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Mourning McKinley: 1901
... coal yard and old homes near railroad station. Houses have McKinley memorials. Portrait of President William McKinley draped in black is visible on the house on the left. A flag is at half ... 
Posted by Dave - 02/03/2021 - 10:29am -

Washington, D.C. "View from Randall School of H Street S.W., between Half & First Streets, in 1901 showing coal yard and old homes near railroad station. Houses have McKinley memorials. Portrait of President William McKinley draped in black is visible on the house on the left. A flag is at half mast on the right." Along with at least two other McKinley portraits. 8x10 inch glass negative, D.C. Street Survey Collection. View full size.
Oddly lonelySuch a stark contrast exists between the pretty house with delicate embellishments casting lacy shadows -- the two older folk porch sitting on an early autumn afternoon; the younger woman dressed like an Old West frontier female standing by, arms crossed; the hatted child playing at the edge of the sidewalk -- and the rest of the landscape, which appears suspended in a dusty, lonely languor.
McKinley's destinyThe assassination of William McKinley made Theodore Roosevelt President at the age of 42. When TR became Vice President earlier that same year, his friend Charles G. Washburn remarked: "I would not like to be in McKinley's shoes. He has a man of destiny behind him."
Buffalo / DallasI was 7 when President Kennedy died. I never hear mention of Dallas without thinking of his assassination. I've always wondered, did people who were alive when McKinley died have similar associations with Buffalo, where he was assassinated? 
TRElsewhere in the city, "that damned cowboy" Teddy Roosevelt has just become the new President. 
All the houses with TepeesI had always assumed that the little turrets, or cones on the corners of houses were purely for appearance. I wonder whether they also played a structural purpose since more than two dozen of them are visible in the picture.
McKinley's DeathWhen he died President McKinley was widely and deeply mourned. The trappings of official and Victorian mourning with black crape and formal mourning attire were everywhere. But so also were touching demonstrations by simple people throughout the country where public assemblies and special services in churches were held. The route of his funeral train was lined by ordinary working class people standing shoulder to shoulder with the well off and powerful. People placed coins and flowers on the train tracks and kept the flattened remnants as mementos. At almost every stage of the journey local bands appeared playing the hymn "Nearer My God to Thee," a popular hymn and Mr. McKinley's favorite long before it became associated with the Titanic disaster. McKinley was a deeply religious man and according to popular legend (disputed) his last words were from the opening verse of the hymn. 
Here is a link to some rare film footage of the official ceremonies and funeral procession.
LOCIs that the Library of Congress in the distance on the left?
Ballast = coalI believe we're looking at a coal dealer. Note that some of the bays are divided so the coal can be sorted as to lump size and possibly some choice Anthracite in there.
Seems to be a small cart-ramp extending over yet more bays below.
Displaying FlagsFlags are flown at half mast aboard ships. On land they are flown at half staff.
Jefferson BuildingThe partially visible large building in the upper left of the image is southeast corner of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, which was completed four years before the image was taken.
Lehigh ValleyThe elevated rail arrangement and piles of ballast in the center-right of the photo remind me of all the comments and speculations last week with regard to  Earth Movers: 1901.
Building IDI'm curious about the complex of large white (at least in this picture) buildings in the upper right.  Can we identify that?
It's on the MapGoats of Venus has indeed got it right. [As does the photo caption, which calls it a coal yard - Dave] A look at a 1904 Sanborn Fire Insurance map shows this to be the Allegheny Coal Co. The map clearly shows the hard and soft coal trestles as well as the other structures on the site. Even more fascinating, it matches up perfectly with the houses in the image (facing H Street) and accurately shows their construction, with the pink color representing brick and yellow being frame. Even the 2-story frame porch on the house in the foreground is shown on the map as well as the split brick and frame construction of the first house around the corner on Half Street.
Building ID FoundAfter much sleuthing, including trying to get the right perspective using old DC maps, I can positively identify the large white building in the upper right as being the “old” Providence Hospital located at the time at 2nd & D Streets SE on Capitol Hill (see the image in the plaque below). 
I’m a bit embarrassed it took me so long to figure it out--I was born there in 1950. Dating to the Civil War era, the hospital moved in the 1950s to larger quarters in Northeast. The buildings in the photo were razed and site became Providence Park, which still exists today. Incidentally, a number of previously published Shorpy photos were taken around the same time frame from the roof of the hospital, including several pointed back in the general direction of the Randall School—the reverse of where we’re looking from in the photo above.
The fall of a sparrowThe prominent group of structures at 2 o'clock is the old Providence Hospital complex. It's a park now.
(The Gallery, D.C., D.C. Street Survey, Railroads)

Study Hall: 1936
... for my finals. Study Hall This is most likely McKinley Tech High School. My mother graduated from there in 1936, so when I ... might be the artist's signature. The art instructor at McKinley was Alexis B. Many (1879-1937). - Dave] Librarians ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/10/2012 - 8:37pm -

Washington, D.C., circa 1936. "Tech High School students." View full size. 5x7 safety negative, National Photo Company Collection.
MuralsI'd love to know who the muralist was. This looks like the murals the WPA painted in many courthouses in the 30s. The librarian looks disapprovingly at the photographer disturbing the Golden Silence of "her" library
One of the great mysteries of life is how old maid librarians reproduce. However they do it, it must happen, since there seems to be a never ending supply of spinster librarians.
Distracting environmentSo many books available to browse, several panels, statues, those murals. I know I would be unable to study here, too many distractions; on the other hand with some additions it would make the perfect cafeteria for academics and artists.
But definitely not the place to prepare for my finals.
Study HallThis is most likely McKinley Tech High School. My mother graduated from there in 1936, so when I saw the photo, my heart almost stopped. But she was not one of the girls in it.
[There's one more (below). - Dave]

Safety NegativeHi. Sorry for the dumb question but what's a safety negative?
[Acetate film as opposed to nitrate stock, which being chemically similar to dynamite was dangerously flammable. Wikipedia entry: Safety film. - Dave]
The MuralThe mural has all the hallmarks of being one of Thomas Hart Benton's works.  I'm working on verification.  Great photo!
Tech CycloramaThomas Hart Benton had a much looser and more fluid style than the stiff and somewhat formal scenes here. It is also not typical of Benton that he would have posed iconic figures such as Moses The Lawgiver (I think) over the doorway. This is much more in the style of the Capitol Rotunda.
[See below for what might be the artist's signature. The art instructor at McKinley was Alexis B. Many (1879-1937). - Dave]

LibrariansNoooo!!!  Not a stereotyped librarian!  She puts the rest of us non-sensible shoe wearing librarians in such a bad light!
Dave's BackyardIf this HS still exists, Dave could visit it and get the name of the muralist, Dave lives close by.
[How nice that you know so ... much ... about ... me. - Dave]
McKinley Tech LibraryIt may be too late for Dave to check on that muralist. Take a look at the photo here.
[OMG. The muralist is  . . .  Sherwin Williams! - Dave]
Double takeBefore enlarging the photo, I thought the librarian was George Washington.
As for the mural:  Please don't tell me it has been painted over!
Phillip Fletcher Bell muralIf this is indeed McKinley High School the mural in the library was painted by Philip Fletcher Bell. He painted the mural prior to the Federal Art Project under the WPA, first under the Federal Relief Administration and then the Civil Works Administration.  He worked on the painting part time and it took two years to complete.  Bell's work on the mural led to him becoming director of the Children's Art Gallery in DC, an experiment in children's art education.  Art galleries were set up through the WPA across the country during the late 1930s, but the one in DC was unusual because it focused on children's artwork.
The mural itself generated a little controversial when it was painted.  It includes portraits that represent prominent politicians of the day including Huey Long, a populist who was assassinated in 1935.  Bell included a halo over Long in the painting that he had to remove.
I've tried to find out if the mural is still extant but can't find anything about it online.  The high school's enrollment had dropped from a high of 2,400 students in the late 1960s to 500 in the mid-1990s, and closed in 1997.  The school reopened as a technology-focused high school in 2004, but I can't find anything online about the schools renovation that includes restoration of the library mural.
If you want to learn more about Philip Bell, an oral interview with him completed by the Archives of American Art is posted here.
(The Gallery, D.C., Education, Schools, Natl Photo)

McKinley Elementary: 1957
Taken in 1957, west side of Chicago. This was the home room group that graduated with me. I'm the little guy, 2nd row, 2nd from the right. Standing next to me on the left is Finn; we had most of the same classes together, including music, and play ... 
Posted by Msgt - 12/12/2014 - 9:10pm -

Taken in 1957, west side of Chicago. This was the home room group that graduated with me. I'm the little guy, 2nd row, 2nd from the right. Standing next to me on the left is Finn; we had most of the same classes together, including music, and played in the band together. View full size.
Grade 6?If this is an elementary school graduation photo, then can I assume that these kids just finished Grade 6 and are only 12 years old?  Most of them are so elegant and grown-up-looking, I can't believe they could be that young.
[My elementary school, from which I graduated in 1960, was K-8, quite typical of the time. -tterrace]
Might I put the call out to new Shorpy member Msgt to let us know how old he and his classmates were in 1957?
SoCal in 1960tterrace, in 1960 I completed 6th grade at Emerson Elementary in Long Beach, Ca, and moved on to Stanford Junior High School where I completed 9th grade in 1963. Then onto high school, grades 10-12. Such were the differences between northern and southern California.
(ShorpyBlog, Member Gallery)

The Oregon: 1898
... Detroit Publishing Company. View full size. "McKinley's Bulldog" An apt nickname for this battleship, gained ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/02/2012 - 4:16pm -

September 1898. "U.S.S. Oregon in dry dock, Brooklyn Navy Yard." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
"McKinley's Bulldog"An apt nickname for this battleship, gained through her making a determined trip from San Francisco to Florida in 1898 with the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, via the Straits of Magellan where she endured a rather rough passage (which reinforced calls to build the Panama Canal.)
"Oregon" helped finish off Admiral Cervera's fleet off Cuba in July, 1898, and then re-entered dry dock (shown above). She left there in October of that year, only to repeat the passage through the Straits of Magellan, to join Dewey's fleet in the Philippines.  "Oregon" was decommissioned in 1919.
Once we're done, Admiral,She'll have that new battleship smell.
Muesum ship, for a timeAfter WWI, she was a museum ship until the outbreak of WWII, where the military needed the metal.  Her hull became a barge at Guam during the war before being lost at sea (temporarily, and not euphemistically) during a storm for three day; when eventually refound, she finished as a floating storage barge.  Most of the ship ended scrapped in the 1950s, but the masts and funnels (all visible here) have survived to this day, with the mast as the centerpiece of a park.
Ramming Speed!Great picture. It appears the boys down below have got it set up for ramming speed. Where does the drummer sit?
Awesome!This is without a doubt one of the most awesome pictures I have ever seen - thanks, Shorpy!
Great pic!Amazing how much advancement in warships took place in only 35 years from the ironclads of the Civil War. 
The workers scaffolding around this boat and especially lower down the side of the boat looks risky.
Balancing ActDuring my years in the Navy I was aboard two ships that went into dry dock and invariably, once the water was pumped out and the timbers were wedged in place, for the first couple of days we all walked carefully and s-l-o-w-l-y on deck so we wouldn't, uh, you know, tip anything over. 
Remembering the MaineWhen the Maine blew-up on Feb.15,1898, the Oregon's long and perilous voyage from San Francisco through the Strait of Magellan was a deciding factor in gaining the support to build the Panama Canal.
S.S. IkeaToday this dry dock (technically a graving dock) is a parking lot  for an Ikea superstore. From battleships to "some assembly required" is just 110 years.
ObsoleteThe USS Oregon class battleships were already approaching obsolescence when conceived (1888). With their low freeboard, armored turrets, and few quick-firing guns, these ships were already out-classed by the British. The Royal Navy had built battleships comparable to the Oregons back in 1870.
The US Navy should have built ships like these in the decade following the Civil War. We were on the right track with our double-turreted monitors, but the Navy’s budget was reduced to zero in 1866. All that was needed was to add an armored casemate holding some medium caliber weapons to the space between the turrets of our biggest monitors, and the US Navy would have been setting the standards for battleship design instead of the UK.
Dirty Dealer in Canned EggsFrom the NYC health department weekly bulletin of May 7, 1913:
"Nearly 24,000 specimens of milk, as offered for sale in the City, were examined by our inspectors, and of this number only 63 specimens were found to be above the maximum temperature permitted by the Department's regulations. In addition to this 579 samples of milk were taken and upon chemical analysis 99 of these were found to be below the standard.
On December 18, 1911, F. E. Rosebrock and Company, a corporation dealing in bakery supplies at 325 Greenwich Street, Borough of Manhattan, of which Fred E. Rosebrock was president and a director, was fined $500 for violation of Section 42 of the Sanitary Code, for offering for sale decomposed canned eggs.
On November 18, 1912, the same firm was fined $250 for violation of Section 66a of the Sanitary Code, for using flavoring extracts containing methyl alcohol. About this time the old corporation of F. E. Rosebrock and Company discontinued business at 325 Greenwich Street, and a new corporation, incorporated under the laws of New Jersey, was formed under the name of the Fred. E. Rosebrock Company. Fred E. Rosebrock was president and a director of this company which conducted a business in bakers' supplies at 360 Washington Street. On November 17, 1913, this firm was fined $500 for violation of Section 42 for offering for sale putrid and decomposed eggs.
In August of this year ...a new corporation, known as the Rosebrock Butter and Egg Company, Inc., was formed, incorporated under the laws of New York. Within the past few days criminal prosecution has been commenced by the Department of Health against this firm for an alleged violation of Section 48a. relating to the breaking-out of eggs and the keeping of canned eggs without a permit. Who is the persistent offender?"
Now, what's a canned egg?
As relayed by semaphore from the US Ethel Merman"Hello sailor, ever done time aboard a medium-speed twin screw?"  
SP250A feature of ships from this era--indeed, of ships up through at least WW II naval designs--are the inordinate number of stanchions on all the weather decks.  These stanchions were used to rig canvas as sun blocks (in port, or dry dock) for sailors forced to work on deck and as an effort to keep below-deck spaces cool(er).  
An example of of this rigged canvas is seen in this photo, forward of the 13" turret and aft of the 8" turrets on both the port and starboard sides. It appears the starboard side canvas is shading the quarterdeck area; I think the Officer of the Watch/Deck (looks like a Lt.) is the one on the gangway talking to the youngster.
These stanchions (along with the canvas) were struck and stowed when the ship got underway; obviously, the turrets needed full, unhindered arcs.  Stanchions can even be seen aft of the 13" turret in this photo over the two hatches leading to ladders going below decks.
Though necessary, these stanchions often gave these pre-WW II ships an ungainly, cluttered appearance, unlike surface ships of today with their clean lines built to reduce radar return signals. 
At first glanceI thought it was in for oar replacement.
Off to the SideOf all the activity in this shot, I'd like to hear this conversation.
"Permission to come aboard, Sir?""I'll even trade you this lucky rabbit's foot for a look inside!"
"Yes, yes, that's a fine specimen indeed, but run along now, like a good lad."
Railings are for WimpsThe scaffolding I used when I inspected ships in drydock in the 1980's always had a safety railing to prevent you from taking a sudden, almost certainly fatal dive to the concrete floor of the drydock.  The scaffolding around Oregon's stern has nothing to hold onto -- terrifying!  Men were much braver then.
Some things don't change however -- the light colored objects arranged in neat vertical lines along the leading edge of the rudder and the hull alongside the propeller are almost certainly zincs.  These were bolted to the hull, prominently stamped "Do Not Paint," and were used to absorb the galvanic currents created by the bronze of the propeller reacting against the steel of the hull like a giant battery.  The idea was for the "sacrificial" zincs, not the hull, to corrode; they were replaced at every drydocking.  
I laid out the rows of zincs for the last US battleships during their renovation in 1984.  For some reason the World War II plans for zincs couldn't be found in the archives.
The scaffolding is a nightmare.Those guys are at least 30 feet in the air, and the boards look to be 16 to 24 inches wide. You had better pay attention to where you are, and not stand back to look at your handy work. You could only make one mistake on that baby, and it would be your last.
Canned = PickledCanned eggs are pickled eggs, sterilized and sealed in mason jars, preserved for future consumption, just like canned fruits.
Scaffolding InspectorAt the very least, you know those knots on the scaffolding ropes are good, probably some lost technology there. 
In strictly nautical terminologydoes this ship have two "pointy ends"?
(The Gallery, Boats & Bridges, DPC, NYC)

