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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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Chips off the Block: 1940

Chips off the Block: 1940

December 1940. "Family of carpenter's helper who live in a trailer. Corpus Christi, Texas." Medium format acetate negative by Russell Lee. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

I always wonder

My mom's family was in Corpus Christi around that time. She would have been 8 years old. Her dad was looking for work and they traveled from Nashville to Texas in the hopes of finding a job. They lived in a shanty on a hill overlooking a river. She told me that the floors were dirt and you could look out between the boards that made up the walls.

It's no surprise that in her adult life she's adamant that she will never wear dirty or torn clothing, and will not be seen without her makeup. Once, when we were discussing her childhood, she said with tears in her eyes that she will never again let anyone think that she was poor.

I sometimes wonder if her picture is in the Shorpy archives.


Does anyone know what the acronyms on that fedora’s hat badge stood for? I doubt Washington State University for one.

[W.S.B., not W.S.U. And those are abbreviations, not acronyms. - Dave]

Family Portrait Thoughts

Dad has a friendly face and would help you do anything and loan you his last dollar.

Mom is a beauty hidden under a bushel of poverty. An afternoon at the beauty parlor would bring out the beauty especially with a Hedy LaMarr hairdo, eyebrow and eye makeup and a glorious smile.

Sister with a cute half smile and pout that shows how much she loves daddy and don't you dare mess with him.

Brother has a mischievous look and mom doesn't dare put him down or else he'll be all over the photographer's equipment.

A fine looking family and I hope things went well for all.
Hedy Lamarr Quote ...

"Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid."

A word to the wise from one of the smartest movie stars of any era.

Life in the 40's was dangerous!

This is at least the third photo posted this past week where the subject had a finger injury.

One here:

Another here:

Interesting family photo

Looks like Mom has been wearing gloves and Dad should have.

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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