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.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Howdy Duty: 1953

Howdy Duty: 1953

June 1953. "Howdy Doody Show's Clarabell the Clown (actor Nick Nicholson) pays a one-week visit to the Dolan family in Boone County, West Virginia, after Linda Dolan, daughter of coal mine foreman, was the winner of the 'I'd Like Clarabell to Visit Me Because' contest." From photos by Phillip Harrington for the Look magazine assignment "Clarabell Takes to the Hills." View full size.

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Another Era

Before clowns were scary.

Peanut gallery

I was on the Howdy Doody show sometime after this image was taken, got to sit in the peanut gallery and squeeze Clarabell's horn. I have no memory of any of it or what Clarabell actually looked like but somehow that experienced is lodged in my head.

Clarabell Before

The previous Clarabell, Bob Keeshan, became Captain Kangaroo.

One Week!

I bet having a stranger clown visiting you must have gotten tired after about 20 minutes.

Second-place prize was a two-week visit

Even the best clown visits tend to get old after a couple days.

Some Clown

Whenever I see a clown on the street, (on their way to a party, street fair etc.) I always ask them if they know where the post office is.

Then, for the rest of the day I can say I asked some clown for directions.

Every Fisherman

A metal copy of this picture belongs in every fisherman's garage.


I never saw a clown fish in West Virginia

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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