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About the Photos

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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Country Store: 1939

Country Store: 1939

July 1939. "Daughter of white tobacco sharecropper at country store. Person County, North Carolina." The rustic emporium seen earlier here and here. Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange. View full size.


The building is still standing 75 years later!

The building in the photo is still standing and when I traveled to Gordonton to photograph it, I met the Great-Nephew of the man standing in the doorway.

My story and other photos are here.

Where are the dogs?

Shouldn't there be a couple of coon hounds hanging out beneath the porch? That's where they can usually be found. Also, I really like the two front pillars; they make the place look really rustic.

Bargain Gas?

Interestingly, the .22/gallon gas inflation-adjusts to almost exactly today's price-per-gallon. And that, in cars that got 17 mpg and were worn out after 80-100,000 miles. No wonder they didn't drive much!

Budding Enterprise

So this is the type of business our young Shorpy went into? Whodathunk it?


Ah, but whose name do I see on that sign at the top? Ingenious!

Shorpy Store

Nicely done! I read the rest of the signs as well

NC tobacco anyone?

The influence of tobacco on the local NC economy is amazingly prevalent here. I count 14 different advertisements/placards for tobacco products on the building. As a North Carolinian, I am acutely aware of the impact of the golden leaf on our history and economy and this photo shows that rather vividly.

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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