Man and maneater

By: usermattw

Sep 26 2013

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Men


Click here to view it larger.

Click here to view the back.

What it is:

Real photo post card, unmailed, measuring 5.25 x.3.25 inches.

What I know about it:

The paper manufacturer’s markings (AZO, two triangles up and two down) narrow the date range to 1918-1930.  The handwriting on the back further narrows it down, suggesting the photo was taken on or shortly after March 11, 1919, in the area of Miami, Florida.  The writing further details other sharks caught in the following days in the same region.


This is another of the photos my friend Nathan gave me.  I’m guessing that the information on the back was written by the man pictured on the front, and that he didn’t catch the shark himself, though I could be wrong.  I understand that, while hammerheads can pose some danger to humans, the term “maneating” here is somewhat overstating the threat.  But the way the shark is strung up for display like a deposed dictator suggests the shark’s hostile reputation was commonly shared.

6 comments on “Man and maneater”

  1. sad but still an interesting moment of history

  2. I agree that treatment of the shark is sad (and the photo’s background imagery is depressing), but I still had to laugh at the “deposed dictator” comment.
    Incidentally, is there a work/fisherman bending over down between the besuited man and the shark? Seems like you can see the top of his hat, and his shoulders.

    • Agree that “deposed dictator” is a most amusing comment. Also wonder how any shark with jaws so small could be labelled a maneater. Great tourist draw card for the time. I guess he was strung up for the photo opportunity. I wonder if they charged for the pics to be taken?

      • Thanks, Katherine! I get the feeling this is a single photo the man had taken with this shark, rather than a mass-produced tourist card, but the shark on display was obviously something of an attraction.

    • Thanks. Yes, I believe it’s somebody working on a lower level, probably on a boat or dock.

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