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Florida Skin: 1941

Florida Skin: 1941

February 1941. "Migratory laborers and vegetable pickers playing a game of 'skin' in back of juke joint and bar in the Belle Glade area of south central Florida." Medium format acetate negative by Marion Post Wolcott. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Thanks Again Shorpy

Another amazing compelling photo on Shorpy. There are numerous imagined storylines here.

Must Be an Expensive Game

...two of them have already lost their hats! What a great photo.

Mind boggled

If you want to feel confused, look up the rules for the card game skin. It sounds like a game made up by the Marx Brothers.

Interesting pathology study

The dealer / money holder has an unusually severe clinodactyly of the left pinky finger (curvature inwards). This is sometimes seen in combination with a number of genetic disorders, but in this case I don't see any of the common facial characteristics associated with any of the disorders. That being the case, it appears to be just a birth defect which has gone untreated - not surprising, given the medical care available to this population at the time.

Scene unseen

The photo has captured a moment in time that lives forever, but what I really find myself wanting to see has unfortunately been lost forever. I can only imagine the interaction Marion had with these gents to make this photo happen, and I wish I could see how that exchange occurred. She would have had to earn their trust to get this shot. I could be wrong, but I imagine that suspicion associated with racial disparity was a barrier to begin with. Also not an expert on the subject, but I think gambling might have been at least somewhat taboo, which might have heightened their concerns for her motives. Photography wasn’t exactly new at the time, but it still would have been unusual for these guys to be approached by someone wanting to take their photo. I wonder if she played the “government employee on official business” card? Oh well we’ll never know.

[Marion Wolcott took hundreds (if not thousands) of pictures in Belle Glade and the surrounding area. You can read about her here. - Dave]

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