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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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Coal Miner's Son: 1939

Coal Miner's Son: 1939

May 1939. Coal miner's son in Kempton, West Virginia. View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by John Vachon, Farm Security Administration.



My Great Grandfather was an Engineer at at the mine (or so I'm told). He lived in Kempton. His name was (Irvin?) Nine. My Grandmother was raised there. Her name was Jessie Fay Nine. She married William Paul Hinebaugh. I think the company store was on the WVA side as Maryland had outlawed Company Stores.

Kempton, WV

Kempton straddles the state line between West Virginia and Maryland. The company store was in Maryland, but the post office was in West Virginia, making it a West Virginia town. My dad was a fire boss in the Kempton mine in the mid 1940's.


Interesting. I did not know there was a Kempton in WV. There is a Kempton, in Garrett County, MD, just over the WV line. Small mining town, where my Dad was born.

Not much left there these days, although a lot of the miner's families get together every year for the Kempton Reunion.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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