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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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Webb and Mother

Webb and Mother

John Wilson Webb, in Pittsburgh, weighs 120 lbs at 34 months. April 17, 1909. From the George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

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120 lbs?

Wow, she held him when he was 120 lbs. Oh my... I guess back then, they all were so used to carry heavier loads than us.

Not an easy path

He probably had something called Prader-Willi Syndrome, it's a condition that makes kids get very big (there isn't a mechanism in their brain chemistry that tells them they are full, and they are just large people because of the syndrome, built with a very square heavy build and a large head), they are often developmentally delayed, and aggressive or violent. It isn't easy being the parent of a Prader-Willi kid, my heart goes out to the mom...particularly since it wouldn't have been recognized as a specific chromosomal abnormality at that point.

Mom's Chin

"A.) He has his mother's chin."

Yeah, both of them!

A.) He has his mother's

A.) He has his mother's chin.

B.) In the picture on the right he looks like he was considering the possibility of eating the camera man! Luckily I think you could outrun him.

The Kid.

The kid is two and he could be a bouncer in a bar!

fast food

I didn't think McDonalds was around back then. How strange.


I am assuming that the kids size was fairly uncommon at that time? Unfortunately, this day and age you see this all too often.

Weight-Lifting Momma

Man, Mom's gotta have a strong back--my 3 year old weighs less than thirty pounds and even she gets heavy after awhile. I can't imagine lugging this little bouncing baby boy around.

You got THAT right! Three or

You got THAT right! Three or four at LEAST!


I see three or four of these kids every day now.

SHORPY OLD 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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