show in our house. 
Handy with tools.Could your dad can bore a hole (with his eyes closed) and smoke a pipe at the same time? And who doesn't have one of these lying around. Here's my copy. Fifth printing, 1957. (Update: turns out I have two of these.)

Nail on the headYou certainly nailed the exposure on that Kodachrome ll. If I remember correctly it was 64 ASA. And to calibrate a bounce flash must have meant the use of a meter - a flash meter? And a test shot to calibrate the meter. All the while your long suffering dad had to remain deeply focused on that vise for the photo.
Oooh, Picture Frame Vise!  I remember how readily available picture frame molding was in the '50, '60, '70 era.  Did this vise have holes to align the mitered corners?  By the way, I have the same plaster texture in my living room.
The color is fantastic in this photo.  Did you doctor the scan?
  Thanks for sharing tterrace, this is the period of my childhood and the clothing and eyeglass fashion brings back many happy Christmas memories.
Did you use a flash?There's nice even lighting with no harshness that I can see.My Question remains, did you use a flash or was it natural lighting? 
Vise photo infoKodachrome II was ASA 25 (plain Kodachrome at the time was 10). This is bounce flash. I calculated the exposure using the Flash Exposure Dial in my Kodak Master Photoguide, then applied a bounce-flash factor from a table I found somewhere. I didn't exactly nail it, though; below is close to what the original looks like, about 1-2 stops underexposed. Plus I was apparently not using a daylight flashbulb, thus the yellow balance. It took a lot of fiddling with the original scanning and then with Photoshop to bring it up. I'm not totally happy with the results, which wound up flattening things; I miss the subtle modeling in my father's face, for example. So yeah, you could call it doctored, but hey.
Paul A: I don't remember if the vise had those features. The stippling on the walls was common to the living room, dining room and bedroom downstairs. Presumably done c.1923 when our house, originally built as a church in 1906, was converted to a dwelling.
MochaFor at least three decades we received for Christmas a box of Mrs. See's candy from my Aunt Caroline in Los Angeles.  I always had dibs on the two delicious rectangular pieces of mocha with the little rod-like decorettes on them.  I can still taste them to this day!  When I lived in Dallas and visited Town East Mall, I always got my mocha fix at the See's store.
Kids paintingI loved painting stuff, from about age 6 when I was turned loose on the new redwood fence at our Russian River vacation house in East Guernewood in 1952. That's our 1948 Hudson on the other side, and my father behind me. I remember working on the walls in the living room a few years before the vise photo was taken. At that point, Father was using latex for the walls and semi-gloss enamel for the woodwork. Mist Green, I believe, probably from Montgomery Ward.
It's a Stanley 5702!The same model I have got on my workbench (not replacing the old-fashioned steel one) on my workbench in the basement.
To the right you may see the tiny vise my brother made in 1960 as part of a "metal engineering practicum" during his first year on Technical University Delft. In 1963 I made a cutting device as a result of the same practicum, during my first year.
Red RibbonWell ... I really love the underexposed version of this one.  I mean just LOOK how that red ribbon gleams out from that dark seat .... and plays with the other reddish things in the picture!  Wow!  
Wall ArtThat wall texture that has been mentioned was in all the rooms (except the kitchen and bath) of my home in Gering, Nebraska, a farming community. (I was a townie.)  As a small child (born in 1960)  I used to stare at the walls and see all kinds of creatures, shapes, faces in the plaster -- some scary sometimes. When I was about 8 years old, I painted the plaster in the whole room a super intense cerulean blue with bright white glossy woodwork.
[With what -- finger paint and a ladder? - Dave]
Re: Wall ArtBy age 8, I had graduated to LATEX flat and glossy ... maybe I was closer to 10 ... and Mom helped with the ladder stuff ... but it was certainly cerulean!
I'm sure it's been said beforeAnother image for a Norman Rockwell's wannabe painter.  I think Mr. Rockwell would have pushed the box of See's back more, so it doesn't look slammed in there via PhotoShop, and maybe more creative license in showing the See's logo on the box, albiet upside down so we know it is the lid. Move the bellow set. Remove the porcelain figurine.  Maybe rearrange the books, or maybe not. Make the red ribbon more prominent, perhaps streaming across father's knee pointing toward the gift. Ah well, every Tterrace photo gets this workover from me! They are iconic and a world that has disappeared. Lovely. Thank you, Tterrace.
My Dad's Only Visefor a long time was an iron monster that we salvaged from his uncle's farm.  It had some sort of big spike that looked like it was meant to be driven into a stump, but being a child of the Great Depression, he figured a way to rig it up to his bench. He finally got a proper bench vise from my grandfather, who was a tool and die maker.  Don't remember my dad ever consulting a handyman book, either - he generally sized up the job and went after it with a collection of antique manual hand tools (I don't remember us even having an electric drill).  As the eldest son, I was always holding the other end of the board, and witnessed many frustrating hours of working with those ancient implements.  It certainly made an impression on me - as soon as I became a homeowner, I went straight to the Sears Store in Paducah, KY and loaded up on Craftsman power tools, which are still in use 33 years later (I guess that makes THEM antiques!).  
You shouldn't have!The look on his face is like when my dad and I gave Mom a new blender or something similar for Christmas. Eventually we figured out it was not all about her household duties but that we should have been more attentive to things that gave her pleasure, like books and records.
Re: Handy with ToolsYes Dave, he sure could. My copy is the Eighth Printing, 1957. Same cover art.
(ShorpyBlog, Member Gallery, Christmas, tterrapix)