Expert Truss Fitting: 1900
... Exposition, held in Buffalo -- where President McKinley was shot and later died. Trolly cars They mean Trolly cars. ... Beck made sketches of President McKinley when the president toured the fair and made a speech there. After ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/26/2012 - 12:35pm -

"Main Street, Buffalo, N.Y., circa 1900." The merchants of Buffalo, aside from making that fine city a haven for the herniated, also offered a wide range of "deformity appliances." Detroit Publishing Co. glass negative. View full size.
Fireproof indeed!The fireproof tiles on the roof of the Iroquois were a big selling point after the horrific fire that destroyed the Richmond Hotel, which stood on the same site until 1887.
Mirror Writing?The reverse lettering above the motorman's head looks like the back of a glass sign that says SMOKING ENTRANCE REAR SEATS ONLY, whatever that means exactly.
[The signs says "Smoking on three rear seats only." - Dave]
Safe CityThat is one safety-conscious city. Note the pedestrian catcher mounted on the front of the trolley.
Niagara Falls!!!!Niagara Falls!
"Slowly I turned...step by step...inch by inch..."
From the Three Stooges short "Gents Without Cents"
Oh MyWhat a picture. This is definitely a  downtown scene. I am curious about the rides to Lockport, Lewiston and Queenston. Are they  entrance cities to Canada? Perhaps they are tourist destinations like Niagara Falls. This photo will take a while to gather it all and to understand Buffalo as a major U.S. city at the time.
[Those cities were excursion destinations. - Dave]
Shuffle off to Buffalo...So much detail to take in.
Wonder what a "Deformity Appliance" is.
[I am thinking something along the lines of a super-dangerous cake mixer. - Dave]
Bustling BuffaloNothing is more depressing than seeing the once-bustling major city that is now Buffalo. Interesting that the streetcar was the main mode of public transportation, and yet the newer "metro" line (consisting of one short rail from HSBC to the University of Buffalo) has contributed to the death of downtown.
Martha!And "I Love Lucy."
Your neighbor the sign painterBesides the five (or six or seven) signs of his own, Mr. Scott seems to have painted all the other signs on that building. I wonder if he traded signs for trolly rides, cigars, or deformity appliances.
Trolleys Then and NowThe open-seat single-truck trolleys seen in this picture (with smoking allowed in the three rear seats only) have long been absent from the City of Buffalo.  The line is now the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority's Buffalo Metro Rail light rail line.  Interesting that the tracks on Main Street have survived, while those on Church Street, and all of the surrounding buildings, including the Iroquois Hotel, have all vanished.
View Larger Map 
No heritage hereSo, is this was were the Main Street Mall now resides?  Seems all these blocks were demolished.  The Iroquois Hotel was torn down in 1940.
The Perfect VignetteWhat a great photo!  The "Signs" signs, the omnipresent hats, the fancy streetlight.  I love the advertisement for the "tobacconist"--that would make a catchy little business card, I think.  Some people are dentists, some are salespeople, and then there are the tobacconists.  And I wonder what got thrown into the wires crossing the street?
I also love the trolleys in the picture--somehow, my daily bus ride doesn't seem quite as cool as this. One question. What is the net in front for? I would guess it's for luggage or large packages? 
[The net would be for inattentive or careless pedestrians. - Dave]
LockportLockport was and is a neat little city in NW central New York State where canal boats travel down a series of locks.  It's fun to watch.  The city is also the home of an American standard in every kitchen: Jell-O!
Cars?Sign says "cars leave every 15 minutes"...I don't see any cars, it's 1900 (or so) What do they mean by "cars"?
[Streetcars. - Dave]
The GlobeSure would like to be able to see more detail on that globe painted on the left side - looks like the continents have been anthropomorphized into pinup gals.

BuffaloCool! I stayed a night in Buffalo early last month. Had it still been standing, I would have chosen the Iroquois over the Holiday Inn for sure. Looks like a fun city, but you've never seen anything more depressing than Niagara Falls (the town) in winter.
You Are HereIn response to the many requests seen in comments for a time machine: here you are. Absolutely fantastic picture. 
Pan-American ExpoThat's the logo for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition, held in Buffalo -- where President McKinley was shot and later died.
Trolly carsThey mean Trolly cars.
[Or maybe trolley cars. ("Cars" = streetcars.) - Dave]
Look out above!The top three floors of the Iroquois were "superadded" for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. In 1923, owner Ellsworth Statler opened another hotel, and the Iroquois became the Gerrans Office Building. The building with the tower was transformed into one of the earliest movie theaters, the Strand.
Steve Miller
Someplace near the crossroads of America
Leroy not LockportLeroy is the home of Jell-O, not Lockport! Visit the jello museum in Leroy to learn more about the product invented by a man named Pearl.
CSI: BuffaloNice Cigar Store Indian on the right.

Oh that logo
The Pan-American Exposition Company chose Raphael Beck's design from over 400 entries, awarded him $100.  They copyrighted it as the official logo in 1899.  At first the design was to be used only for "dignified purposes," but due to its popularity, the decision was made to license its use.  The logo was soon available on souvenirs of every conceivable description and was plastered on "everything that didn't move and some things that did."  Some unscrupulous vendors ignored the licensing process and sold unofficial souvenirs with the logo.  Here is a plate and a watch souvenir (both official):

Beck made sketches of President McKinley when the president toured the fair and made a speech there.  After McKinley died Beck completed the painting titled "President McKinley Delivering His Last Great Speech at the Pan-American Exposition, Sept. 5, 1901."
Beck went on to design the logo for the 1905 Portland, Oregon Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition.  His father Augustus—who designed the bas relief at the base of the Washington Monument—named his son after the famous painter Raphael.
+122Below is the same view from September of 2022.
(The Gallery, Buffalo NY, DPC, Streetcars)

Going Up: 1900
... parade included trade associations such as the Jewelers McKinley & Roosevelt Club, and the Drug, Chemicals, Paint, Varnish, and Oil Trades' McKinley & Roosevelt Sound Money Club (perhaps called the DCPVOTMRSMC). ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2012 - 7:57pm -

Circa 1900. "New York financial district from the Woodbridge Building." The Park Row building at right was the world's tallest office tower. View full size.
St. Paul BuildingLeft of the Park Row is the 26-story St. Paul Building, built 1895-1898 and demolished in 1958. It was one of the last skyscrapers designed by George B. Post, a pioneer of tall building construction in New York. Alas, it was not well received by the architectural critics of the time, and they were thinking primarily of the front of the building. What we see here are the naked backsides of the St. Paul and Park Row.
What a PictureThis one is amazing. Manhattan in 1901. I see laundry hanging on lines. Not an automobile or a window air conditioner. Not an airplane or a dirigible. Not  a TV antenna or a radio transmitting tower. What we have is the turn of the last century that would create more scientific paraphernalia in a few years than the world saw since its inception.
Wireless Mast!Early radio. Gotta love it.
Gotham GothicAnd people complain about "glass box" skyscrapers! This is one brutally ugly cityscape.
Park Row BuildingThe Park Row Building is still there. It was built between 1896 and 1899. It held the distinction of the world's tallest office tower (391 feet, 30 floors) until 1908 when the 47-story Singer Building went up (612 feet). It was landmarked in 1999. 
November 3, 1900Based on the banners in the street, I'd bet that the photo was taken on the day of the great Sound Money Parade (November 3, 1900), in support of the Republican ticket. According to the New York Times the following morning, the 84,000-member parade included trade associations such as the Jewelers McKinley & Roosevelt Club, and the Drug, Chemicals, Paint, Varnish, and Oil Trades' McKinley & Roosevelt Sound Money Club (perhaps called the DCPVOTMRSMC).   
Eeew.That is one homely skyscraper.
Park Row streetsideShows a more appealing view of building even if though overwhelming in height for its neighbors.
Cupola statuesI would like to know more about the statues around the Park Row building cupolas.  They are gone now.  So are the flagpoles.  It irks me that so many classic buildings have been stripped of such unique adornments. 
The Wireless MastThe wireless mast is found on top of the Western Union Building, also designed by George B. Post, built 1872-1875 (demolished 1913). The top floors of the building, originally under an enormous mansard roof, were rebuilt as seen here after a fire in 1890.
Dig the McKinley & Roosevelt Campaign Banner!Very bottom - middle of the picture.  At the time this picture was taken Teddy Roosevelt was Governor of New York and the NY Republican political machine was looking to get him out of the way.  Their bright idea - convince him to run as VP with McKinley!  At the time the VP position was even more powerless than it is today and the Republicans saw this as a safe parking place for a progressive that was causing them no end of headaches.  He was, in effect, kicked upstairs (but he apparently went willingly).  Less than a year later (September 1901) McKinley was assasinated and Roosevelt ascended to what he gleefully described as his "bully pulpit"!
And at the moment of exposure, a guy on the top floor of the Sheldon Building decides to look out the window, and draw a breath of not-so-fresh air.
The wireless mastMore likely, that tower was part of a signal flag system operated by a newspaper, perhaps the Journal of Commerce or the Wall St Journal or, more likely, the World. Merchants on Wall Street needed to know when cargo vessels were approaching the port. There was a series of flag stations which stretched from lower Manhattan to Sandy and out on Long Island. This tower was probably on a newspaper building on Park/Newspaper Row.
Brutally ugly?Huh?  How about fascinating?  There is so much variety and interest in this picture - different eras of building, signs, churches, spires, flags, open windows, residential next to commercial and on and on.  I could look at it over and over and discover something new every time I did.  What do you get with a modern cityscape - one boring glass box after another - no life to be seen half the time.  
"Bird's Eye" viewHere's a recent shot:
(The Gallery, DPC, NYC)

Gadsden Shoppers: 1940
... and a new partner to come on board: Pours. Albert McKinley Rains (1902-1991) Rains was born in Grove Oak, DeKalb County, on ... 
Posted by Dave - 04/06/2021 - 3:31pm -

December 1940. "Christmas shopping crowds. Gadsden, Alabama." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.
Fur realWoman wearing fur #1 (her head is immediately to the right of Rains & Rains Lawyers) is turning to check out woman wearing fur #2 (just above Use Stair Way).  The real challenge (aside from identify all the cars) is: identify fur #2.
Dan Cohen is selling Hoes?!And on Broad Street, no less.
I want to respond to sinking_ship and his "Bag the drama" comment. Yes, there are possibilities as to what exchange is taking place; but there is also probability. Most who have commented believe the black man is probably being insulted.  And just as he is not looking at his white antagonist,  the antagonist's friend is also looking straight ahead, without expression.  I read that to mean he wants no part of what his friend is doing.  And you ask does any of this affect you? -- it does, because all of us today need to accept and acknowledge that we cannot treat minorities the way our grandpas did.
Why are you looking at these old photographs if you feel no compassion for the subject matter?
Can't see Gadsden for the treesHere's the approximate place - it's hard to see because of the trees planted sometime after 1940. Sterchi's Furniture was at Fifth and Broad, and we can see the Belk-Hudson (Hughes 1903) building with the curved windows on the right (all white in the original).

The South in the 1940sThe first thing I noticed was in the foreground, the fellow in the coveralls with his back to us.  The look the guy on his right is giving him ...  To me, it's very chilling.
Snark?In the lower left corner, there is a White man who appears to be making a comment to Black man as they pass each other. One wonders about what is being said, in 1940's Jim Crow Alabama. 
Fur in AlabamaSure doesn't look cold enough for fur, based on the dress of everyone else.
A classic lookThat guy in the fedora near the bottom of the photo, second in from the curb, is displaying one of my favorite "looks" from that era, with the leather jacket and the khakis and the hat. That will never not look "cool." 
CarchitectureInteresting how much cars of the same vintage -- no matter the make -- tend to look so similar.
VisitorMost of the cars seem to have the proper Alabama plates for the time, but the third car up from the bottom is an out-of-state car, though I do not know from where.
Here and now...There are so many other possibilities as to who or what caused the gentleman to turn his head. Should we dox his descendants and make sure they pay for his vile transgression that is so clearly explained from a shutter click 80 years ago. Bag the drama, please. 
Sneak peekThe briskly walking elegant lady, bottom left, in the dark coat has what can only be described as a well-turned ankle ... and the overalls-clad gent with the package under his arm might have noticed it. Also Rains & Rains lawyers ... that's pretty funny. Must've been plaintiff attorneys, perhaps collaborating on larger cases with Monin & Gronin, Attorneys at Law.
New legal partner?I was waiting for one of the Rains legal partners to leave, and a new partner to come on board: Pours.
Albert McKinley Rains (1902-1991)Rains was born in Grove Oak, DeKalb County, on March 11, 1902, to Elbert and Luella Rains; he had three siblings. He attended local schools and after graduating high school attended John H. Snead Seminary in Boaz, Marshall County. Rains went on to attend present-day Jacksonville State University and the University of Alabama. He studied law, passed the bar exam in 1928, and practiced alongside his brother Will Rains at the firm of Rains and Rains in Gadsden the following year.
Re: Fur in Alabama? Being from the South in my youth, until I married at 19 and moved North with my new husband at 20 when he got out of the Air Force, and growing up around plenty of older, well-to-do Southern Ladies, I seem to recall that the biggest rule of proper dress had little to do with the temperature, as long as the season was right! 
As long as it's not hot enough to cause a lady to "glow" - gentlemen "perspired," and horses would "sweat" - then a properly dressed upper class lady, (providing she owned one, which one couldn't be a proper lady without one) wouldn't be seen in public without her fur coat, (and matching or coordinating hat!)
Visitor: A Yankee!The third car up from the bottom highlighted in a previous comment displays a 1940 Massachusetts plate.  And wouldn't it satisfy a bit of curiosity to discover the plate's owner in the MA registry of motor vehicles (assuming the archives go that far back)?
Not only todayThey say most cars today look basically the same. I guess that could apply to most of the cars in this photo too. 
(The Gallery, Cars, Trucks, Buses, Christmas, John Vachon)

Buffalo Bank: 1908
... The obelisk is the McKinley Monument in Niagara Square. Pay your dime and climb up to the ... remains Essentially everything in this image except the McKinley Monument was destroyed in "urban renewal" in the 1960s. The site of ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/22/2012 - 10:39am -

