On first glance, this photo appears to have been pulled directly out of a horror movie. But those are not piles of corpses awaiting treatment by a mad scientist; they're actually toy dolls awaiting repair by a Denver firefighter.
The photo, dated 1940, and taken by Harry Rhoades, shows an unnamed Denver firefighter filling the hours between calls by retooling toys to give to Denver's less fortunate youngsters.
Like so many photos in our collection, this photo is short on details and big on questions. But this image is only a few (or many) hours of research away from some definitive answers. One resource that might help fill in the blanks is our Western History Subject Index. This reference gem functions as a basic index to a variety of local papers, with an obvious emphasis on the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News.
Perhaps the answer is in one of many books and manuscript collections we have that focus on the Denver Fire Department and its activities going back to 1866? Maybe the answer is in Denver Fire Department, 1866-1991: A 125-Year Tradition or Denver Firefighters: The Desire to Serve, The Ability to Perform, The Courage to Act.
It's tough to say, but the bottom line here is this, if you've got a challenging question about Denver, Colorado, or the Trans-Mississippi West, there's a good chance we've got the tools you need to help find an answer.