Stocking-Stuffer: 1922
Washington, D.C., circa 1922. "Oldsmobile sales window." Some of us beyond a certain age might remember the Oldsmobile, or even ... I! I was sad when they went out of production. Merry Christmas and Best Wishes to everyone at Shorpy. My first car was an ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/24/2012 - 9:56pm -

Washington, D.C., circa 1922. "Oldsmobile sales window." Some of us beyond a certain age might remember the Oldsmobile, or even have driven or owned one. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.
Magritte's Inspiration?I have always been fascinated by Rene Magritte's Surrealist painting of 1938, "Time Transfixed." I've seen it many times at the Art Institute of Chicago, and I've always wondered where the artist got the idea of making a steam locomotive come puffing out of a fireplace. Now I know the answer!
Oil leaksSo this is a brand new car and it has a drip pan underneath it? 
Olds ForeverI am of that age. My step-father had a '48 when he married my mom and was still driving them until the day he died.
Always a plain-jane, no frills model up until he had open heart surgery. His doctor told him it was time he had A/C for his health. The last one he bought was the first he ever owned with any option.
I learned to drive on a '56 Rocket 88. He did appreciate that big V8 engine, and so did I! I was sad when they went out of production.
Merry Christmas and Best Wishes to everyone at Shorpy. 
My first carwas an Olds---a 1965 Cutlass. Being young and foolish I didn't realize that maintenance was required.  I ran it nearly out of oil, the lifters were making lots of racket.  As soon as I gave it it's proper allotment of oil it said "Thank you very much" and we went on our  way. Still being foolish, I didn't know to make sure that the antifreeze solution was correct to withstand a Wisconsin winter, and allowed the radiator to freeze nearly solid.  Once again, when I put in the proper fluids the car said "Thank you very much" and we went on our merry way. What a great car!!
My current car is also an Olds.  This time an Alero. Though not as hardy as the Cutlass was, it too, has been great transportation. 
Not dead yetThis is going to be my favorite surreal window display photo for a long time. My late mother drove a series of Oldsmobile 98s from 1964 until she passed away in 2008. I'm still driving her last car, the 1993 model with a transverse 4.2-litre front end drive, fuel-injected engine that gives me more than 20 mpg in town and 24 mpg on long freeway runs, and it still easily passes the increasingly stringent California smog tests. Its fuel efficiency won't impress many folks these days, but my old Chevy 3/4-ton pickup rarely gave me better than 9 mpg even downhill. I love driving this Olds and can't afford to replace it yet, even though it's getting damned hard to find many parts for it that 1993 Cadillac owners can still take for granted.
Dear SantaCould you send one of those down my chimney tonight too? I promise not to have a fire burning in it.
If my 12" diameter chimney is too small, just have the reindeer kick on the roof and I'll push the remote button to open the garage door.
Santa's Failed Head Lights ExperimentAfter this 1922 failed use of modern head light technology to navigate chimneys,  on December 24, 1923 Santa returned to the traditional use of  Rudolph, with his nose so bright, to guide his sleigh that night.  And the rest went down in history..
Merry Christmas to the Shorpy site.  You guys are great!
MerryeYes, Lucille is longing for a ride in her Merry Oldsmobile!  It's now parked in the back with the Plymouth and the DeSoto and the Edsel and the Mercury.  That's a very clever display gimmick.  
Here's wishing a Merry Oldsmobile to all my fellow  Shorpy regulars, and a great New Year with lots of signage, fascinating people of the past, and—as always—a keener sense of history.
Seasonal OldsmobileThis car must have made one heck of a stocking stuffer. 
OldsmobubbleMy uncle followed the General Motors path of lifetime GM ownership; starting with Chevy, moving on to Pontiac, then Oldsmobile, then Buick, and finally ending with Cadillac. I think of all those cars, the Oldsmobile Aurora was his favorite, although the Cadillac CTS ranked pretty highly too. It’s difficult to imagine that an automaker such as Oldsmobile, with their 107-year history is gone, but with so much model redundancy I suppose it was inevitable. 
I want one of those!Now that's what I call a stocking-stuffer! I really like the way they decorated the sales window to look like somebody's living room. And how thoughtful of Santa, to also put a sparkling-clean tray under the car to catch the oil droppings!  (I wonder if new cars came with one of those trays as standard equipment back then...)
Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to all our fellow Shorpyites!
