Government at Work

Senate Subway Railroad: early 1900s

Senate Subway Railroad: early 1900s

Senate subway railroad, between 1905 and 1945. Harris & Ewing, photographer. LOC original medium: glass negative.

Wooden Maiden, British Torture Device: 1910s

Wooden Maiden, British Torture Device: 1910s

Torture device known as the wooden maiden aboard the prison convict ship Success. The Success was used in the 1850s to transport British convicts to Australia. Similar to the iron jacket, or the iron maiden, a prisoner was placed inside and long nails were sometimes pounded in. On the deck of a ship as shown, it would also become extremely hot inside the device on warm days.

Secret Service Uniformed Force Alarm System: 1938

Secret Service Uniformed Force Alarm System: 1938

Alarm system of the Treasury Department, United States Secret Service, Uniformed Force, 1938. Harris & Ewing, photographer. LOC original medium: glass negative.

Boring Budget: 1940

Boring Budget: 1940

Unidentified man, probably a member of Congress, reading 1941 Budget of the United States Government. Looks like his dog was not too excited about it. Harris & Ewing, photographer. Vintage photo provided by LOC. Original medium: glass negative.

The Flying Merkel: early 1900s

The Flying Merkel: early 1900s

U.S. mailman and his Flying Merkel motorcycle. Photo taken between 1909 and 1940. LOC original medium: glass negative.

Motorcycle Escort: 1920s

Motorcycle Escort: 1920s

President Coolidge in New York City, in a car escorted by NYPD police motorcycles, 1920s. Bain News Service, publisher. LOC original medium: glass negative.

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