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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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Hello, Helen: 1955

Hello, Helen: 1955

Columbus, Georgia, circa 1955. "Helen Smothers" is all it says here. The World of Helen is tidy, organized and monogrammed. 4x5 acetate negative. View full size.

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My Grandmother had that very set, in yellow. We lived in Parkersburg WV

Which begs the question

Why is it called a "monogram"?

[Because of this. And on another note. -tterrace]

Someone else's table? Someone else's home?

The monogram on the place mats appears to be "K", rather than "S".

[A monogram consists of two or more letters interwoven, in this case H and S. -tterrace]

Our "Dining Room" Table

Circa 1955 to 1971.


What's with the marks around the eyes? Flash reflecting off the tea cup?

[Reverse eye-tan. - Dave]

Helen Smothers

In 1955, Helen was Executive Director of Christian Fellowship Association. The Formica table resided at 2116 7th Avenue, Columbus, Georgia. She was mother of Tommy Smothers. (No, not that Tommy Smothers). The present location does not show up on the street level view.


The kitchen table miracle. Gone were the hard to manage oilcloth table coverings of yesteryear. Now an almost indestructible table top framed in chrome with chairs to match. What a country.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Indeed, the world of Helen is tidy and organized but someone should have told her that she does not always have to sit at her own place at the table when nobody else is having tea with her. She seems tightly squeezed in and confined in that corner but still enjoying some personal, handwritten letters received in the mail. When was the last time you got one of those? Cozy scene though.

Small beginnings

What Ms Smothers is shown reading is of historic importance.

Using my Photoshop Ultra app, I can see that she's holding the very first of what would become an enormous series of direct-mail incentives from the tireless marketing folks at Omaha Steak.

Just imagining the vast herds of meat-producing animals turned into delectable foodstuffs packed into dry-ice-filled styrofoam containers since this photo was taken gives me the fantods.

Parenthetically, one of the small joys of moving is the off chance that Omaha Steak may lose your mailing address.

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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