Nah - can't be.Hey, is that a reflection of tterrace in one of the ornaments on the tree?  Only kidding naturally.  A very Merry Christmas to everyone in the Shorpy "family", and a special thank you to Dave for providing many enjoyable moments spent on his website this year.
It was so nice of Santato leave something to catch the oil drips.
And I love that lamp.
Christmas CreativityThat is some very creative Christmas advertising! 
Merry Christmas, Shorpy!!!!!
Almost had an OldsI was looking to buy my first car in 1994, and I thought about buying a late 1980's burgundy Olds...I ended up going with a 1986 gold-colored Pontiac Sunbird, instead. 
Tree Topper NeededI see that there is nothing at the top of the tree but if you know of Yosh and Stan Schmenge, you would remember that their custom is to toss a hat onto the top of their tree.   As for Oldsmobiles, when my two oldest sons were ages 2 and 3, we moved next door to neighbors who owned a 1966 sleek powder blue,   chrome-embellished loaded Toronado and they both admired and desired that car, even up until today, ages 46 and 47.  It was a primo dazzler and they were just beginning to notice sharp vehicles and they still talk about it. It was "the car of the year" in 1966 and the word "toronado" had no meaning but it was pretty slick and my Chevy Impala at that time did not impress them.  Merry Christmas and gratitude to all the jolly good producers, contributors and commenters of Shorpy, the best ever website.
The first post WW2 factory hot rodWas an Oldsmobile Super88. This was a big Olds OH valve v8 in a Chevy sedan with Olds trim.  A lot of fun was had in one of these at the early drag strips.
1951 OldsA Rocket 88 as I recall with the OHV V-8 and 4-speed Hydramatic transmission, owned briefly around 1975. Bought from a genuine Little Old Lady who let the transmission seals dry out and the fluid run dry. It would go for a little while on a couple of quarts, but after pumping a few quarts thru, I re-sold the car to someone who could afford to rebuild the transmission. Never did really care for the "frowny face" grille of that period. 
Early Nascar champ not forgottenFor 40 years I owned and drove a 1951 Hudson Hornet, the car that could blow the doors off of the Oldsmobiles of its era.
Oil leaks? Oh yesAs a proud, long-time owner of several old cars manufactured during the 1920s and 1930s, there are indeed good reasons why drip pans were and are used.
Come 'n listen to a story ...Trivia: The Beverly Hillbillies' truck was a 1923 Olds flatbed.
Getting crowded back thereYes, Lucille is longing for a ride in her Merry Oldsmobile! It's now parked in the back with the Plymouth and the DeSoto and the Edsel and the Mercury. 
There's also the Pontiac and the Saturn, not to mention that big Hummer.  And a Saab just pulled in.
Auto mo-bubbling in my merry Oldsmobile.I had a 1973 Olds Cutlass S 2 door. Blue, with white interior. Clean. 350 Rocket.
I wish it had a 455.......
Olds and youth...In my youth, I owned a 1968 (maroon) Cutlass, a 1970 (gold) Cutlass, and a new 1976 Cutlass S (silver) in succession...all good cars and all had the 350 4 bbl. I have many fond memories of driving them as well as the other activities (wink-wink) they were used for. I still can't believe this hallowed marque is gone.
Cutlass was SupremeThe Olds Cutlass Supreme was the best selling car in America in the mid 1970s.  Not too long ago, when I was broke and needed a car, a co-worker sold me his '79 Cutlass Supreme for 200 bucks.  I spent 10 bucks on an AM/FM radio out of a junked Buick Regal (same car, really), and, aside from tires, a water pump and an ignition module, drove it every day for two years without a problem.  My mechanic neighbor waxed rapturous over its bulletproof small block V8, "You can't kill these things!"  If it wasn't for the rusty frame, I might've kept it longer, but I was afraid the trunk was going to fall off in traffic.  Oldsmobile, like Pontiac and Saturn, was the victim of an evolving American market, one where GM could no longer expect buyers to stay with the General over a lifetime of car ownership.  The same could be said for Mercury and Plymouth.  Hummer died because it was an insane product and people finally came to their senses.
Now This Was An OldsmobileThe first of my three daughters, Robin, at the wheel of my 1963  Olds Starfire. Kodachrome slide from 1964.
My last Yank TankMy last American car, and actually the ONLY new car I owned that was truly an American car, was my 1993 Olds Cutlass Cruiser that I ran for 11 years and 271,000+ miles. It drove great in the snow, and was a faithful vehicle until it was just too run down to keep going. I wish this division had been retained by GM, since it had better quality than its other fellow divisions.
(The Gallery, Cars, Trucks, Buses, Christmas, D.C., Natl Photo)