Bustling Buffalo, New York, circa 1908. "Erie County Savings Bank, Niagara Street." Another view of the imposing edifice previously seen here. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
I don't know, but --I think buildings can be both hideous and delightful, at the same time.
Harry Potter's other school?I swear this looks like it should be a school of magic!  What a GREAT building!
The entire scene is cool.  I love all of the business names painted on the windows and the detailing.  The spires are simply amazing.
Fare to Niagara and backFifty cents roundtrip! Last time I went to Niagara from Buffalo my niggardly tip was $20. I forget the fare. Inflation has come a long, long way.
What were the Yellow Cars?
With a name like Hazard . . . This time, Frank Williams has an officemate -- Willet E. Hazard. Corporate attorney Hazard and his brothers would incorporate a gasoline motor manufacturing company in 1909.  First named Hazard Engineering Co., it would soon become Hazard Motor Manufacturing Co. The slogan in a 1912 ad in "The Rudder," a yachting magazine, claims "The 'HAZARD' is distinctly better." That is the last mention of the company to be found.  Wonder why? 
Awesome!That's a great shot! I love the whole scene. The building is intense, why don't they make them like that anymore?
What in the worldAre those little square things under the Swift's billboard?
[An electric sign. Just wait till dark! - Dave]
Looks like rainI count at least five gents carrying umbrellas.
Erie Bank - This Is Your Life
I'm just one guyBut that hideous thing looks like a Kremlin prison to me.
A Shorpy stapleThe last charabanc we saw was here. A kind of open-air omnibus.
Death by BuffaloMark Twain once said, "To commit suicide in Buffalo is redundant."
Or words to that effect. But it looks full of life to me! Love the long street view, and all the wonderful signage.
The obelisk next doorAnyone know what the white monument is for down the street?
Seven LampsWhen the term "architecture" is used, this is the type of structure they are referring too.  Anything else is just another building.
"To commit suicide in Buffalo is redundant"That was a quip by Neil Simon, used in "A Chorus Line."
OmnibusesJust checked out the previous photo of the same bank. There are two omnibuses in front, one like that seen in this pic (probably electric; right-hand drive, too) and the other, just nosing into the lower left corner, is definitely gasoline-powered if that hood is any indicator. So I guess these things were pretty common. 
Imagine Winter!This same scene would be filled with Horse Drawn Sleighs...what a fun way to get around!
No WordsI don't know what to say other than that is one of the most beautiful buildings I have seen on Shorpy. The thought of the wrecking ball plowing through those gorgeous granite walls makes me want to cry like a baby.
Charabancs!Here's why I love this site. I never heard of a "charabanc" until Shorpy. I just thought they were funny little buses. You can read all about it at
The obeliskis the McKinley Monument in Niagara Square.
Pay your dimeand climb up to the top of the tower and choke to death on the emissions of that nearby smokestack. A testimony to the air quality of the time is that the upper floors of all the buildings are blackened with soot.
It's an electric signProbably a static illuminated letter board, vs. the Times Square style "crawl" which I think was beyond the technology of the day (though not TOO far beyond).
The bulbs aren't really bright enough to work well in daylight.
The message may have changed nightly, each letter was controlled by a large rotary wafer switch housed in a wooden box, that when turned would cause the bulbs in the sign to display a different letter at each position.
High technology, 1908 style. 
Shorpy, keep these images coming, I love poring over them. America near its peak as the industrial power of the world, with no end in sight. The age of coal, steam and steel.
Weird coatThere's a man on the right side of the street, to the left of the cigar store awning, his back to the camera. What are all those white things hanging off the back of his coat? And is he holding a banjo in his right hand?
[Those are scratches and blotches in the emulsion. - Dave]
Nothing remainsEssentially everything in this image except the McKinley Monument was destroyed in "urban renewal" in the 1960s.  The site of the bank now appears to be a boring late-Sixties state office building.  I can't find any trace of any other original building in this image.
There was a good story written in 1967 when the Erie County Savings Bank was demolished.
(The Gallery, Buffalo NY, DPC, Streetcars)

Housewifery 101
"McKinley School lab." Home economics at McKinley High School in Washington circa 1910. Harris & Ewing Collection ... of the era. Of course, I could be wrong.... [McKinley Manual Training School was, at least in name, a vocational high ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/22/2012 - 8:38pm -

"McKinley School lab." Home economics at McKinley High School in Washington circa 1910. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.
Asbestos mat?Well at least they did not have guns, drugs, or knives. 
Ok, I'll biteWhat are the twin chains hanging from the ceiling for? 
[My guess would be damper chains. - Dave]
Oh GoodIt's comforting to see that "1 - asbestos mat" is included in the chalkboard list of kitchen must-haves!
Chains on the ceilingIf it's anything like the high school I went to the chains operate the sashes on skylights. 
As far as the asbestos mat,As far as the asbestos mat, Asbestos has a bad reputation because of asbestosis, but a well made asbestos blanket is perfectly safe as long as you don't let it get frayed.
However, I think Dave's got the title wrong on this one... these young ladies aren't studying to be housewives, they're studying to be the hired help, kitchen maids or cooks, judging by how they're dressed.  The room isn't even set up right to properly emulate a "normal" home of the era.
Of course, I could be wrong....
[McKinley Manual Training School was, at least in name, a vocational high school. But that doesn't mean these ladies aren't learning the domestic arts while they're in the cooking lab. The aprons, like the aprons in any lab or kitchen, are there to protect your clothes. Something tells me there weren't many white girls in circa 1910 Washington pursuing careers in domestic service. - Dave]
Combo lightsIt appears those lights are combination gas and electric- with a gas jet pointing up behind each bulb.
[They're gas fixtures that have been wired for electricity. A common practice when electricity was replacing gas for illumination. - Dave]
All right Dave, explainSo why do you think there weren't many white girls in circa 1910 Washington pursuing careers in domestic service? Seriously, do you know something I don't? From what I've read, photographs, etc, there seem to have been scads of white servants in that era. It's pretty darn common vocation for a girl of modest means, and those frilly white caps indicate a servant uniform. You don't see many housewives wearing those - strictly for the help. I'm not sure how being in Washington in 1910 would have changed that. Was there a highly localized white-domestic plague that year?
[Anything is possible. Maybe McKinley High did have a "maid training" program where you got to play dress-up. Most of the girls shown taking food-preparation instruction in photos from this era are shown wearing aprons and caps. Then as now, food preparers in an institutional setting would wear a cap or hairnet. If these girls had career aspirations that involved cooking, I think nursing or restaurant work would be the more likely choices. The McKinley course offerings as listed in the Washington Post archives are pretty general -- machine shop, carpentry, motor repair, home economics. The classroom in our photo was the "domestic science" (home economics) lab. Instruction was given in "plain and fancy cookery," invalid cookery and menu planning. - Dave]

I don't think it's jettingThe light fixture on the right has tubing coming out of what would be the jets, so I'm not sure where the flame was supposed to be. Unless... the ends were cut off and fixed with lightbulbs. But they're sorta facing downward instead of upward.
[That's a rubber hose for something like a Bunsen burner. So the gas must still be connected. - Dave]
I would have failed the classSince I really hate to cook! 
Gas hoses for tabletop useScary as it seems to me, combination gas and electric chandeliers also provided convenient sources for portable gas table fixtures via rubber hoses such as the one in this photo. I've seen a 1910 photo of a gas table lamp in the parlor of Ulysses S. Grant Jr.'s house in San Diego, using just such a hose dangling down from a gascock on the chandelier overhead.
Wires and Gas When I first moved into my old house in Atlanta, a house built in 1910 or so, I found cloth-insulated wires for overhead lamps running through the gaspipes to every room ceiling.  It confused me until I realized that electricity was added onto the house in the twenties.  There were also the "knob and tube" ceramic insulators all over the attic.  I got that overhauled quick!
(The Gallery, D.C., Education, Schools, Harris + Ewing, Kitchens etc.)

Tasty Tom: 1922
... Maddox or Elsie Allen, unknown woman, Senator William B. McKinley , Miss Maddox or Miss Allen, other unknowns. The ... At the White House the turkey was received by Senator McKinley and Representative Fred A. Britten of Illinois: Pyke Johnson, ... 
Posted by Dave - 11/22/2012 - 9:55am -

November 1922. Washington, D.C. "White House turkey 'Supreme 3' with unidentified people." Glimpsed here yesterday along with much informative commentary. Happy Thanksgiving from Shorpy! View full size.
A gaiter, perhaps? Right above her shoes - it looks like there's some kind of strappy thing going up her leg but it doesn't look like part of the shoe and I can't figure out what it could be.  A gaiter, perhaps?  Though that doesn't really seem to go with the rest of her bling.
Turkey ClubA semi-informed guess of the people, from left-to-right: Congressman Frederick Britten, Marie Maddox or Elsie Allen, unknown woman, Senator William B. McKinley, Miss Maddox or Miss Allen, other unknowns. 

The Baltimore Sun, December 3, 1922.

At the White House the turkey was received by Senator McKinley  and Representative Fred A. Britten of Illinois: Pyke Johnson, secretary of the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce; Secretary of Agriculture Wallace and George Christian, secretary to President Harding.

The entire party, including the drivers and Misses Marie Maddox and Elsie Allen, representing the Harding Girls' Club, then went into the Office of President Harding, where the Chief Executive thanked them for their efforts and extended his greetings to the Harding Girls' Club.

Thanks Shorpy!We had a group of Male Turkeys come visit us here in Northern CA. We fed them natural Sunflower Seeds and after awhile they would come up to us for the seeds absolutely without fear.
Sadly, they moved-on. We hope we filled their bellies for the winter and we look forward to February when they spread their feathers, while doing a complicated mating dance to attract a mate. 
Hope you all enjoyed your Turkey today.
Appreciation and Thanks to Shorpy Owners for their kindness of sharing this wonderful site.
I'll bet every one of thosepictured knew how to at least hold a turkey back then, and probably most of them could butcher it pretty easily, too.
Today, we don't interact with our future food at all, and certainly don't want to, either. My grandparents raised fowl and butchered them when needed. I can't do so and prefer not to, anyway. And don't ask me to hold one either.
When Turkeys were TurkeysNo mega-farms producing ghost white turkeys year round in 1922. The turkey and the lady in profile seem to have conspired to dress the same for the photograph.  How many of you are old enough to remember your mother picking out the stray pin feathers of a store bought bird with a pair of tweezers to get Old Tom ready for the oven?
So *that's * the size of a real turkey breastTurkeys for the supermarkets have such inflated breasts that they fall over when they walk. Of course, that might just be that they are extremely stupid, and thus have difficulty walking. I worked at a turkey farm as extra help before Thanksgiving when I was in high school, and we had to chase the turkeys into their sheds every time it rained. Why? Because the turkeys were so clueless that when they felt the rain hitting them, they'd look up to see what it was, and a few would drown every storm.
(The Gallery, D.C., Natl Photo, Thanksgiving)

Inaugural Umbrellas: 1901
March 4, 1901. "President William McKinley second inaugural parade, Pennsylvania Avenue." Brady-Handy Collection ... and capes and think of The Prisoner ? Short Term McKinley, the last veteran of the American Civil War to be elected, would be ... 
Posted by Dave - 09/13/2011 - 12:22pm -

March 4, 1901. "President William McKinley second inaugural parade, Pennsylvania Avenue." Brady-Handy Collection glass negative. View full size.
Precision Umbrella Drill Team Rules!Complete with snappy white top hats (the Doo Dah Parade is calling, gentlemen!) And if that's The Washington Post building in the background, maybe they're the (well informed) destination for the impressive array of phone lines above the buildings on the left. Hopefully the men perched atop the other phone pole aren't disrupting calls!
Just funWhat a whimsical sight, from the umbrellas, to the white top hats, to the dog in the street. Can you think of any inaugural parade in the last fifty years that was as much fun?
Friends ForeverIs that a pickpocket in action left foreground?
MulletDid anyone else notice the fashion-forward hairdo on one member of the umbrella drill team?
Takes GutsThere are at least 2 men sitting on top of a telephone or light pole and a few more about halfway down. I hope they all got down safely.
DisneyesqueIt looks like it was staged by Walt Disney and great fun to be in and to watch.  One of the aspects of "the good old days" that is actually true: no fears of disruption or calamity.  A celebration of Liberty.
No dames allowed?Virtually no women visible in the ranks of the spectators. What's that about?
[There are dozens of women in this picture. - Dave]
What goes up must come... Wait, what?Again and again, we see photos on Shorpy that feature people fearlessly leaning out 6th-floor windows, cramming onto roofs, perched on mile-high balconies and swinging from the tops of fifty-foot poles.  Makes me think the apple fell on Isaac Newton much later...say, the 1940s.
Pride ParadeThe umbrella corps would do San Francisco proud. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Where's Waldo......can you find at least one man who is uncovered (not wearing a hat)? I think I can see a couple.
I find it heartening to see such enthusiasm for the workings of democracy. I suppose a cynic would say that it was a time when the people were starved for entertainment and would turn out for any dog and pony show, especially if given a few hours off. To me, in a time when the media weren't so pervasive, it was probably important that the democratic process was proved to have been completed.
A Prelude>> One of the aspects of 'the good old days' that is actually true: no fears of disruption or calamity.
That's a rather ironic statement considering that slightly less than 6 months later the man whose inauguration was being celebrated would lie dead in Buffalo, shot by the Anarchist Leon Czolgosz.
The VillageAnyone else see the umbrellas and capes and think of The Prisoner?
Short TermMcKinley, the last veteran of the American Civil War to be elected, would be assassinated six months later. His vice president, Theodore Roosevelt, would succeed him. 
Number 2I thought of The Prisoner too.
Short Time in OfficeFrom the date of this photo, President McKinley would have but a little more than six months in office; losing his life to a madman's bullet on September 14th. His VP - Teddy Roosevelt would become the 26th President.
I agree that this looks to be a much more enjoyable inaugural parade than we've seen of late. I doubt that any of these marchers would be thrown out of their organization because they dared look at the President.
Social ProprietyOnce past the Umbrella Drill Team, one is impressed that onlookers are free to line buildings, windows and parapets. Although there is some police presence, it appears nobody really expects this important ceremony to be disrupted by protests or violence. No longer a safe assumption in these security-conscious days! Still, the price of this social stability seems to have been a rigid sense of "proper" dress and public decorum.  One might wish to stroll down lovely Tremont Street in 1906 Boston, but imagine having to dress up like this just to go out! Those onlookers would be scandalized by at least 75 percent of today's ordinary public activities (Kids running around! Unsupervised teenage couples! Boisterous music!), not to mention our scandalously revealing comfortable clothing.
Mullet?I haven't been able to spot a mullet hairdo, but if JeffK is referring to the second umbrellist from the right in the first row, what looks like long hair in back is actually the bottom corner of the cape on the guy behind.
Ka Pow !Which one is the Penguin ?
Parade, si!  Vote, no!I appreciate Stevie's comments on democratic spectacles.  I feel that kind of nostalgia, too.  
But before getting too carried away with that kind of enthusiasm, I would like to note that most of the spectators frozen in the year 1901 by this photo were unable to vote for either of the major presidential tickets (McKinley / Roosevelt or Bryan / Stevenson).  Nor for that matter could they cast a ballots for Wooley, Debs, Barker, Maloney or any of the other presidential candidate who managed to get himself steamrolled by the Republicans in 1900. 
Why?  I assume that most of the people in the photo lived in DC.  Any of them alive in 1964 would have been enfranchised by the 23rd Amendment (1961), and so could have voted for President in 1964--finally.
That's not to mention that no woman in the photo could have voted in 1900.  The 19th Amendment wasn't ratified until 1920.  
For that matter, it would have been unlikely that any of the African American males who were in town that day from Virginia or Maryland had been permitted to vote in their own districts.
So when we celebrate our democratic heritage, let's also remember how far we've come.
[Whether the women in this photo could vote depended on where they lived -- suffrage was granted by the individual states and territories (starting with Wyoming, in 1859) long before passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. By 1917, women in 16 states plus Alaska already had the vote.  - Dave]
(Dave, I appreciate your comments as well.  I think I was looking at the forest, and you, at the trees.  Just a couple things.
First, Wyoming was admitted to the Union in 1869, and its constitution did enfranchise women.
Second, a number of states did allow complete women's suffrage by 1915--not surprisingly, they were nearly all western states with Progressive traditions, save New York.  (Differences from one state to another encouraged by our federal system must always be taken into account.)  But in other states, even when they did enjoy the vote, the right to vote was not extended to women in all kinds of elections.  This was the case in both Maryland and Virginia in 1901.    
Third, there were localized instances of women being extended suffrage rights in the US before the Civil War, but those rights were very specialized.  As I recall, in some states, women could vote if they were widowed and owned property above a certain value.  
Finally, all African American males should have been enfranchsed after the passage of 15th Amendment in 1871.  The odd thing is that, by and large, the women's suffrage movement of the 19th and 20th Centuries avoided taking black suffrage on board with their own cause.
Thanks again for both the entertainment you provide here, and the chance to blog about the occasional arcane, forgotten, or obscure issue.) 
Dig that flag!Tthe flag in this photo is by far the coolest historical flag I think I've ever seen; I never realized that we went back, briefly, to the old circle constellation style for a brief period at the very beginning of the 20th century.
Dang!  Never seen a flag like that!Parade flag with stars inside a circle of stars -- anyone know if or when that was an official flag?
Dressing up to go outOne might wish to stroll down lovely Tremont Street in 1906 Boston, but imagine having to dress up like this just to go out!
I once lived in a house built in the 1890s that had not had the privilege of being remodeled in the intervening century. Each closet was outfitted with precisely three hooks: One for Sunday, one for Monday through Saturday, and one for overalls.
Dressing up was surprisingly less onerous than you'd think when you owned precisely three suits of clothes. The smell, despite the presence of numerous laundries, was another issue entirely. Sweat, wool, tobacco, macassar oil, and lilac water is a powerful combination. Every time I see a Shorpy crowd photo from 1890-1910, the smell overwhelms me.
Suffrage in VirginiaArnnman writes about women's suffrage:
"But in other states, even when they did enjoy the vote, the right to vote was not extended to women in all kinds of elections. This was the case in both Maryland and Virginia in 1901."
I don't think this was the case in Virginia at all. Women here did not get the right to vote until three-fourths of the states ratified the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. However, even then, Virginia refused to ratify until 1952.
Encyclopedia Virginia's entry on the subject can be found here:
If we got this history wrong, please let us know.
Washington Post buildingNear the middle of the photo you can see the top of the Washington Post building (located at 1339 E St. NW, according to the Post website).  The Post still uses the same font for its masthead.
America's Choice Bike ShopAnyone have any idea what the name of the bike shop with the awning is?  I would love to know if there was once a frame-builder in DC.
["America's Choice" was President McKinley. This was the R.M. Dobbins bike shop at 1425 Pennsylvania Avenue. - Dave]
The PrisonerThat was my first thought. Actually, I have thought about the show in a number of instances with the photos from this era. This one, though, was the one that REALLY did it for me.
Re: Never seen a flag like thatThere was no such thing as an "official" American flag until President Taft standardized the design in 1912. This flag design was as official as any other with the correct number of stars on it. It would appear to be the forerunner for Wayne Whipple's flag. See the pdf chart of US Flags at
(The Gallery, D.C., Politics)

