Ray Batchelor writes [15 01 2020]:
It may be striking railway workers in 1912, or it may not.
The Archivo General de la Nación, hold this image in their archive. In 2013 they posted it on their Facebook Page: “Buenos Aires. Hombres bailando tango en el rio. 1904. Documento fotografico Inventario 22069”. https://www.facebook.com/ArchivoGeneraldelaNacionArgentina/photos/buenos-aires-hombres-bailando-tango/651030491588837/ .Accessed 10 January 2019.
However, a French source claims that in fact this shows “[translated from French] the photo was taken in January 1912, and the inscription on the back specifies the circumstances: a “Picnic” on the Rio during a strike of workers of Railway Industries (Archivo General de la Nacion, Argentina)” http://www.histoire-tango.fr/grands%20themes/hommes%20et%20tango_copie.htm Accessed 10 January 2019.
Visitors to the Archivo access images digitally. In each case, there is an image of the front of the photograph or drawing and an image of the reverse. For this reason, I am inclined to believe the 1912 date, as the author has either literally or digitally ‘seen’ the back of the photograph. A visit to the Archivo in person in 2018 failed to resolve this issue. An historically archaic system of cataloguing based, not on unique inventory numbers, but on subject areas, with all other information held on index cards meant the photograph could not be tracked down either digitally or in physical form.
I have written about this and images like it.
“Queer Tango’s ‘Image Problem’: Men, Intimacy and Pictures from the Past” Joint SDHS + CORD Annual Conference, Beyond Authenticity: Pomona College, Claremont, California, USA, 4th November 2016 [Text]: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/312085875_Queer_Tango’s_’Image_Problem’_Men_Intimacy_and_Pictures_from_the_Past
Ray Batchelor believes: “Copyright is held by the Archivo General de la Nación, Buenos Aires”