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Young Gun: 1939

Young Gun: 1939

January 1939. "Sunflower Plantation. Son of tenant farmer in corner of living room. Pace, Mississippi." Note Sonny's suction-cup ammo. Large-format nitrate negative by Russell Lee for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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Farm Radio

I believe OldeRadio is correct. The radio appears to be a 1937 Silvertone 4661, seen here: Probably a nice set at that time.

Poetry Fans

I like how the portrait of Emily Dickinson has pride of place for this family.

Boys and their toys

Like this young lad, I also had a suction cup gun that I used to shot at anything and everything. And like this lad probably did, I found out why there was a belt hanging on the wall within easy reach of mom and dad.

Streamlined Camping

The toy in the shoe box is a stamped steel toy camping trailer from the All Metal Products Co. in Wyandotte, Mi. It had nickel trim and real rubber wheels.

Hopefully the kid still had the really cool LaSalle sedan that pulled the camper!

Farm radio

The antenna and ground leads for the radio are visible just to the right of the table; the antenna lead disappears through a hole in the window frame. It's likely the radio is a Silvertone, mail-ordered from Sears and Roebuck, just like the batteries powering it. Prior to the Electrification Act of 1936 these "farm sets" were popular in rural areas; since it took several years for the "high line" to reach many farms they were still offered in the mail order catalogs in 1940.


From what I can see, there's probably no electricity in the house. The huge "A" battery , and the "B" battery which may be behind it on the chair, probably powered a radio among other things. The AM receiver on the table looks like it was gutted but they may have had another one. It also appears that Our Gang's "Alfalfa" was a relative.

No refrigerator here

Too bad because that's the only thing those darts stuck to. My uncle pronounced me "the laziest kid I have ever seen in my whole life" because I had tied thread to my darts so I wouldn't have to get up and go retrieve them.


Can anybody identify the toy in the box? Is it a travel trailer, or maybe a bus? And I like the ships wheel motif around the sound hole in the guitar.

Butcher Paper

Tterrace we always licked the suction cups before shooting the darts usually at the tv or a window. Glass and foreheads seemed to be the only things that they would stick to.

Suction cup?

We don't need no stinking suction cup. The first thing my
brother and I would do is pull the cup off and sharpen the
end in a pencil sharpener. our main targets were cardboard
boxes. I'll leave it at that.

Cool guitar!

Melody King, set up for Hawaiian style playing, with the raised nut. Made in Chicago by the Harmony Co., distributed by the Bronson Co., to the best of my understanding. I collect and restore old Harmony guitars.


I just love that "Real McCoy" wall PAPER - likely with no insulation and Tar Paper on the outside. Pity the kid did not have crayons to draw on it.

I had one.

Those suction darts would never stick to anything.

[Surely I can't be the only one who spit on the cup and stuck it to my forehead. And got a nice round blue bruise for my trouble. - tterrace]

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