Speed Demon: 1904
... Avenue. Delaware Avenue In 1901, President William McKinley was shot at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo and brought to the ... a parking lot -- with schoolchildren watching.) When McKinley took a turn for the worse, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt made his ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/10/2012 - 12:14am -

Buffalo, New York, circa 1904. "Delaware Avenue." Hitching posts, mounting blocks, ice wagons and gaslight at the dawn of the automobile age. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
Mark Twain and Buffalo wintersThe story of all the millionaires on this street reminds me that Mark Twain married and retired to Buffalo.  After digging for gold in California, Twain became a gold digger and married into money.
I wonder what this street looked like during the next winter.  How on earth did they clear the streets, or did all the millionaires go to Florida?  I will always remember visiting Buffalo in May and seeing huge, melting mounds of plowed snow.  Puts their winter into perspective.
I would love to be thereFinally horseback riders! I would love to ride a horse around the city streets with no cars. Nice houses too. Those people were so lucky.
Two ladies?I suspect the man is adjusting the lady's stirrup. Remember that even an ankle showing during this time was shocking, so I seriously doubt he was doing anything even slightly inappropriate.
What is truly odd is that the sorrel horse is wearing a sidesaddle as well. Men didn't ride sidesaddle.  I wonder if the dark horse threw a shoe and the man was allowing the lady to ride his horse home? Or is there another lady we can't see?
[Count the legs -- there are three horses in this group. - Dave]
Clop-clopAnd the rare rider on horseback in a city.
Elm trees!And American Elms lining the street.
Even from 106 years and 2,000 miles awayI can hear those horses flipping out, and the riders screaming, "Slow down, you whippersnapper!"
Can't help but noticeThe woman riding sidesaddle. Her gentleman friend seems extra helpful.
Uh-ohI suspect that we'll soon see a Google Street View that shows this lovely tree-lined street of serenity has been replaced by one choked with automobiles, strip malls and gas stations. I hope I'm wrong.
So civilized!Wow. Such a quiet, peaceful street scene!  
It's hard to imagine such a civilized world.
Time TravelI have a new favorite.  Full size, zoom in, and walk back in time.  Well done, Dave.
Grew up hereThank you for showing this elegant street in its prime. I grew up in Buffalo and you could always catch a hint of what once was when driving down Delaware Avenue.
Delaware AvenueIn 1901, President William McKinley was shot at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo and brought to the home of Expo head John Milburn at 1168 Delaware Avenue. (The house was later, unbelievably, torn down and paved over for a parking lot -- with schoolchildren watching.) 
When McKinley took a turn for the worse, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt made his famous dash from Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks to Buffalo -- the trail is still there today. Feeling it was inappropriate to swear in at Mr. Milburn's house, where McKinley was being autopsied, Roosevelt moved his inauguration to his friend Ansley Wilcox's mansion, a away  at 641 Delaware Avenue. Today, it is the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site.
VroomMust be a crazed teenage driver.  I bet he has that thing up to 15, maybe 20 mph!
Oh my!I was more than a little shocked when I saw the man on the left with his hand under the skirt of the lady on the white horse. Even if it is her husband, I believe that show of affection in public was more than a little risque. I have to admit though, I do think it's very romantic.
Beautiful HomesI walk this stretch of Delaware Avenue every day at lunch.  This was the address to have in Buffalo at the turn of the 20th century. I have heard it said that more millionaires lived in Buffalo than any other American city at the time.
Many of these homes are still standing but occupied by businesses.  I can only imagine what it was like growing up in one of these places.
Those trees are no longer there, like the millions of others wiped out by Dutch Elm disease.
Delaware Avenue todayLooks pretty much the same.
View Larger Map
Beautiful BuffaloThank you for another gorgeous shot of beautiful Buffalo! I grew up in Buffalo and although some of this beauty is lost, we still have quite a bit.
(The Gallery, Buffalo NY, Cars, Trucks, Buses, DPC, Horses)

Words and Music: 1920
... additionally interesting for the details of President McKinley's grooming regimen. I believe (but can't be positive) that the ... care. It must not be inferred, however, that President McKinley does not know how to handle a razor. He has all the accomplishments ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/06/2012 - 1:56pm -

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Harry Wardman property, 1340 G Street." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.
John Dabney: Barber to Presidents.The ground floor barber shop at 1344 G appears to have been the business of semi-famous barber John W. Dabney.  A 1901 article regarding his hair tending activities is below: Dabney's clientele list is a who's who of the day's prominent politicians.  I find the news article additionally interesting for the details of President McKinley's grooming regimen.
I believe (but can't be positive) that the owner of "Dabney's" in this photo to be the same person based on two additional factoids:

The Post's legal notices, Jun 5, 1913, include reference to "John W. Dabney, 1344 G Sts. N.W."
 Census records list only one John W. Dabney in the relevant period.  The 1920 census cites him living at 618 R St, age 63, mulatto, born in Virginia, occupation: barber, owns his own shop.

He Shaves Great Men
Barber Whose Razor Moves Over Familiar Faces.

Over a little shop in an F street basement there presides a man who has perhaps pulled the noses of more distinguished men than any other man in the country.  Withal he has pulled them gently, and has for years been a great favorite of men who have thus been assailed by him.  He is John W. Dabney, a colored barber, who is the special barber of the President of the United States and of two score of other public men, who compelled to be shaved like ordinary mortals, delight in having that duty well done and with due regard to their own comfort and convenience.
There are three sets of official barbers in Washington, the Executive, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, but the dean of this corps is, or course, the man who shaves the President, looks after his hair, and keeps the Executive scalp in good condition.  Dabney is an artist in this line, and one of the most modest of men.  He is not talkative.  He has never yet contracted the failing of the average barber, and no man who wished to sleep would be kept awake while under his care.
It must not be inferred, however, that President McKinley does not know how to handle a razor.  He has all the accomplishments that belong to the first gentleman of the land, and shaves himself every morning.  Dabney is an occasional visitor only, and he becomes the official barber when the President's hair needs trimming and when his scalp demands attention.  This occurs about once a week.  There is a barber's chair at the White House, but is has fallen into disuse.  The President sits in an ordinary easy chair while Dabney spends the hour and a half usually required to properly dress Mr. McKinley's head and shave him.  The Presidential face is somewhat tender and demands some care.  His beard grow "stout" and must be handled gingerly.  In the chair the President is one of the most pleasant of men.  He talks freely and discusses current matters of the day, save politics.  That he carefully eschews.  He enjoys the operation, chats entertainingly, and after his head has been rubbed and scalp treated, as Dabney only knows how to treat it, the President expresses his satisfaction, and goes about his arduous duties refreshed and contented. 
Then Dabney returns to his shop and waits on ordinary mortals or makes the rounds of the houses where he is daily expected in his duties and require him to care for the hair of ladies of innumerable official families.  He is, as a barber, one of the most familiar figures in many of the leading families in Washington.  For thirty years he has wielded the scissors and razor, and twenty-three years of that time has been spent in Washington.  Among those now living whom he has or is servicing are, besides the President and Mrs. McKinley, Secretary Root, Secretary Long, Vice President-elect Roosevelt, Senator Frye, former Vice-President Stevenson, Justice Harlan, Gen. Miles, Admiral Dewey, Senator Hoar, Senator Carter, Gen. Clarkson, Henry Watterson, Gen. Tracy, former Secretary of the Navy, former Senators Murphy and Smith, and others.
Among the distinguished dead who were habitues of his shop were James G. Blaine, Secretary of State; W. W. Corcoran, philanthropist; Secretary Windom, of the Treasury; Secretary of Agricultural Rusk, Senator Farley, of California; Senator Vorhees, of Indiana, and many others. ...
Discussing the habits of great men in the chair, Dabney said: "Mr. Roosevelt was always chatty.  He discussed anything that happened to be the center of public attraction, politics, prize fights, sports, religion, or anything that people were talking and thinking about. Blaine and Corcoran were reticent.  They had little to day, but were always pleasant.  The German and French ministers like their own peculiar foreign hair cuts, expressed the satisfaction when well served, but did no talking.  Secretary Root likes good attention, is pleasant and agreeable, but reserved.  Secretary Long is a man of few words at all times, and fewer still when in the barber's chair.  Former Vice President Stevenson had a pleasant word whenever he entered the shop, took everything good naturedly, and was easily pleased.  Few men are testy when under the scissors or razor, in you only study what they like and endeavor to give it to them."
Since his appointment as the White House barber three years ago, Dabney has had many calls, not only for prominent officials but from many ladies, wives, of Cabinet officers, and others in Congressional and exclusive social circles, whom he attended for hair and scalp treatment.  One interesting thing in connection with his work is the fact that he has been of student of his profession and refuses to use any of the numerous so called remedies for the scalp with which the market is flooded.  He uses his own shampoos, tonics, &c., which are compounded by himself.  This secret, whatever it is, is zealously guarded by him, but he proudly asserts that the ladies of Washington society whom he treats regularly and whose hair he keeps in order commend him for the excellence of his work.  As a successor to Charles Leamis, who has been identified with the White House since Grant's first term, Dabney seems to have been succesful and to have won the favor of those with whom he comes in contact.
[article goes on to detail barbers of the House and Senate] 

Washington Post, Feb 3, 1901
also appeared in The Colored American, Jun 29, 1901

The Young Visiters"The Young Visiters" was written by Daisy Ashford when she was 9 years old (though not published until some years later).
The full text is available at project Gutenberg.
No ParkingI wonder how much a parking ticket was back then? 
Still waitingIt looks like it's still for lease (or at least part of it) after 88 years ...
View Larger Map
Wutta View!Shame about the "facadomy" applied to the face of this building over the years.  The original architecture was handsome and robust.  Trivia: I believe that's the roof of the Willard Hotel (14th & F Streets N.W.) appearing to the upper left of the subject building. The sign announcing the "smokeless boilers" may refer to the site's having natural gas service to supplant coal use-- the "smokeless" feature can be thought of as an antecedent to today's "green" technology. The streetcar tracks seen here belonged at the time to the Washington Railway & Electric Company, later becoming the Capital Transit Co.'s Route 20 line, which covered a LOT of territory from Bladensburg, Md., in the east of Washington to Cabin John, near Great Falls to the west of the city.  The "No Parking" sign was not taken seriously, if only because of its homemade look.
["Smokeless" generally meant coal-fired downdraft boilers. - Dave]

Double JeopardyFour of the five cars with visible license plates have 2 plates.  One plate on each car is D.C.  Can anyone know what the other one was and why the cars had two?
[Those are Maryland plates. In the days before motor vehicle reciprocity, a driver might need to have a license plate for every jurisdiction he drove in. - Dave]
Heads UpLook out! Mind the flowerpots!
Electrical Massage?Dabney's, under the bookstore, is apparently offering "Electrical Scalp and Facial Massages."  YOW!
You know, I love these old photos because, often as not, they remind us of how much we have in common with the people in them, in spite of the funny technology and hairdos.  
This is NOT such a time.  Electrical Face Massage?  They... run 120V through your face?  
I hope that I'm just ignorant of the process.
Harry WardmanIndication is, Harry lost his fortune in the 1929 Wall Street crash.  He had amassed $30 million.  Wouldn't a lot of it be in his vast real estate empire?  That would also have been depressed, but not like the stock market.
Autumn 1920I am always curious when Dave states something such as "circa 1920." To what extent is such a statement based on information attached to the photo and to what degree is it based on Dave's own research and intuition?
In this case, Dave, is indeed, quite accurate.  I date the photo to Autumn of 1920, bracketed by the following  Washington Post articles:

 Sep 26, 1920: Bellevue Farms Lunch (located behind the photographed construction signage) at 1334-1336 G st, had acquired #1332 G street and the premises were being remodeled to serve as the "Bellevue Annex, Dining and Tea Room," (matches signage seen in photo)
Dec 13, 1920: Advertisement announcing beauty services at Maison La Vigne, recently opened by Beatrix La Vigne Erly at 1342 G St. (this address still under construction in photo)
Jan 8, 1921: Bellevue Farms Lunch advertised that the former annex at 1332 G street is now functioning as "The Bellevue Bantam," a home style dining room serving "the same delicious Bellevue food." (signage in photo not yet updated reflect this name)

[The year is on the license plates. If the numbers aren't legible, you can often tell by the design. - Dave]

Still thereI work across the street from those buildings. They've been abandoned for approx 7 years (most recently they were the site of an adult bookstore/tattooist and palm reader). The bookstore building has been gone longer than that and is just a deep hole now. Just last week they've started to clean up the empty site of the bookstore, to make way for a new building which will be part of the Armenian Holocaust Museum being built there and in the old National Bank next door on the corner.
That's not the Willard in the background. The Willard is off the right side of the picture, 1 block down.
This stretch of G Street between 13th and 14th is one of the last "underdeveloped" areas downtown. Looking forward to some of the luster coming back.
+90As edition_of_one noted with the Google Street View, two of the buildings still exist although they are still vacant and have been for several years.  Prospects for tenants aren't great.  Below is the identical view taken in April of 2010.
Now goneAn update: These buildings have been demolished. The D.C. government threatened to declare them a blight and gave the owners a deadline to demolish them, otherwise the property taxes would have increased dramatically.  The demolition began a bit before Christmas and seems to have mostly wrapped up over the past MLK holiday weekend (Jan. 18-20).  Here's a WBJ story from last year about the fate of the buildings:
(The Gallery, Cars, Trucks, Buses, D.C., Natl Photo, Stores & Markets)

