1927 Joseph Bertrand on bridge. Private Collection.
Rule #1: no matter where you are or on what, always look cool.
Joseph looks like he was on a trail bridge desperately in need of repair. Bet he checked the rail first before leaning against it. He’s wearing a panama hat and a suit with ‘plus fours’. The breeches extended 4 inches more below the knee than traditional knickerbockers, hence the name. They were very popular in the twenties as sportswear, especially for golf. Swing dancers adopted them in the 30s and 40s. He’s wearing plain white socks here but ‘plus fours’ popularized a slew of patterned socks like argyles.
This is a small picture, 2″ 1/4 x 3″ 1/4. The man is IDed on the back, the picture dated June 1927.
Finding pictures like this really makes my day. All 13 of these bridge workers are on both RPPCs. I played a game of who’s who and recognized 8 of them for sure.
On the second, two more men in suits are with them, perhaps supervisors. On that one I’m not sure what the workers are sitting on, but it looks like a pressurized machine with some kind of belt.
I find it fascinating to see the faces of those who built those bridges we still cross today; ‘floppy hats and blue collars’ (and Carnegie steel). If by extreme luck I find out what bridge this is I will update this post. It may have been built to let a railroad pass through.
RPPC: AZO triangles. 1904-1918. Private collection.