Canyonland: 1908
... Detroit Publishing Company. View full size. Window shopping How I would love to have a little time for window shopping ... but well worth the time and distance. Especially during Christmas holidays as Kaufmanns always had wonderful animated windows full of ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/30/2013 - 11:36am -

Pittsburgh circa 1908. "Fifth Avenue looking north." On the left, Kaufmann's. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
Window shoppingHow I would love to have a little time for window shopping on this street.
Meet Me At The ClockThe Kaufmann's Clock was Pittsburgh's equivalent of New York's Biltmore one, a widely-agreed-upon meeting place in the center of the metropolis. Kaufmann's itself was an institution, the store that prided itself on having everything-- even a suit big enough to fit our heftiest president, William Howard Taft, in town for a visit. His picture hung in the lobby for many years as an unauthorized endorsement. Control of the store passed from the founding brothers to Edgar "E.J." Kaufmann, who commissioned (and expertly promoted) two of the 20th Century's greatest modernist buildings, Wright's Fallingwater in Bear Run, and Neutra's Desert House in Palm Springs-- the latter of which, it would seem, Wright never forgave him for.
Hilliest city?Does Pittsburgh not give San Fran a run for their money as hilliest US city?
This town has got some serious grades.
Imagine traversing up these sidewalks on a icy January morning?
+103Below is the same view from July of 2011.
FallingwaterThe owner of Kaufmann's, Edgar J. Kaufmann, hired Frank Lloyd Wright to build a country home, the now famous house known as Fallingwater, in the Laurel Highlands about 90 miles from Pittsburgh.
Brings back memoriesKaufmanns department store was but one of the many places we planned on going to - had to catch the bus in Bridgeville, PA and until the parkway was finished the trip was long in time but well worth the time and distance.  Especially during Christmas holidays as Kaufmanns always had wonderful animated windows full of Christmas scenes.
Let's go shopping!Butterick Patterns were my favorite back when I could see well enough to sew. Their fashions were just a "cut above" the other pattern companies. And those purses in the store window on the left can still be seen at Coach or Macy's
Site of Pittsburgh's annual Christmas ParadeMacy's (successor to Kaufmann's)sponsors the annual Christmas parade on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  The grandstand is always set up across from the store in front of the low-slung building with the red banner.  It's a great holiday tradition.
(The Gallery, DPC, Pittsburgh, Stores & Markets, Streetcars)