Machine Shop
On close inspection, I see a McKinley political sign. So would that be just before the turn of the century? ... also ran for President in 1896 (losing the nomination to McKinley). The 1896 Republican convention was in June , I would guess flag ... funny man with some notable acquaintances. [Reed and McKinley weren't "primary candidates" -- state presidential preference ... 
Posted by John.Debold - 09/21/2011 - 9:15pm -

On close inspection, I see a McKinley political sign. So would that be just before the turn of the century? View full size.
"Machine shop"These are linotype operators in a newspaper pressroom.
1896The 45-star flag became official 4 July 1896.  Thomas Reed also ran for President in 1896 (losing the nomination to McKinley).  The 1896 Republican convention was in June, I would guess flag makers (and the linotype shop) got an early jump on the new flags.
[The flag in the photo has 44 stars, not 45. - Dave]
LinotypeIn the 1950s my Uncle George Percy Gaskill of Barnegat, New Jersey, was the plant manager for Sleeper Publications in Mount Holly. I visited several times to observe his operation of the Linotype there. It was used to cast molten lead into "slugs," one for each line of type ("linotype")in a newspaper column. I have a couple of inserts that he made for me with my name.
Thomas ReedI was curious why this shop displayed both primary candidates, which led me to wikipedia. But I was soon distracted on the political story when I saw this about Thomas Reed...
He was known for his acerbic wit (asked if his party might nominate him for President, he noted "They could do worse, and they probably will"; asked if he would attend the funeral of a political opponent, his response was "no — but I approve of it"). On another occasion, when a fellow congressmen declared that he would "rather be right than the president," Reed coolly replied that the congressman needn't worry, since he would never be either. His size -- over 6 feet in height and weight over 300 pounds -- was also a distinguishing factor. Reed was a member of the social circle that included intellectuals and politicians Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge, Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Adams, John Hay and Mark Twain.
Interesting and funny man with some notable acquaintances.
[Reed and McKinley weren't "primary candidates" -- state presidential preference primaries didn't exist in 1896. The two were contenders for the Republican nomination at the party's national convention. - Dave]
IntertypeIf you look at the man on the left, closest to the camera, just to left of his head is a shaft inside a large spring. This indicates the these machines were Intertypes a typesetting machine very similar and in someways superior to the Linotype. How do I know? I spent my apprenticeship operating linotypes, and later in Australia spent some time on Intertypes. The shaft was attached to a plunger that pumped molten typemetal that cast the lines of type or slugs.That machine room would have been very noisy!
Linotypes, not Intertypes.Sorry, these can't be Intertypes, as the first Intertypes weren't in production until 1917. 
Both Linotypes (some models, some years) and Intertypes had the vertically mounted spring for the pot plunger, it wasn't until much later that Lintotype moved that spring into the column. The actuation was slightly different as ll, as you can see on my 1922 Intertype.
From here:
"Original pot plunger spring on Linotype Model I was positioned directly above plunger lever to exert a straight downward action. Intertype continued this method as the patent must have run out by 1912. The Intertype spring pressure is released by simply unscrewing a rod straight up. Linotype "improved" their machine by a system of levers to put this spring inside the column. This worked until a stronger spring was necessary to cast larger slugs and improve faces for reproduction proofs. I remember a time in Santa Rosa, California, when it was a three-man job to put that heavy spring back in place on a Model 8 Linotype."
etaoin  shrdlu cmfwyp vbgkqj xz
(ShorpyBlog, Member Gallery)

New York Giants: 1900
... I would say the photo is circa September 26, 1896. [McKinley ran with Roosevelt in 1900, not 1896. Also, the Woodbridge Building ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/19/2012 - 11:38pm -

New York, 1900. "St. Paul and Park Row buildings, two tallest buildings in the world." Note the campaign banner at the bottom of the photo, shot from the Woodbridge building. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing. View full size.
Tiny Sample HatsWhen we emptied out my parents' house of 54 years worth of stuff saved, I found two small miniature oval hat boxes in perfect condition from Knox Hats.  Each contained a finely detailed sample of one of their products and I saved them because they were so unique.  After seeing this picture today I put "Tiny Knox Hats" in the search space and came up with pages of info, several of which were people selling salesmens' samples of same.  I had no idea these are collectible and now I have to find the ones I brought home which were not shown on the "vintage collectibles" auctions.  My father always wore a hat and he had many including Knox, Adams, Dobbs, Stetsons, Danbury, Russian fur, Panamas, etc. and I donated them all to a thrift store.  Now I wish I had them. We get too soon old and too late smart.
Man on LedgeIf you look at the building (the one with all the window shutters open) to the right of the Knox the Hatter building, you will see a man standing on a ledge on the floor just below the roof.  There is a large oil or water tank to his right.  I don't think he was a window washer.  Could he have been a sign painter who was about to paint a message on the large black rectangle on the side of the building right in back of him?  To say that he is perched precariously would be an understatement.
DPOC TCCThey'd probably just turn themselves into an acronym today
I would say the photo is circa September 26, 1896. 
[McKinley ran with Roosevelt in 1900, not 1896. Also, the Woodbridge Building was erected in 1897. - tterrace] 
Whoops, I stand corrected.  This was for his 2nd term campaign.  The extract I posted from the New York Times (deleted by Shorpy, I guess) was in preparation for his 1st term.
Hat HistoryKnox the Hatter was clearly a mover and shaker in Old New York. Read all about it here and here.
Knox the HatterDuring my commuting days I remember seeing a Knox Hats shop on 8th Ave across the street from the Port Authority. They had a beautiful neon sign and it stood out from the other grimy storefronts along the street.  
Armeny & Marion PensIn the early 1870's Armeny & Marion Co. made extension pens under their own name, but they soon began to make these along with gold filled caps for stylographic pens and gold bands to supply other pen makers. Armeny & Marion Co. was a very early investor in Lewis Waterman's Ideal Pen co.
Armeny & Marion Co
Skyscrapers in search of a paradigmIt's interesting to see that these structures are, despite their giant size, still following the model of the storefronts and brownstones at the bottom of the frame -- embellished street-front facades, with the rear and sides very plain or totally unadorned, resulting in two or three completely different architectural treatments for the same building. Note the blank-faced section of the St. Paul facing us, fronted with a zillion bricks, enclosing the ventilation and elevator or stair shafts. It looks like an urban grain elevator. (For the street-front sides, see this view.)
Where's the water?The first thing I noticed are the missing water towers. I see a few, but if you look out onto NYC rooftops today all you'll see are the water towers, looking like fat, rusty spaceships.
Park Row & St. Paul 1908This postcard from a New York City friend, was sent to my grandparents in August of 1908.
May have answered my questionI think I may have found the reason why the aforementioned man is perched on the ledge of the building with all the shutters open.  I started looking more closely and discovered that there is another man two floors below and slightly to the left that seems to be on a scaffold.  It looks as though he is painting the shutters.  If you look in back of the first man higher up, you can see a bucket.  It looks as if these two were painters.  This would also explain why all the shutters were thrown open the way they were:  they had just been painted and were in the process of drying.
Bldgs and streets?Can someone please post a current view, and ID the tallest spires and the streets that are visible? Is that the old Post Office to the right of the 2 skyscrapers? Is view to west or northwest?
(The Gallery, DPC, NYC)

I at First: 1901
... rowhouse windows, possibly in the aftermath of President McKinley's assassination. 8x10 glass negative, D.C. Street Survey Collection. ... 
Posted by Dave - 02/01/2021 - 12:51pm -

Washington, D.C., 1901. "Elevated view looking southeast from Randall Elementary School -- I Street at First Street S.W." Note the gas holder, or gasometer, at right; and black bunting or mourning crepe under the rowhouse windows, possibly in the aftermath of President McKinley's assassination. 8x10 glass negative, D.C. Street Survey Collection. View full size.
Tall open structure on far leftAnyone have an idea what that could be?  It looks like a 'house on stilts' and is probably relatively modern, as that could be metal rather than wood posts.  I see a smokestack as part of the structure (and that makes me wonder what they're using for fuel, possibly natural gas?) 
[There was no natural gas in D.C. back then. The gas used for fuel at the time was coal gas, a.k.a. illuminating gas or "city gas." - Dave]
Whose at Second?Someone was going to say it!
[Whose what? - Dave]
No! What's at third.  Who's at second!
OleaginousTo answer the question posed by TheGerman, the Nicolai Brothers are listed in the 1901 city directory under "Oil dealers" alongside Standard Oil. Draw your own conclusions.  
Privy to Your Secret GardenI recall reading years ago a book titled "Washington Goes To War" written by the very talented newsman David Brinkley. In it, he described D.C. at the start of WWII as a very Southern city with many thousands of outdoor privies still in use. Plenty here in 1901, which must have made that back alley splendiferous on a hot summer day.
In the distanceThe church at left in the background is St. Matthew’s Chapel. A check of the 1903 Baist atlas doesn’t provide any clues (to me, anyway) about the nature of the “penthouse on stilts” just north (and east?) of it, also on M Street SE.
Three units of inquiryOne: Were the brick tenements built so that each unit had two fireplaces (hence two chimneys apiece), or were there two residential units per long narrow section (a front and a back), with one fireplace apiece? I'm inclined to believe it's the former but I'd like to know what other Shorpy sharp-eyes think.
Two: There is something standing in the field about midway down the long line of youngish trees. It looks like a horse with its head down, grazing. Do my eyes deceive me, or is it indeed an equine unit with the munchies?
Three: Beneath the far-right upstairs window of the brick tenement to the left of the wooden apartment building is what looks like an air conditioning unit. But since those weren't invented until thirty years later (I looked it up), what could it be?
Not an AC UnitThat is a window planter box and those are most likely cows grazing in the fields.
If you wanted fresh milk in 1901 it was best to have a cow nearby.
Looking at these photos always make me feel as if I was living there at that time. It looks so familiar. 
[That biscuit crate under the window is nature's refrigerator. The animal in the vacant lot at the center of the frame is indeed a horse. If you wanted fresh milk, Washington was well supplied with dairies. - Dave]
Re: Three units of inquiryOne: My best guess is that there are two fireplaces, one at ground level and one at the first floor. Note that one of the chimneys is not like all the others, there is one much larger chimney to the left of the gas holder at the left end of the building. I wonder what that is for??
Two: Could be, but my eyesight isn't what it used to be.
Three: This might be a wooden(?) crate to store milk bottles or food/liquids that require cooler temperatures rather than an AC unit. We are looking to the southeast so this side of the building doesn't get much sunshine in the winter.
What I would like to know is what kind of oils the Nicolai Brothers are selling??? Is that oil used for heating, oil (of various density) to lubricate small and large machines or oil meant for human consumption (cooking oil etc.)??
[Nicolai Bros. supplied the District with naphtha fuel for street lighting. This liquid hydrocarbon was a byproduct of coal gasification.  - Dave]
Re third questionIf my dad were around, he would tell you that it might be an "ice" box.  In college in Virginia (pre-WWII), he had one outside his third story dorm room window.  He and his roommate built it to keep their sloe gin, beer, and other necessities nice and cool.  Worked well in cooler and winter months, not so well in warmer or summer months.    
(The Gallery, D.C., D.C. Street Survey)

Anvil Chorus: 1905
Washington, D.C., circa 1905-1910. "McKinley School shop." Side note: The McKinley track team was called the Blacksmiths. Harris & Ewing. View full ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/22/2012 - 9:30pm -

Washington, D.C., circa 1905-1910. "McKinley School shop." Side note: The McKinley track team was called the Blacksmiths. Harris & Ewing. View full size.
Surprisingly clean!For a blacksmith shop. Someone needs to pick up the L square though.
Preparing the students of today ... ... for the careers of yesteryear! Reminds me of Junior HS in the early 1970s and a course called Industrial Arts, which taught some useful things. But it also had a segment on typesetting (!) That was probably the equivalent of learning blacksmithing on the eve of the automotive age.
For some is yesterday, it would seem. About 30 years ago, our newspaper converted to "cold type," a paste-up, photographic and offset printing process that was the bee's knees then, but obsolete now. Our local area community college sent us an "intern" that summer who was majoring in hot-lead Linotype operation. We sure chuckled, and he was flabbergasted. Just the other day, my grandson began making a wooden goblet in "shop." I'm willing to bet the community college he might attend is teaching newspaper paste-up right about now, while its graduates will be faced with desktop publishing, Internet technology, and the probable demise of paper-based newspapers as we know them.
Can you say CO poisoning?I see about 6 coal fired forges with not much ventilation other than a few open windows. Maybe the contraption on the back wall is some kind of vent system?
Hardly yesteryear!Blacksmithing is a fantastic way to introduce students to metal, its properties and possibilities.  It is one of the  great "DIY" skills.  Plus, understanding the history of an art is always beneficial, and hands-on, practical exposure, when possible, is best.  Kids today are lucky if they have access to a forge at school.
My friend the blacksmithSending this to, I know he'll appreciate it.
Well VentilatedEach forge has its own hood and vent.
Clang, clangWow, imagine the racket in this room!  No ear (or eye!) protection in those days...  
On reading the title, my first thought was of David Lang percussion solo of that name.  Only after I Googled "Anvil Chorus" did I realize the phrase was better known from Verdi's Il Trovatore.  
I'm happy I got to work in a metal shop for a time a few years ago when I lost my software job.  It was some of the most satisfying work I've done...  
Nothing wrong with "old" technologyThe comments on industrial arts strike close to home. In junior high school (now renamed "middle school") my shop class included setting type by hand. Sure, learning paste-up today would leave you baffled when facing a computer... except that paste-up is the analogue to computer layout, just as cold type was the analogue to hot lead. But it's probably a pied type tray that steered me into graphic design.
There's no reason not to learn something because it ain't the newest and "bestest." Most often, learning the foundations of your craft helps makes you better at present-day applications (and a heckuvalot more appreciative of new tools). 
And let's not forget that using old technology can give you a niche in a crowded market. How else would you explain handmade paper, successful letter press publishers, or The Woodwright's Shop?
Steve Miller
Someplace near the crossroads of America
Shop classWow, it's a high school shop class and not a single bong is being made. Times sure have changed!
Fantastic detail!As for ventilation, you can just see the edge of the roof vent, basically a skylight. The big motor at the back center is the blower -- the snail direction is blowing down into the floor.
You can see a pipe coming up from the floor to the forge, right below the arm of the blurry boy on the extreme near left. I'm not familiar with that pattern forge, but that hood isn't just for decoration. 
The other motor at the back also appears to run a blower, appears to exhaust up like a chimney, and has a hood attached. I'm assuming, then, the small blower blows the forge, the larger one draws through the forge hoods as an exhaust.
The exhaust motor -- a variable speed DC according to the wall controls -- also drives a short lineshaft. There's a power hammer on the left end (below the clock and anchor), a pedestal grinder behind the boy with his hands on his hips (note the larger drive pulley to increase the driven spindle speed) and a small drill press seen right under the triangular fume hood on the right.
Buffalo Forge may well have made all three tools, in addition to the forges themselves.
Anyone notice the boy looking into the room through the double doors at the back left?
Fantastic description by DocNAnd a view of the forges in more detail at another high school.
Old SkillBlacksmithing is an old skill but that doesn't mean it's a dead skill. Think of these guys next time you buy a set of wrought iron railings for stairs or a custom design gate for your yard. These are the skills that make those things.
LightingI LOVE the lights hanging in the foreground! They look like they have an electric bulb, but they're clearly modeled like a gas lamp.
[They are gas lamps. - Dave]
(The Gallery, D.C., Education, Schools, Harris + Ewing)

