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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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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Water Foul: 1935

Water Foul: 1935

1935. "Miner's house at Scott's Run, West Virginia. Note sewerage system." Photo by Elmer Johnson for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

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It is not uncommon at all for a company mine town to have electricity. Most large operations would have a boiler house that would produce electric to power electric motors used in the mines.

I am confused

The lower half of the photo seems to be another scene, as if the photo was a meld of two separate shots. Since no one else has mentioned it, what am I seeing wrong?

[The illusion results mainly from the mirror-like reflection in the very still water of the puddle and the shadow area stretching horizontally across the entire frame. Is my guess. - tterrace]

It's all downhill,

in the hollers of West by God Virginia. It's real and so are the wild and wonderful people who live there. I love the ruffled curtains in the windows.

What are poles for?

Do Shorpy-ites think the poles in the background are electric service or telephone lines? Plus, I'm wondering if these grim houses even had electricity, at the time???

My mother's middle-income rural house near Lansing Michigan had no electric service available until REA came in, about this time.

Privy Location

Uphill from one of the shacks, and probably from each of them, unless the residents shared a communal one, sits an outhouse, otherwise known as a place where folks could relieve themselves. Hope water wells were not downhill from them.

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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