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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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Melon Munchkins: 1939

Melon Munchkins: 1939

July 1939. Person County, North Carolina. "Millworker's house six miles north of Roxboro." Medium format negative by Dorothea Lange. View full size.

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Real log cabins

My dad's family home in Kentucky was originally a log cabin (late 18th century), which was incorporated into the final big house. The walls of the entry parlor, all that's left, are something like 18 inches thick.

A real log cabin

My father amassed quite a lot of information about old log cabins in the Midwest. When he passed, he bequeathed the entire collection to a local university. He would think nothing of driving down a dirt road for a ways and talk to the old timer sitting on his parch holding a shotgun. He would bring along bits of his collection to show his interest was in the log cabin about half a mile away. Most of the time people were glad to offer any information they had, with only a few telling him to skedaddle.

He told me that later on, a lot of people would cover the outside with sheathing and some even used vinyl siding. He said one way to tell if the structure is a log cabin is to look at how far the windows are spaced from the corners. Also, they used horsehair to jam in between the logs to keep the draft down.

Re: Melon Memories

My grandmother would tell us similar stories, but she would first open a hole in the melon and fill it full of vodka. She was always the life of the party.


In my family it was considered the height of rudeness to eat just the heart of the melon and skip the chore of having to spit seeds.

Toddler with a blade

What could possibly go wrong? Looks like big sister has one as well.

A treat is a treat

And when you're a kid with very little, just the tiniest bit more can make you happy.

Meanwhile, the hounds aren't worried around this homestead -- that porch foundation looks sturdy enough.

Melon Memories

My grandpa loved his watermelons. Big farm family with 14 kids. In late summer for Sunday dinner he would take two or three and lower them down into a really cold well. [They'd been bad? - Dave] Then a couple hours after food, up would come the home-grown melons. What I would give to go back.

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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