After Antietam: 1862
... way to go. It’s worth mentioning that President William McKinley was at Antietam as a sergeant in the 23rd Ohio Infantry. One of the 96 monuments on the battlefield is in memory of McKinley; it was erected two years after his assassination in 1901. Then ... 
Posted by Dave - 09/25/2012 - 4:15pm -

September 1862. "Antietam, Maryland. Confederate dead by a fence on the Hagerstown road." The first major battle of the Civil War on Union territory was fought 150 years ago this month. Wet plate glass negative. View full size.
Photo by Alexander Gardner?Just a guess.
ObservationsI've seen this shot before but never been able to see it so large. Notice, there are no weapons in evidence, obviously  gathered up. The tree line in the far distance, maybe the entire sky appears to have undergone some editing.
It looks as though the blanket roll of the Reb on the left has been "examined" and there appear to be markers in evidence, one bearing the number "4" on one of the nearest groups and there maybe one other on a further group. 
John Dorsey Johnson, 50th PennsylvaniaMy great great grandfather served in this terrible war from its inception in 1861 to its conclusion. Antietam was one of many horrific battles in which his unit fought. I have the diaries he kept during the war, passed down to me by my grandfather.
He served on the committee that organized the 50th anniversary of this battle, and erected the statue to Col. Benjamin Christ. JDJ died in 1922 and is buried near his home in Franklindale, Pa.
150 years ago23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after twelve hours of battle, September 17, 1862.
I can't imagine how much worse the entire battlefield looked.
TreelineI looks like the emulsion was trimmed away at the treeline with a sharp knife. I wonder what they were cutting away.
[The sky has been inked out to make it white, as opposed to the black you see around the edges. - Dave]
Visit if you canMy family and I had been to Gettysburg twice and decided two years ago to visit Antietam and also nearby Harpers Ferry, WV.  For any Civil War buff, at trip there is a must.  I love Gettysburg, but compared to Antietam, it is more commercialized.  The battlefield today is nearly the same as it was in 1862.  The photo above taken on the Hagerstown Pike is right next to The Cornfield where the battle started the morning of September 17th and where some of the heaviest fighting took place.
The Dead of AntietamThere is a detailed discussion of the background of that photograph in the NY Times which can be read here:
Sharpsburg was a bloody slaughter and the photo was among the first to bring home the sheer horror of war to ordinary people.
Antietam CasualtiesCasualties at Antietam far exceeded those of any other one-day battle involving Americans: The North had about 12,400 killed, wounded or missing and the South’s total was about 10,320. I say “about” because the ferocious combat on that day affected accurate record keeping. In the morning phase of the battle alone nearly 14,000 of the 43,700 troops engaged (both sides) were casualties. For comparison American casualties on D-Day, June 6, 1944, according to the U.S. Army Center of Military History, totaled 6,036, including wounded and missing. British and Canadian troops had about 6,000 of their own. 
More than two-thirds of deaths in the Civil War occurred not in battle but as a result of disease. Medical care had a long way to go. It’s worth mentioning that President William McKinley was at Antietam as a sergeant in the 23rd Ohio Infantry. One of the 96 monuments on the battlefield is in memory of McKinley; it was erected two years after his assassination in 1901.
Then and NowNPR has some "then and now" shots of the battlefield, including this Shorpy photo.
Frassanito's "Antietam"This book tried to find the location of all these Gardner pictures.  He found that this picture is looking North, the Hagerstown Road is to the right of the fence.
Here Starke's Louisiana Brigade fought the 6th Wisconsin of the Iron Brigade, basically just across the road and a second fence line to the right.  The Union attack was coming from the north, on the other side of the fences, and Starke pivoted to take them in flank.  The 6th turned to face them and both were engaged for some time, suffering severe losses.
(The Gallery, Alexander Gardner, Civil War)

Machine Shop: 1917
... Supervising manufacture of practice shells for Navy at McKinley training school." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative, ... Mr. Hecox, most of whose teaching years were spent at McKinley and Central high schools, was born in Niagara County, New York, and ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/27/2012 - 4:47pm -

1917. "C.W. Hecox, instructor in machine shop, D.C. public schools. Supervising manufacture of practice shells for Navy at McKinley training school." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative, Library of Congress. View full size.
Very FarkableThis has tremendous Fark potential. How long before it gets Farked?
Secret scienceThey had finally assembled their first satellite, but would have to wait quite a while before someone invented the rocket.
How many times do I have to tell you?Do not wear stripes with plaid!
Potential ouchiesOK, this is my first comment as a long time Shorpy lurker. I'm a NC programmer at present, was a toolmaker for many years, machinist before that, and a plain old machine operator before that. I did the usual high school machine shop classes in 1973-1976. I made a cannon or two, a couple of vises, but no pipes.
That said, IMHO this guy is looking for trouble. He's not wearing safety glasses, he's got a ring on, he's wearing a necktie (tucked in though), long sleeves, and last but not least, he's wearing a striped coat with checkered pants!
Granted, it's 1917; OSHA is nowhere in sight. The teacher isn't much better: no safety glasses, long sleeves, necktie (again, tucked in), and he's stopping the lathe from floating away. At least their hair is short and out of harms way.
This picture makes me cringe just looking at it. I wouldn't mind having the lathe though.
The cageThe four basket-weave hatches give access to the commutator (this was a DC motor) and the brushes. A belt-drive from the end away from the camera led down to the gearbox (the rectangular shape that the motor is sitting on.)
When I commenced my apprenticeship in 1964, the workshop had one of these old-timers. It wasn't used very often, preference being given to the more modern lathes at the time.
On a side note, Occupational Health & Safety in those days consisted of the boss saying "Be careful!" That was from an era when "common sense" was also an acceptable term.
BHK in Australia
"Hix" Hecox

Bicyclist Collides With a Carriage

Mr. C.W. Hecox, a bicyclist, while riding up the hill through the north side of the capitol grounds last evening, ran into a one-horse surrey with a gentleman and three ladies on it.  Mr. Hecox was riding fast and did not see the approaching vehicle until the horse reared on his hind feet.  It was impossible for the rider to stop until he struck the horse.  The bicycle was damaged.  Mr. Hecox arose from the ground and said that he was not hurt, but after the carriage left he fainted, but soon revived and rode off.

Washington Post, Jul 27, 1893 

Public Schools of Washington Seen in Classrooms and Recreation Hours

Prof. Clarence W. Hecox, of Tech, is a motorcycle enthusiast.  According to several of his fellow pedagogues, he is so devoted to his machine that he wears motorcycle clothing - leggings, bloomers, and all.  He is frequently mudspotted from head to foot. ...

Washington Post, Feb 15, 1914 

Hecox, Master Coach, Is One of the Old-Timers at Rowing Game

Teddy Roosevelt and his famous cavalcade of roughriders were whooping it up in Cuba and Spain and the United States were locked in a grueling struggle for possession of the island just off the Florida coast, when a young fellow by the name of Clarence W. Hecox first conceived the idea of introduced rowing in the public high schools.  He was an officer of the Columbia Athletic Club, one of Washington's most popular sporting fraternities, and a great believer in physical culture.
The idea was frowned upon.  The cost of launching a shell and outfitting a crew was prohibitive, but "Hix" persisted in his efforts and they were finally crowned with success.  That was back in 1898.  The first boatload was recruited at Central High School.  The boys failed to startle the world with their rowing, but Hecox was well satisfied with the venture.  Rowing has long since been abandoned by the schoolboys.
From 1913, when he first went with the Analostan Club, His has sent 27 winning eight-oared crews to the starting line.  His junior eights have carried off the honors in the last 11 Southern Rowing Association regattas, enough to stamp the gray-haired veteran one of the most proficient coaches in the East.

Washington Post, Aug 16, 1933 

C.W. Hecox, School Coach, Dead at 79

Funeral services for Clarence Wirt Hecox, 79, retired District public school teacher and coast who died Saturday at his home, 1052 N. Nelson st., Arlington, will be held at 11 a.m. today at the Free Methodist Church, Prince and Lee sts., Alexandria.  Burial will be in the Glenwood Cemetery, Washington.
Mr. Hecox, who had been ill for several years, retired in 1941 after more than 30 years of teaching machine shop with applied mathematics, and coaching football, baseball, and other sports.
A half century ago, he coached rowing at various local boat clubs and championed the sport in public schools.  Several of his pupils in the sport won honors in the collegiate world.
Mr. Hecox, most of whose teaching years were spent at McKinley and Central high schools, was born in Niagara County, New York, and came to Washington about 60 years ago.
He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Geneva Johnston Hecox, and a nephew, Lemuel W. Owen, of Chicago.

Washington Post, Jan 2, 1951 

Apparently, as Hix neared retirement he spent a lot of time weeding his garden and decided to apply his shop skills to the problem: Patent for a weed puller.
Dozens more articles about Hecox are in the Washington Post archives, mostly concerning his days coaching crew teams.
Working in a machine shopWorking in a machine shop wearing a loose sleeved jacket and a tie... thats what I call an accident waiting to happen.
Does anyone know what the big ball/cage on top of the lathe is?
Hecox researchI guess our stanton_square's delving into the Washington Post archives disclosed nothing about the years C.W. spent in Hollywood under the name of Boris Karloff, enacting mad doctor scenes just like this.
Inside the sphereMy guess would be an electric motor.
Shop Safety.I entered the Henry Ford Trade School in 1936 at age 14. The wearing of safety glasses and ear protection in our factories started, if I remember correctly, in the late 1950s. We can not fault the lack of safety equipment in 1917 any more than fault them for not using a modern lathe. 
Set the Wayback Machine I've been retired for sixteen years, not long in the scheme of things industrial, but I remember working on the same lathe and others like it, though mostly Italian imports by then. The coveted machines were the Brown and Sharps, as they had the most precise gear-boxes. Most old school tool makers were leery of the new CNC machines, they felt that the computer took the human element out of machining. I guess the old leather belt machinists felt the same way.
(The Gallery, D.C., Education, Schools, Harris + Ewing, WWI)

Nantasket Beach: 1905
... Sarah Bernhardt, Wallis Simpson, President William McKinley and opera star Enrico Caruso, who gave two performances here, all ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/02/2012 - 7:43pm -

Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts, circa 1905. "Atlantic House and surf bathers." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
I love the beach scenes butAll I can think of is the uncomfortable ride home with sand in my bathing suits. I can't imagine the level of discomfort these people felt. I do love seeing people relaxing and enjoying themselves though.
Great HotelI know nothing about the hotel resort on the hill but if it's like any of the other hotels we've seen pictures on Shorpy of, I can guess it was probably destroyed in a fiery disaster. 
Surf NantasketFifty or so years after this photo was taken, Boston's iconic DJ Arnie Ginsburg would be hosting record hops at the Surf Nantasket. Arnie's now retired to the coast of Maine. Boston folks still remember Arnie at the Surf Nantasket.
Atlantic HouseThe name of the hotel is in the caption -- Atlantic House.  And yes, it burned to the ground, in January 1927.  It was built in 1877 by John Damon and later enlarged to about 175 rooms. Most of the site is now occupied by the Atlantic Hill Condominiums.
Looks Like SandDefinitely sand on the left.  Possibly Easter Sunday.
1879 EngravingAtlantic House on the left. Click to enlarge.

Skinny Dipper!Well, can't tell for sure; maybe that kid has on shorts, but considering the usual attire of the period, even that'd be pretty darn skinny!
[He is shockingly shirtless. Avert your gaze, ladies. - Dave]
My New WallpaperI think this might be my favorite beach shot to date.  There's so much to love.  The grand hotel, the beach houses, the Edwardian attire, the couple holding hands in the surf, the little kids wading.
Great Hotel DestroyedIn the late 19th century, The Atlantic House was the most famous summer hotel in New England due to its many  and varied notable guests.  Sarah Bernhardt, Wallis Simpson, President William McKinley and opera star Enrico Caruso, who gave two performances here, all enjoyed the fine accommodations the Atlantic House offered. Conveniences for guests included stairs directly to the beach and bath houses directly on the beach. The 175 room hotel burned to the ground during a blizzard on January 7, 1927.
I was just at this beachI was just at this beach last weekend. Aside from the attire and the buildings, it looks much the same. It's known for its dramatic variation between high and low tides. At low tide (depicted here) the beach is at least a quarter-mile wide; at high tide everyone is crowded up against the seawall just beyond the right edge of the frame here. On the other side of that (and the main road) would have been the famous Paragon Park.
Sea Bathing Absolutely Safe

How to See Boston: A Trustworthy Guide Book, 1895. 

Boston Harbor

Nantasket Beach is reached from Hull by the steamboat crossing Hingham Bay and ascending the serpentine Weir River; or by a railway, running along the sea-bounds. It is a fine expanse of gray sand, several miles long, between the ocean and the harbor, beaten by a light surf, and affording opportunity for safe bathing. Above the high-tide line are groups of hotels, restaurants, chowder-houses, and bathing-houses, where Anglo-Saxon-Celtic-Latin-Slav Boston sends tens of thousands of her citizens on torrid summer days. It is a grand place for "a good time" in a democratic way.

United States Investor, June 28, 1913. 

Atlantic House
Nantasket Beach, Mass.
One Hour from Boston by Boat or Train.
Rates: $5 per day and upwards
One Hundred Feet Above Sea Level.
Sea Bathing Absolutely Safe.
Address Linfield D. Damon, Manager

CanoeWonder how the canoe would handle the small surf? Interesting choice of seaside watercraft.
The Shorpy Curse!Another Grand Building destroyed by fire!
(The Gallery, DPC, Swimming)

We Are the Champions: 1913
... in the bow tie. Technical High School This was the McKinley Technical High School. The building still stands at 7th and R Streets ... High School in 1902 and was almost immediately renamed McKinley Technical High School. McKinley moved into a new building in 1928, ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/04/2012 - 4:08am -

Washington, D.C., 1913. "Technical High School. Football team." Some of the nicest chaps you'd ever want to meet. Harris & Ewing Collection. View full size.
What gets me about group how you can look over the group several times, and not see some of the people. You just kind of glance right past them, while some stand out. There are times where you really have to make an effort to make sure you look at each person. The ones you look past would make good spies. They blend.
Also, isn't that Dr. Evil's son second on the left, center row?
SpikelessSome of these guys seem to be wearing their dress shoes, and the one fellow has no laces in his.
You on the far right, front rowMy heart has melted.  Sigh.
Original Moptops!With each of these photos featuring early twentieth century boys, a particular thought always comes to mind. Why were the conservative 50's-60's era parents so aghast by the Beatles "radically long" hairstyles? They saw hair just as long on the childhood photos of their own parents!
1913 Static Electricity TestsYou'd act like a nice chap too if every time the group standing in suits behind you took your picture, they jolted you with 6 volts of electricity. Notice almost nobody is smiling, but many of them have hair standing on end. As for the wardens watching from behind the doors, with hats on ...
WonderingPhotos like this always make you wonder who these young men were, what became of them, did they survive WWI, and why the folks looking through the glass couldn't make the team.
Tech RosterAccording to contemporaneous newspaper accounts.  The names on the Tech roster are listed below.  The newspaper articles don't list separate defensive/offensive lines.  Was it the protocol of the day that the same players would play offense and defense?