Electric Santa: 1921
... too thought that "Xmas" was part of the secularization of Christmas. Prices Electric lights must have been extravagant back then. ... bad it didn't quite work out for Harry, but I love these window-dressing photos. The way they put the objects of the day in such ... 
Posted by Dave - 09/12/2011 - 10:48am -

Washington, D.C., circa 1921. "H.I. Scharr Electric Co., front." Harry Scharr started out with a store at 711 13th Street N.W., then added a location at 739 11th Street. In 1927 he filed for bankruptcy. National Photo Co. View full size.
FascinatingThe Wikipedia article is very good. I too thought that "Xmas" was part of the secularization of Christmas.
PricesElectric lights must have been extravagant back then. I can buy Christmas lights for $2.99 at Walgreen's today!
All I want for a couple of those little boudoir lamps.
Sorry HarryToo bad it didn't quite work out for Harry, but I love these window-dressing photos.  The way they put the objects of the day in such concise context sheds a nice light on my father's era (bad pun, sorry).
The competitionThe biggest competition to this type of store was the local electric utility. I remember when Consolidated Edison (we called it "The Edison"), our local Gas & Electric company supplied to their customers a GE AM table radio with push button tuning, a GE toaster and a GE floor lamp with a 3 way bulb in it. This happend in the 1940s. I don't remember the prices but a few dollars was added to the customer's monthly bill until they were paid for. The tie in with General Electric was a natural as Thomas A Edison was a founder of both companies. Most Utilities sold major appliances as well.
Days of yoreWeird to look back into a time when electricity was still considered a novelty.
Light Your Tree by ElectricityI too am surprised by the high cost of early electric lights.  $3.50 in 1921 is equivalent to $40 today!  I hope that is the price for a string of lights and not an individual bulb. I remember the lights we had when I was a kid: one burned-out bulb would darken the entire series.  It took lots of patience to go through and figure out which was the bad one.

Expensive LightsThose lights would run over $40 in 2007 dollars.
Toaster, lower leftThat kind of toaster was still on my grandmother's kitchen table in the 1940s.  When you opened the door on either side the bread slid down and you closed the door again to toast the other side -- and hoped you remembered to get the toast out before it was burned to a crisp. In which case you could use a knife to scrape the burned part into the sink.
Vas ist?I see an old toaster with drop-down sides (bottom left), but what is the appliance on the table to the right and just below the "Electric trains $7.50" sign?
[It's a Universal toaster (see above, and below). - Dave]

Toasters!My grandmother also had a similar electric toaster.  I count three in the window.  The previously mentioned one on the lower left, as well as one within the train track oval and another on the shelf on the right.  Not surprisingly, there are a few Web sites dedicated to old toasters.  I make out the one in the center to be an Electro Weld "Reverso" (Toaster Gallery).  On the right, the toaster with the top-mounted rack was manufactured by the Universal company of New Britain, CT. (Toaster Central.)

When was the first Xmas?Interesting that the term "Xmas" is used here -- I would have thought it was a much more recent invention.
[Below, an "X-mas" example from the Dec. 26, 1853, edition of the New-York Times. The Wikipedia entry for "Xmas" skewers a few canards. - Dave]

Harry Scharr's BankruptcyHarry's electric shop had to file for bankruptcy because it couldn't stay current.
Mysterious applianceWhat is the thing at the left end inside the railroad tracks?  It looks like it might be used to heat frozen waffles, but I'd be surprised to learn that there were any in 1921.
[It's a toaster. - Dave]
Old ToastersThe toasters in the window here have little value today, but you see them all over eBay.  There were so many of them sold.  Some other styles command hundreds and a couple command thousands.
Probably 25 of the ones shown in this photo have appeared on eBay in the past couple of months.  I look for one special kind in particular, and have to sort through the ones shown here, and the dozens and dozens like them.
Butterfly Toasters RockI love my butterfly toaster, and have no desire for a more modern one. Mine is a late 1930s Westinghouse with solid panel wings. As in the older models, the bread (usually) flips itself over to toast the second side when the wings are opened. I've found that it's much better for toasting spongy round things like English muffins, which always got caught in the more modern slot toasters I had. And it has a nagging little bell that tinks insistently from somewhere inside to remind me when the moment has come.
Those lightsBest I can count, it looks like ten bulbs in each string. I can't really make out how the knot where the individual bulb leaves the string goes, but I'm thinking yes, these are series lights with individual 12V bulbs. It's possible there are two strings of ten to each plug-in, in which case the bulbs would be 6V -- much more probable. 6.3V radio pilot lights were already common by that time, but 12V bulbs were less so.
(The Gallery, Christmas, D.C., Natl Photo, Stores & Markets)

