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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Cigarette Lighter: 1964

Cigarette Lighter: 1964

Leatherwood, Kentucky, 1964. "Cornett boys smoking by car." No after-school soccer for these lads. Print from a 35mm negative by William Gedney. Gedney Photographs and Writings Collection, Duke University. View full size.

Re: Six Degrees

How about a River Phoenix vibe ("Stand by Me") off the kid on the right?

Re: Six Degrees

I can see Kevin Bacon in him, but to me he looks more like Donald Sutherland.

Six Degrees

Anybody else get a Kevin Bacon vibe off the kid on the left?

Tuff

The kid on the left holds himself with an adult swagger. No doubt that the only kids that would have picked-on these two would have been older siblings.

His shoes

from that era MUST be a pair of huaraches. Sure you remember them.

Peer pressure visual aid

Whoever came up with the "smoking makes you look COOL" line HAS to have seen this shot

Flashback

I can remember driving to the middle of Missouri back in 1970 or 1971 to visit some cousins of mine. Dirt roads and outhouses were just a part of life as they knew it.

I think I was 5 or 6 when my 11 year old cousin first offered me a drag off of a Winston. The setting was oh so similar to the one in this photo.

I really like these snapshots of the Cornetts. Every picture tells a story! I knew these were Cornett boys before I ever read the caption.

On a side note, when the country cousins came to KC for a visit, they were awestruck by the inner-city surroundings. They had never seen so many people in one place before.

Family Tree

Willie and Vivian Cornett eventually had 13 children, 11 of whom were still living when Willie died in Keavy, Kentucky on May 8 of this year at age 84. Vivian died at 66 on September 16, 1994. I can't find the date of Glenn's death, but it preceded that of his brother Billy in Buna, Texas, on October 11, 2005 at age 44.

This Cornett bloodline will go on for many years. In addition to 6 sons and 5 daughters, Willie left 42 grandchildren, 66 great-grandchildren and 9 great-great grandchildren.

Could be me

Wow! That looks like me back in the late 1950s except my father worked for a local laundry, and I would have had on clean clothes. I did break the habit though.

Hey!

Don't you know kids know smoking will "stunt your growth!!"

Fashion Faux Pas!

A wife beater with sandals? How gauche!

Cool.

I would have thought these were the coolest kids ever when I was coming up.

Sure brings back memories

This picture is so me and my buddy back about the same era. Hope the boys were able to quit the cigs before it killed them.

What's with the Ford?

The boys of this hardened family were formerly identified as "Chevy Men" in a previous Shorpy post by Dave.

[True. But that photo was from eight years later, in 1972. -Dave]

It's a good thing I read the caption

... because I thought it was tterrace, in a little-known chapter of his teenage years.

Oh Man!

Does this take me back?! That was my car at about that age (15); a '55 Ford Fairlane four door sedan, with a "three-on-the-tree" gearshift. It was a hand-me-down from my granddad. This one even has the rare factory radio with the round dial. I had to buy mine from a junkyard for an astronomical $25. That was a week's wages.

I can also identify with the boy with the healing thumbnail; I've been there! And his shirt collar is turned outside in. We did that too, to save it from "Ring Around the Collar". Well, actually, to save us from Mother's carping!

Good going Dave!

Yesterday's Tomorrow

Two young boys emulating the adults of their day.
What would the future hold for them: rural poverty, coal mines, tobacco farming - or perhaps being drafted into the army and fighting in Vietnam?

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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