L.E. - Roberts
L.T. - Boryer
L.G. - Harrison
Center - Gibson
R.G. - Easter
R.T. - Supplee
R.E. - Putnam
Q.B. - Steed
L.H. - Ochsenreiter
R.H. - Hardell
F.B. - Parker

Addition listed names include Fraser, Hart, McCarthy, Gude, White, and Felt
The stars of the team appear to be "Gene" Ochsenreiter, "Jakey" Roberts, Easter & Supplee

Matches on their 1913 schedule:

Episcopal High (Alexandria)
Navy Plebes (Annapolis)
Business High
Army and Navy Preps
Central High
George University Preps
Western High
Eastern High

HardheadsI don't see any kind of headgear anywhere.  Is this before they were even known as "leatherheads?"
[They wouldn't be wearing their headgear for a team portrait. - Dave]
Bully for youMore than one of these guys looks like he made life absolute hell for some poor freshman. Particularly Mr. Cro-Magnon in the bow tie.
Technical High SchoolThis was the McKinley Technical High School.  The building still stands at 7th and R Streets NW.  It's now housing for seniors, and is named the Asbury Dwellings.
The school opened as Technical High School in 1902 and was almost immediately renamed McKinley Technical High School.  McKinley moved into a new building in 1928, and this building was transferred into the part of the school system for African American children.  It was known as Shaw Junior High School from 1928 to 1977.
These are some other images of the school that you've posted:
(The Gallery, D.C., Harris + Ewing, Sports)

Good Coal and Wood: 1909
... A park ranger was sent out to tell him that President McKinley, who had been shot earlier by an anarchist, was dying and he had ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/21/2012 - 11:59am -

New York circa 1909. "Broadway -- Saranac Lake, Adirondack Mountains." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
I just realizedthat it's a bridge.
New BridgeWonder when the bridge got replaced.
Is that you, Ernest?Ernest Crice, the hustling newsboy. Oh to step back into this era for just a few hours!  Stop at Ernest's to get the paper, then go to the Ice Cream Parlor for a sundae before picking up your things from A. Fortune's Public Market, putting them in your horse-drawn carriage and heading home once again.
 You would have to be careful crossing the street though. The mix of mud and manure could be noisome on a hot summer day, I am sure. 
Good coalSometimes you have to shop around.
+102That spot today (right around 20 Broadway); many of the same buildings are still there.  Street is certainly in better shape!
View Larger Map
Standard TimeIf I'm reading it right, the watch hanging from the hardware store is six hours and thirteen minutes fast.
Ice CreamI concur with the sign. Ice Cream can cure what ails you.
Sans WhimsyThat building in the distance, with the corner tower, is gone. The tower doesn't appear to be usable, but just adds a nice, charming touch.  Whimsy is good.
Vital ServicesNote the taxidermist -- very important in this vacation area frequented by wealthy sportsmen who wanted proof that they got their bear, elk, or other quarry.
One of those sportsmen was Theodore Roosevelt, then Vice President.  A park ranger was sent out to tell him that President McKinley, who had been shot earlier by an anarchist, was dying and he had should return to civilization.  This was on Sept. 13, 1901.  
As opposed to that bad coalImagine a time when we didn't know there was any downside to coal! (Wait, some people still don't, apparently!)
I would appreciate a high-res scan of that utility pole with the comically tiny transformers. (Apparently this utility was one to split hairs when it came to phase balancing.)

Thanks Dave!
The way the secondaries are connected makes me think these are standard (for the era) 2200 volt transformers wired to an 1100 volt circuit (obsolete even back then). That explains three tiny transformers for separate two-wire services.
RampedDoes anyone know what is the purpose of the construct next to the horse and buggy on left side of the street?
[It looks just like the thing on the other side of the street! It's the bracing for a small truss bridge. - Dave]
Great photoI love these very old LARGE photos because it allows the viewer to immerse themselves in that time period, even if only for a moment.  I love putting myself into the photo.  How I wish there was actually a time machine.  I'd be the first one in it.
Saranac Lake todayI lived and worked in Saranac Lake for a number of years earlier in this decade and was last there in October.
I love this picture. Most of these buildings, including the one in the distance, are still extant. Whiteface Lodge and its turret were removed in the 1930s or later.
The Saranac River bridge was replaced in the late 1920s or early 1930s. The new and present bridge definitely has plaques honoring the Harrietstown supervisor and councilmen.
TrussedThe structure is a truss.  A truss can carry a load on its top or bottom.  In this case the bridge is attached to the bottom of the trusses. Must be a pretty shallow distance to the water.
(The Gallery, DPC, Small Towns, Stores & Markets)

Mt. Tom Railway: 1908
... Tom was a very fashionable summer retreat, even President Mckinley went there at least once. Holyoke's paper and silk based economy ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/08/2012 - 7:37pm -

Holyoke, Massachusetts (vicinity), circa 1908. "An elevating car -- Mount Tom Railway." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
Self-LevelingThe gears and chain underneath the car enabled the car to "self-level" based on the underlying terrain such that passengers were always kept sitting upright relative to the slope of the incline, making the ride slightly more comfortable.
More than enoughI'm hoping it didn't take eight people to run this wonderful machine up and down the Mount Tom run.  And I'd move away from the fellow in the second to last row, he doesn't look too steady, if you get my drift.
Looks like for more info on this railway.
NOTICEAnyone smiling will be removed by the conductor(s) immediately.
The Place to BeOnce Holyoke was the place to be. It had an opera house, literary societies and stunning architecture. Indeed, some of New York's best architects from the early 20th century got their start there. And Mountain Park on Mt. Tom was a very fashionable summer retreat, even President Mckinley went there at least once. Holyoke's paper and silk based economy boomed until the end of the WWII.
Deindustrialization has hit Holyoke hard and the place now has a reputation of being a very rough town. But once it was really at the pinnacle of society in the Northeast.
ObedienceWith the exception of the ghosty lady in the first row of seats, it appears that almost everybody else sat still, looked at the birdy and didn't smile.
I Guess I Need to "Brush" up on LocomotionI can't figure out what purpose the brushes might serve on the bottom of the streetcar. Were they used for electric pickups or were they just for dirty boots? The wires along the top of the rails are also a mystery.
[The lower conductors are telephone wires. - Dave]
A clean track is a happy trackAnyone have any idea what the brushes are for at both ends of this car?
ExcessWant some tram with your conductors?
The brusheslook like they were a local modification, and they are outboard of the rail, so they're not there to clean it. They have a bonding wire running from them up into the car. So I'll make an educated guess and suggest that the car was prone to charging up, and the brushes were to intended to ground it at the carstops, to prevent the passengers from getting a jolt when they got on or off. More intriguing to me is the chain drive from the rear axle to the shaft at the centre of the truck - can't even begin to guess what that was for.
Uniform of the dayI count SIXTEEN people wearing uniforms, most seem to be conductors.
The brushes appear to be groundedPerhaps they're there to discharge static electricity when they reach the platform to avoid shocks?
Musical ConductorsI believe there are only two conductors, one driving and one at the back.  They have the same type of hats (double braid).  The other men in Nero collar jackets appear to be band members possibly arriving for the day's work at the top of the hill.
[I guess they'd be fiddlers, then. - Dave]
Safety brake sensor, not self-leveling chain driveThis is an intriguing semi-funicular trolley railway, unique so far as I can find, but there is virtually zero technical decription available of its design from the period, at least on the internet. Including the two Shorpy hi-rez photos there are only about a dozen photos in all, most fuzzy. And not a single photo of the summit's sheave 8 ft diameter unpowered pulley. Contrast that with the Lake George Catskills funicular, of which even the suppliers of each piece of the system are known, and line drawings available.
Yet the two Mt Tom trolleycars themselves are quite spectacular high quality designs for the period to my engineering eyes. They lasted forty years. So who was responsible? For my personal interest's sake, I have figured out how it all worked, which for an old retired mechanical engineer has been quite interesting to say the least. Thanks Shorpy for publishing these two photos in the first place. 
The chain drive from the railwheel axle through the bearing journal cover is to a governor shaft/regulator mechanism, not dissimilar to the Lake George arrangement by Otis which preceded this rail line. If the cable breaks, and the car runs away, the regulator senses the overspeed or reversal of rotation and activates the braking jaws on the car to grab the third iron rail and stop the car. Presumably it stops the electric motors as well.
The self-leveling argument for the seats seems to have been invented out of thin air by another blogger and repeated here. The seats themselves can be seen here to be pre-tilted so that they were more level when on the actual incline.
The brushes are the way only the Elizur Holyoke, which always took the left turnout at the bypass facing uphill whether ascending or descending, remained in telephone contact during the bypass phase of the journey. One brush arm is longer than the other to reach the appropriate wire - internal contact method unknown. 
Beyond the turnout bypass either up or down, both cars used the two wires to the right of the line facing uphill for telephone contact. And guess what? I cannot find a single photo of the main telephone wire contact system. Nobody seemed to photograph the right-hand side of either car. Ever. Other photos show different attachment arrangements of the brush arms to the EH car, so it must have been troublesome. 
No, the two trolleycars are not mirror images of each other either. Very clever indeed.
Some photos from other sources may be found here:
(The Gallery, DPC, Railroads)

Picket Fences: 1905
... turn of the last century often visited, including William McKinley and James Garfield, who died not far away in Elberon, NJ. President ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/12/2014 - 2:54pm -

Ocean Grove, New Jersey, circa 1905. "Tent life." Looks relaxing, doesn't it?  8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
This was typicalThe tent platform with the frame structure at the back was typical of such places - Chautauqua, NY,  Lakeside, OH, and Bay View, MI, are three that come to mind.  They also began as Methodist summer settlements.  Not rental necessarily,  Thomas Edison married into the Miller family that was one of the founders of Chautauqua.  He would visit there throughout his life.  The Miller cottage is still there - still owned by the family.
Somewhere in TimeOk, curiosity got the best of me and I drove the extra 5 minutes to Ocean Grove on the way home. 
I took this photo from almost the same location as the original photographer. Despite the fact that much of the physical components of the area have been replaced since 1906, the original wood structure appears to be the same and the tents look somewhat similar.
A variety of Ocean Grove photos that I've taken can be seen on my New Jersey photo collection.
Contemporary stylingToday the tent would be termed "outdoor living room".  It's all the rage on TV and in the magazines, but is an old idea. Wonder where they keep the grill?
Plate 15Here's a terrific map of Ocean Grove, dated 1889:

And an undated one here.
Ocean Grove is still a dry town.  My friends have visited, said that the big treat is to get an ice cream cone down near the beach.  Most folks drive over to Point Pleasant for liquid refreshment.
Tent in front, house in back?I guess I don't understand the design here. I see a wood-frame house at the back, and tent up front.  I'm assuming it's a rental-type arrangement, but I'm not sure what purpose the tent serves.
Ocean GroveThis community was set up for revival meetings, and also to be close to the beach. People, by no means rich ones, would come in every summer for the revival meetings. There was a big tabernacle for that sort of thing. The permanent house in back would hold the kitchen and the necessaries, and the tent up front would hold the parlour and bedrooms.
They used to put up a gate to shut the town off every Sunday, lest anybody desecrate the Sabbath. It is all still there, although the gate is no longer in use. 
Methodist campOcean Grove was one of several Methodist camps in New Jersey and elsewhere. Over time, many of the tents were replaced with cottages.,_New_Jersey
Tent MakeoverThe settlement began as a Methodist tent camp, but living in tents down the Jersey shore year-round proved untenable. So frame structures were added on to the back.
Those homes are insanely expensive now.
They Still Have TentsI snapped this shot a couple of years ago. The "tent people" still return to Ocean Grove every summer. 
Ocean Grove isn't known as much as a religiously tolerant town--until 1981, they actually put a barrier up on the one road in and out of the area on Sundays because they didn't allow driving on Sunday. Also, until not too long before that time, you wouldn't have been able to lease a house (all homes are leased for 99 year periods, you don't "own" a home there) if you were Catholic or a Jew.
Stop Thief!Hmmm.  I wonder what the reward being offered was for.
Ocean Grove BuildingsThe main buildings -- just 114 sheds, really, with facilities --  stand throughout the year. But each spring, renters unfurl the tents and customize each one with furnishings, flowers and the like. Some are fourth or fifth generation visitors. Presidents at the turn of the last century often visited, including William McKinley and James Garfield, who died not far away in Elberon, NJ. President Ulysses S. Grant arrived in 1875, found the gates locked due to the prohibition on carriages, and simply tethered his horses and walked to his sister's cottage. Times were different back then. So were presidents.
TentsThe tent expands the living space available to the tenters.  Over the winter, the tents are removed and all furniture is stored in the wooden structure. The tenters are a community all to themselves, 
The entire town ("God's Square Mile") is owned by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (  Most of the town is now permanent homes, not tents.  The town is a National Historic District for the hundreds of wonderfully preserved Victorian and Queen Anne homes.
That's my tent!Great photo! We are the current residents of this particular tent and have been since 1972. The more current photo someone posted in comments shows that the little fence is gone and has been replaced with a hedge. While not as picturesque it does show a bit more security and privacy.
(The Gallery, Camping, DPC, Travel & Vacation)

High Street Too: 1910
... to the north. At the far right of the frame is the McKinley Memorial monument, built 1906. I'll be sitting on the bench there ... S. High Street. At the far right you can just make out the McKinley Memorial, dedicated in 1906. (The Gallery, DPC, Streetcars) ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/20/2012 - 1:31pm -

Columbus, Ohio, circa 1910. "High Street north from State." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
+94Same view from July of 2009.
ArchesWere those arches really only for street lighting and flags?
CuriousWhat is that tall building on the right; it looks very modern, even in the early photo.  Anyone know?
Arch CityColumbus was called the Arch City for the dozens of arches spanning its streets. The first were wood, put up in the 1890s. Then replaced by metal. The last of them seem to have been removed by the mid-teens.
[Reproduction arches are recent additions to some streets.  - Dave]
Open All NightThank you, Google, for finding that old football program (a must-see pdf!) in the back pocket of my old suit trousers.
As it turns out, Leachman's Chop House is at 61 S. High Street, and Mykrantz Drugs (the name just faintly has the right letterforms on one sign) is just a few doors to the north.
At the far right of the frame is the McKinley Memorial monument, built 1906.  I'll be sitting on the bench there with a newspaper and a cigar for a little while, before getting on with my day.
Early RadioI wonder if they had an early wireless station there at that time? In the upper left of the photo, there is a vertical tower atop the building and what appears to be insulators in the guy wires. This is a normal practice in a live vertical radio frequency radiator (antenna) so that the guy wires do not become resonant at the operating frequency, as well as insulating the antenna from ground.
A bit early for broadcasting but two-way code wireless telegraphy was done all the time by then.
[The appearance is indeed similar to wireless masts of the era. - Dave]
The View In 1914Here's a picture of roughly the same view dated as 1914. Notice how many more cars and fewer horses there are in the picture.
Leachman's Chop HouseI'd love to stop by Leachman's Chop House for lunch (infamous in a web search for being where Ohio State's Sphinx Senior Honorary club was born), saunter next door to Bryce's for some suits, hats and shoes, pick up a nice ten-cent cigar at the drugstore (so frustrating! can't quite make out the name!), sit in the park across the street and contemplate what goods require the services of the "Press Post" specialty pressing parlor!
But what I'm really here for is to find out what is being offered at 4%, or 4% off, as per the giant numbers on the top of the building just ahead on the right!
p.s. It's a little hard to sort out all the wires and metal posts and arches, but it looks like the arches were put up for decorative (and perhaps useful) lighting on alternating sets of the metal poles that hold up the trolley wires.
62 South HighThe address here is about 62 S. High Street. At the far right you can just make out the McKinley Memorial, dedicated in 1906.
(The Gallery, DPC, Streetcars)

High Roller: 1912
... and the like. (The ambulance that carried President McKinley after being shot was electric.) At the turn of the (last) century, NYC ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/28/2012 - 10:15pm -

