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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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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.

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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.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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