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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 • TAKE A KODAK, c. 1930s

Prince Albert: 1964

Prince Albert: 1964

Leatherwood, Kentucky, 1964. "Boy covered by dirt smoking cigarette with one hand, holding can of tobacco in other." The tobacco-loving Cornett boys started early. Gedney Photographs Collection, Duke University. View full size.

Not so odd

That this kid is sneaking a smoke considering (for the time period 1960+) that almost every adult around him smoked (I remember the same as a kid). I've been going through the Cornett family photos on the Duke University site, they look like a very close knit normal family who worked hard - they look happy in many of the photos.

Tareyton

Why so negative? Little boys have lots of fun playing in the mud. How do we know if he wasn't just back from a romp in the mud? How do we know if the cigarette wasn't just a gag for the camera?

On the other hand, junior does look like the type of smoker who'd rather fight than switch.

Alternate universe

Opie without the watchful eye of Aunt Bea.

fun times

Just because he is dirty I don't think it's a bad sign, like commenter Don alluded. I assume he's been having a great time. This is rural America it was easy to get dirty especially for a kid. And after a long day of play sometimes you need a nice smoke to calm down.

Where are they now?

It would be very interesting to know the current status of living members of the family. Was the next generation able to leave poverty?

[See these comments on two of the other Cornett family photos, here and here. - tterrace]

A Common Thread

I wonder who the photographer was who took the series of "Cornett Boys" photos. They all seem staged to emphasize the early corruption of the brothers.

[The photographer's name is seen twice in this post. - Dave]

Following my post I realized my mistake.
My apologies.

Wow

I don't have a witty title for this but must state that besides being filthy AND smoking an unfiltered cigarette. I must say that that poor child is remarkably skinny or just desperately hungry and poor. Look at his shoulders.

This picture just depresses me.

With some reluctance

I have to say this is the first Shorpshot I enlargenized reluctantly, knowing there'd be no unseen charm or other attractiveness uncovered in Full Size mode. What in the world was happening with this little boy that day to leave him so grimy and dirtstruck? Much worse is imagining that this illustrates several days' accumulation. Lordy, but I do hope his adult life was brighter. Probably not cancer-free, however.

Sheesh!

Didn't he read the warning on the pack?

Oh, right. Nevermind.

Where's my banjo?

This kid looks like the one from the movie "Deliverance."

 
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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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