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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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Real Simple: 1939

Real Simple: 1939

July 1939. "Corner of tobacco farmer's front room. Shows enclosed stairway and corner of the new fancy bed. Person County, North Carolina." (Whitfield home.) Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange. View full size.

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I've visited an abandoned mill town here in North Carolina where the company houses look similar. In particular the enclosed stairs are something you don't see much anymore; in the mill town the steps for every single stairway were apparently removable, because they were all missing.

Tiger Maple

The bed appears to have tiger maple veneer -- fancy indeed.

Thomas Jefferson's home has cat doors for the inside rooms--only, being the architect he was, his were single round "portholes" near the bottom and in the center, just the right size for cats.


There appears to be a cut-out in the lower corner of the stairway door. I wonder if this family had a cat?

While cats are usually considered pets these days, on farms they were necessary to keep the vermin population under control.

January & June?

Calendars appear to show January and June 1939.

See link below for how those months would be displayed on this type of calendar:

Assuming 1939...

...the calendar on the left is showing the month of January; the one on the right is showing March.

Conjecture: the photo was published in July, but taken in February?

[The calendar on the right is June 1939. - Dave]


What months are displayed on the calendars? They appear to be showing two different months.


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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