SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

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A Place at the Table: 1942

A Place at the Table: 1942

July 1942. "East Montpelier, Vermont. The Charles Ormsbee family and his widowed mother, Mrs. Myrtle Ormsbee, at dinner." Happy Thanksgiving from Shorpy! Photo by Fritz Henle for the Office of War Information. View full size.

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Industrious laborer, self-employed

Charles H. Ormsbee was born on 24 June 1901, making him just 41 in this picture. In the 1940 Federal census, he is listed as a self-employed farm laborer with an 8th-grade education, working 48 hours per week and having worked 52 weeks in 1939; he owns his $15,000 home (and presumably the farm it sits on) and employs two hired hands. Wife Myrtle, sons Carroll and Richard, daughter Marilyn, mother Myrtie, about seventy, and lodger, Lucy Johannesson, complete the ménage. No clue as to the older gentleman's identity; no appropriately aged male is in the household for the 1940 census, though it's possible he replaced one or both of the draft-age hired hands listed previously.

Mr. Ormsbee died on of heart disease in Berlin, Washington County, Vermont on 27 May 1978, so he had a pretty good run.

Freedom From Want

This photo could be the example for the famous Norman Rockwell painting from 1943.

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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