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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Counting Steers: 1940

Counting Steers: 1940

March 1940. "Cowboy asleep in cattle show barn at San Angelo Fat Stock Show. At nearby stock shows the working cowboys bring along their camp beds and sleep in the barns." The tag on our buckaroo's suitcase reads "R.R. Walston." Photo by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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There's nothing more to say.

That post transformed 50 pages of cultural anthropology to a handful of indelible scents!

A Whiff of Cowboy Culture

One of my favorite Shorpy pastimes is an an olfactory exploration of photos. I don't know why my mind goes there immediately with some photos - I guess they trigger memories, which are tied to the brain's Limbic System, which I've discussed on this platform previously.

My list of odors associated with this photo:

Stale hay (different from fresh hay - dustier)
Graham Crackers
Slightly mildewed sleeping bag
Horses, and the apples thereof
Hair Oil (bet he's a Dapper Dan man)
A boy-foot miasma from socks, boots, and sneakers
A smouldering campfire outside (or possibly a fire in an oil drum to contain sparks)

Addendum: Don't know if s'mores were a "thing" in 1940, but the makings are all there:

Graham Crackers: CHECK (whole carton of them)
Chocolate Bar: CHECK (wrapper near young Mr. Walston's left shoulder
Marshmallows: CHECK (presuming the paper bag to the right of his grip is full of them)

Goober Pea

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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