Port O Call: 1940
... the frosted-glass art moderne Jesus(?), and, in the left window, the crystal ball. They'd make a composition of distinction, even if ... as possible to use the reflection in it as we did the Christmas tree ornaments. Across the street, it seems to split into two roads, ... 
Posted by Dave - 01/15/2012 - 9:28am -

August 1940. "Souvenir shop, Provincetown, Massachusetts." 35mm negative by Edwin Rosskam for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.
QuirkOdd way for someone to wear his belt.  Was this common back then?
[It was the style of the day. - Dave]
Time Travel Hunting & GatheringI'd love to have that shiny modernist pitcher (whatever it reflects) for sale in my showcase at the antique mall right now, along with several other of the Port O' Call's then-humble souvenirs: the pair of stylized horses, the frosted-glass art moderne Jesus(?), and, in the left window, the crystal ball.  They'd make a composition of distinction, even if they didn't sell right away. 
How much is that pitcher in the window?It appears that the camera caught the young gentleman right after lighting his pipe and letting out a puff of tobacco smoke.  More interesting, is the shiny pitcher in the window three shelves up.  I zoomed in as close as possible to use the reflection in it as we did the Christmas tree ornaments.  Across the street, it seems to split into two roads, with a building in the center.  Alternatively, perhaps a stone wall to shelter a large home with large black metal gates in the center.  I'm wondering if anyone has a magic program for closer inspection.  And yes, I do have better things to do, but sometimes Shorpy can be addicting.
[From the full-size LOC tiff.]
In a hurryThis is exactly the kind of bric-a-brac store that I would walk quickly past and pretend I did not see, if I were on vacation with my wife.
The beltYes, style of the day. Auto mechanics and gas station attendants (remember them) would wear their belt buckles on the side to prevent scratching a car as they leaned over it while washing the windshield.
The Sideways Belt Buckle!Great photo!
Some guitar players still wear belts that way, so the buckle won't scrape against the backside of a nice guitar.
You'll see used guitars sold that are in great shape except for "slight belt-buckle rash" on the back.
Currently for sale79 Commercial Street is currently for sale for $1,795,000. Other than that the front of this building  still looks the same, minus the pitcher & bric-a-brac.
Ponte Vecchio of the CapeAs lindbergh previously noted, not much has changed after 72 years. The following description, from 1919, portrays a Commercial Street hardly different than today.

Motor Travel, 1919.

Over the Highways to Windmill Land.
 A Trip to Old Cape Cod.
Florence M. Pettee.


The one street, as narrow as those of Venice, is edged with quaint houses, closely huddled, between which curious boats poke their interested noses. Hotel and humble fisher-cottage jostle pier and fruit-stand. This commercial street is the Ponte Vecchio of the Cape with its ever-present souvenir shops and food-purveyors. The running-boards nearly scratch the sidewalks, and passing another car has to be charted in advance. Wary pedestrians dodge hither and yon.

Still all the rage (for at least one)"Odd way for someone to wear his belt." (Hawk777)
My father, born in 1936, grew up on Long Island. Doing the math, he was 15 in 1951 and is now 75. To this day, he still wears his belt with the buckle approximately 45º to port.
When I asked about it when I was a kid (born in '62), he replied that when he was in his teens and 20s it was the style in the New York area, mostly for young single guys he thought. He liked it and never dropped it.
BeltbuckleMy husband still wears his belt like this.
The belt, the pitcher, and other thingsFirst, the belt -- very cool look in those days, but also practical. Back in the 1970s, my husband also wore his buckle to the side because he was both an auto mechanic and a bass guitar player. So there.
I love the pitcher -- in fact, I love lots of things in the window -- but most of all, I think, I love the Don Quixote figurine thing in the extreme upper left window. Ceramic maybe? -- can't tell -- but I wish I could hold it in my hands right now.
(The Gallery, Edwin Rosskam, Stores & Markets)
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