Washington, D.C., 1912. "Borah, William E., Mrs., wife of Senator from Idaho." In a spiffy electric phaeton, sitting. Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.
That Well-Known "Look"Mrs. Borah's countenance is asking the photographer; "You can't be serious?" 
Senator Borah was a Real Piece of WorkAs i look at this photo, I wonder what poor Mary's husband was up to while she waited -- and how often she waited like this while her husband philandered around the capital. 
"The Lion of Idaho" was the father of Alice Roosevelt Longworth's daughter, a fact long suspected but only recently confirmed, not Alice's husband at the time, Speaker of the House Nick Longworth. A liberal Republican, Borah had been run out of town for impregnating another young woman. 
He went on to oppose the League of Nations and much of the New Deal. Coincidentally, Larry Craig made mention of holding the Borah seat in his resignation (later rescinded) from the Senate after the dust-up over his apparently seeking sex in a mens room. 
Seems there's something about that seat. 
There's a Reason She Looks MadOf the Senator: "He married Mary McConnell, daughter of Governor William J. McConnell, in 1895. They had no children.
By his mistress, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, he had one daughter, Paulina."
DeborahI forgot another clever remark by Alice. She originally pitched to her husband, also a womanizer, that they name "their" daughter Deborah. Nick balked, "Good lord, Alice 'De Borah'?" It would have been a clever inside joke. 
Freezing!I note the chains around the rear tyres and the remnants of snow. No wonder she looks so cold and miserable. Mind you, the amount of fur wrapped around her no doubt helped. 
Cool Ridein several senses. It even has electric headlights!
The slush underneath the front fender, the tire chains, and bits of snow and ice by the gate on the left give a clue as to why the lap rug, and perhaps the reason for the expression on Mrs. Borah's face: "Whenever you're ready, Bill."
And a mere 98 years later...GM introduces the Chevrolet Volt, a car capable of traveling 40 miles on only the electricity in its batteries.  History once again repeats itself.
Little Borah

Washington Post, Jan 17, 1976 

Mary Borah, 105, Dies;
Widow of Idaho Sen. William Borah

Mary Borah, widow of Sen. William E. Borah (R-Idaho), who was once chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, died Wednesday at a nursing home in Beaverton, Ore.  She was 105.  Mrs. Borah had moved to the nursing home from Washington in 1966.
After her husband's death in 1940, she had continued to reside in their large apartment in the 2100 block of Connecticut Avenue NW, where she had accumulated a vast collection of oriental treasures and more than 600 statues of elephants from all over the world.
Known to her friends as "Little Borah," Mrs. Borah was always a staunch supporter of her husband's often controversial views. The senator, nicknamed the "Lion of Idaho," was noted as an isolationist who led the fight against the League of Nations.  The Borahs first came to Washington in 1907 after his election to the Senate.  He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 1936.
Born in Eureka, Calif., Mrs. Borah grew up in Moscow, Idaho.  She was the daughter of W.J. McConnell, who had served as Idaho's governor and senator.  She met Sen. Borah while he was a rising young Republican politician and they were married in 1895.
"Politics was my life," Mrs. Borah once said in an interview in later years.  While her husband was living, they seldom took part in Washington social life.
She had contributed articles, however, to magazines and newspapers on social life in Washington and at one time was working on a book that was to include her favorite anecdotes on the foibles of Washington society.
As the wife and then widow of a famous senator, Mrs. Borah had been a guest in the White House of every President from Theodore Roosevelt though Lyndon B. Johnson.
Mary Tyler Moore IThat look wasn't seen again until "Ordinary People" in 1980, and MTM's line "Take ... the ... damned ... picture!"
Tiller SteeringBrr! Not even a windshield (and of course no heater in an electric car). One advantage I never noticed before - you can tiller-steer a car while keeping both hands inside the warm furs. 
Electric CarsAren't any new innovation. In fact they came before those run on kerosene and gasoline and the like. (The ambulance that carried President McKinley after being shot was electric.) At the turn of the (last) century, NYC debuted a fleet of electric taxi cabs! The problem then as now is battery life and that the cars are not as efficient or priced competative with internal-combustion engine ones -- which is why the government has to pay people to buy them. Besides, you have to burn something to charge the batteries. In the United States, most of our electricity is produced by coal -- and, yes, there were even "locomobiles" run on coal back in the early days of horseless carriages.
Miss Gulch sans bicycleSure looks like Miss Gulch to me.  After she sued Dorothy's folks for Toto's bite on her leg, she took the farm, liquidated it (as it were) and ditched her bike for this spiffy electric runabout.
Shorpy 101I do so enjoy learning about history on this site.
Teachers should show these pictures to their students every day, and discuss the pertinent comments, which so often shed additional light on the subject.
Thank you, Dave & everyone at Shorpy, for providing such a wonderful historical resource.
Pictures are worth thousands of words!
(The Gallery, Cars, Trucks, Buses, D.C., Harris + Ewing)

Main Street: 1910
... 1910. The big clock there on the corner, in front of McKinley's Jewelery store tells the time of day (8:18 AM)( This must have been ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/14/2012 - 7:15pm -

Little Rock, Arkansas, circa 1910. "Main Street north from Sixth." A zoomed-in version of this view. Note the Free Bridge in the distance. View full size.
Okay, but *why* 8:20?Does the use of the time 8:20 have any special meaning? Or is it for purely decorative purposes, like clocks for sale in shops that have their hands set to 10:10?
[At 8:20, the hands leave plenty of blank space for text. - Dave]
Ahh, city life! From the Newsie and the fellow in some sort of Uniform on the left, to the man in the window of "Jones House Furnishings," this is a wonderful image of life in 1910. 
The big clock there on the corner, in front of McKinley's Jewelery store tells the time of day (8:18 AM)( This must have been the morning rush hour.) So many of these clocks are either gone or no longer work at all.
[Shorpy veterans will recognize the clock-face jewelers sign as a familiar fixture on early 20th-century streets. They're not real clocks, and all show 8:17.  - Dave]
The East 14th St. streetcar is rolling along. (Please pay conductor upon entering car - I wonder what the fare was back then. a nickel? a dime?) 
I also see a little business competition in the Stein and Kress 5 and 10 cent stores.
The descent from the Free Bridge looks a bit steep but that could be the camera itself doing that. 
I wonder what the "LIGHT" sign above the street means...
Further to the right, in front of the E.D. Bracy Hardware store, There is a nattily dressed gent walking along. We also see some large wheeled bins marked 5 cents. I would like to see what is in those. To either side of  Bracy's hardware are a Sporting Goods Store and J.H.Martin's Arms Store.
Then comes the 'Jones House Furnishings Store' with its list of wares that you can purchase within. 
Imagine having a time machine so that you could go back and fill your home with furnishings from 100 years ago! Ready made antiques! 
A little help, pleaseI'll supply the truck if someone else will let me use their time machine. Then we can go back and get the spiked ball on top of the Stein Co. 5&10 at left. It's gonna look great on my garage!
Keen KutterE.D. Bracy Hardware Co. Your Keen Kutter dealer.  This boat named for the knife, still plies the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee New Hampshire.

Remembering streetcars and trolley busesConductors on streetcars was a job destined to become obsolete as eventually the driver had to handle all the chores.
I remember one corner in Cicinnati where it was rare for a streetcar or trolley bus to make the turn without the the trolleys coming off the wires.  The driver would rush off, line them up, and we would be on our way again.
Keen Kutter IIAlive and well and highly collectible I might add.
Public Time  These jewelers clocks were very real.  During this period of time railroad, street car employees and the better off had personal time pieces and the rest had municipal, jeweler and other clocks for when they were away from home.
  These particular clocks had a pendulum that was short enough to fit in the diameter of the face ...
[The hands on this clock (below) are painted on -- it's right twice a day. Same for the other 8:17 jewelers' clocks seen here. - Dave]
  Thanks for the enlargements and setting me straight Dave.  It really shows up in the symmetry issues of the flourishes at the end of the hands.
8:18 still common at fine jewelersWhile no longer universal, that time is still the most common time watches are set to at fine jewelers, because it doesn't obscure the maker and model information.  The to couple of pictures site what I mean.  Go to any specialty watch or fine jewelers, and chances are that's the time on the face, if its not actively running.
8:20 or 1:50Those of us who remember the old Timex watch commercials where they'd torture test a watch by tying it to the blade of an outboard motor or attached it to a jackhammer or some similar method to show that the watch could "take a licking and keep on ticking," will remember that the watch usually read 1:50 - 10 to 2 - and it read that way for a reason. Like 8:20, 1:50 didn't obscure the maker's name or the model type. 9:15 or 3:45 (or worse, 9:45 or 3:15) wouldn't work because there would always be those who would claim that the watch only had one hand! As for why Timex chose 1:50, well their name was at the top (under the 12) of the watch and placing the hands at 1:50 framed the name nicely.
+105Below is the same view from July of 2015.
(The Gallery, Boats & Bridges, DPC, Little Rock, Streetcars)

Peeking Woman: 1901
... was taken shortly after the assassination of President McKinley. Poor dog Looks like when Rover died they made a rug out of ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2012 - 6:57pm -

New Baltimore, Michigan, circa 1901. "The Firs -- upper hall." Our second look inside the Hatheway residence. Note the cloud of flash powder emanating from behind the stairs. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.
The FirsSupposedly, the house was haunted and this photo is only adding to that. Rumor has it that Mabel Hatheway, daughter of the home's builder Gilbert Hatheway, died at age 20 in the house of mysterious circumstances. It was said that she "fell" down the stairs and broke her neck. There's also a rumor that she was buried in a glass coffin but who knows if that's true. 
September 6, 1901There's an American flag draped over the portrait hanging in the hall.  I wonder if this photo was taken shortly after the assassination of President McKinley.
Poor dogLooks like when Rover died they made a rug out of him. 
Haunted!But, but, there was no one in that room!!
Cue Twilight Zone music.
As a little kid.This place would be a constant source of fear for me as a kid.
1. Going up those stairs was certain death, as that is where the creepy mean guy lived.
2. Someone is bound to reach out and grab you into that first door on the left.
3. The next door down the hall, I'm sure someone is peeking out the crack between the door and the frame.
4. There is definitely a mad man hiding in the corner behind the open door ready to pounce.
5. Inside the far room, I can see the shadow of an axe murderer on the floor. Waiting. Waiting.
6. Down the stairs, worse than going up.
No way I could run fast enough to get to that door at the far end to escape.
Flash Powder?You don't know ectoplasm when you see it? And that's a werewolf-skin rug.
The flag is blocking glareI think the flag was put there to block the glare from the flash powder ignited behind the stairs.
Remote Flash?It looks like there were two flashes for this shot. One attached to the camera and the other behind the staircase. Looking at the shadows caused by the flashes seem to show this.
[You're right, although in this case both the one at the camera and the "remote" would have been guys holding the magnesium flash brackets and setting the powder off manually. - tterrace]
Flash SyncI've often wondered how the old timers obtained such well exposed images when the distance from the camera was so great.  Seeing the magnesium cloud suggests there were assistants as needed and the photographer opened the lens, gave a signal and they all set off the flash powder then he closed the lens.
What's in the bottle?Wonder what's in that mysterious uncorked jar on the sideboard? 
[Close-up, it doesn't look uncorked. I want to say the label reads "Furni[ture Polish] - tterrace]
That bottlemight contain Furniture Polish, or given the shape and style of the bottle and the fact that it was used in the period as an over-the-counter disinfectant, insecticide, and home remedy, it could contain Formaldehyde (or Formalin). Using the LoC original with contrast adjustments, my tired old eyes can't make a definitive case for the label reading either "Furni" or "Forma" (both are plausible), and the line below remains a tantalizing mystery. If only that bottle had been turned a few more degrees toward the camera.
[There certainly are similarities to this one. - tterrace]
(The Gallery, DPC)

Buffalobelisk: 1911
Buffalo, New York, circa 1911. "William McKinley monument, Niagara Square." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit ... even had their own bank and money! Not on the spot McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo in 1901. Six years later, this monument ... 
Posted by Dave - 10/20/2017 - 10:22am -

Buffalo, New York, circa 1911. "William McKinley monument, Niagara Square." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
A forefinger of stone, dreamed by a sculptor, points to the sky.
It says: This way! this way!
Four lions snore in stone at the corner of the shaft.
They too are the dream of a sculptor.
They too say: This way! this way!

— Carl Sandburg, Slants at Buffalo

Bryant & Stratton Business CollegeIn Providence RI they even had their own bank and money!
Not on the spotMcKinley was assassinated in Buffalo in 1901. Six years later, this monument was placed in front of City Hall rather than at the site, which is now a median strip in a residential area. A bronze plaque was placed there in 1921.
McKinley's native Ohio has two competing memorials, in Niles and Canton.
(The Gallery, Buffalo NY, DPC)

A Lion in the Sand: 1900
... license). The lion has killed the elephant: William McKinley and party. The snake is the devil himself as portrayed in the book of ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/24/2011 - 1:32pm -

Continuing our sojourn by the sea: Atlantic City circa 1900. "Sand modelling." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
Yesterday's headlinesSeeing the phrases "There is hope" and "Domestic Troubles" piqued my curiosity.  Apparently this is an allegory about the 1900 presidential election, and in particular about William Jennings Byran, the populist who was reputed to have taken over the Democratic Party.  The elephant at the top is a dead giveaway.
Mixed Bag of SandThe sculptor seems to be revealing his inner conflicts.  Is that Fred Nietzsche?  A male lion and a female snake in domestic conflict with the proverbial elephant in the room?  I'll leave it to the Shorpy historians to explain what its about.  On a lighter note, I thought the kid crawling in the sand on the lefft looked like an lizard rushing over to see whats going on.
Like sand through the hourglassThis photo immediately brought to mind sand-sculpting a little more local to me in space and time, at Revere Beach in Massachusetts.  
The artistic style is strangely familiar, and the "big theme" choices for subject matter are similar.  1900's "Domestic Troubles" could easily be placed right next to 2009's "Ouroboros: Life, Rebirth, and Stuff", the second-place winner at the annual competition on Revere Beach.
Bryan's Populists were depicted as a snakeIn a popular cartoon of the time, depicting the Bryan wing as devouring the whole of the Democrat party -- represented by the Donkey then as now. I think the sculpture may be showing that the snake is killing the lion, and thus crushing the notion of the King of the Beasts cowardly or not. Embraces of negative caricatures are familiar in our politics. For example, Martin Van Buren's faction in New York State adopted the name "bucktails," which was originally meant as an insult to show them running away. 
Concerning PoliticsThis is a stretch, but here I go anyway. The man is the Democratic presidential  candidate for that year who has an anti-imperialist platform and the Republican press mimic him as "the cowardly lion": William Jennings Bryan (The hair is artistic license). The lion has killed the elephant: William McKinley and party. The snake is the devil himself as portrayed in the book of Genesis.
Pardon me for wishing myself good luck with this one.
Images in the sandThe 1900 election explanation sounds credible enough, but person in the "There Is Hope" sculpture has way more hair than Jennings ever did. On another note, that sure looks like a rather large lizard scrabbling along the sand in the upper left section. Is it, or is it an optico/photographic illusion?
Update: on the other hand, maybe I should read all the comments before commenting. But hey! I just want to fit in here.
[He/she/it should be familiar to cryptozoologists everywhere. - Dave]
No sweat tterranceThat long hair bothered me too until I thought of him being
represented as a biblical prophet.
Only his sister would call him a lizardThat's because little boys can be so annoying!
Dave, thank you so much for this ongoing shore series. I'm from New Jersey, and I'm inordinately proud of my little densely-populated state of cities, shorelines, farmland, highways, and forests. We're tremendously diverse and remarkably tolerant, for the most part, being descended from Quakers at one end and Dutch merchants at the other. The joie de vivre on the faces of these bathers, the care and engagement with the world that you see in these sand sculptures, all make me proud of my 250-year New Jersey heritage.
Bravo, Garden State!
With all that hairI think this may be Robert La Follette, another Populist orator of the time.
Do you know the Munyon ManMunyon Remedy Company out of Scranton, PA. 'There is Hope' for consumptives. I recognized Mr. Munyon from some old shares of stock I have. 
Company went down with the crash of 29 or soon after.
(The Gallery, Atlantic City, DPC)
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