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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • VAN HOUTEN'S COCOA, c. 1890

Children of the Coal: 1938

Children of the Coal: 1938

September 1938. "Coal miner's wife and three of their children. Company house in Pursglove, Scotts Run, West Virginia." Medium format negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

 
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Pellagra

I remember a long debate about what caused the skin condition of this little boy, a few years back. Some people thought it was just dirt, or impetigo. I believe it very likely was pellagra, caused by a chronic niacin deficiency, which was especially prominent in populations such as this. It must have been extremely miserable! I had a severe rash on my forearms and hands, from ages 9-13, which looked similar. It was just from detergent allergy, and when my family got a dishwasher, it went away, but it was bad enough to make me sympathize with anyone with a severe rash. In addition to making life miserable, pellagra can actually cause death. I sure hope this little boy was able to get the nutrition he needed, to get rid of it.

 
SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE
Shorpy.com | 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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