JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Shorpy members who are Patreon contributors get an ad-free experience! (Mostly -- there's still an ad above the comments.) Sign up or learn more.

Life With Father: 1941

Life With Father: 1941

May 1941. San Diego. "Family living at Kearney Mesa defense housing project. This man came to California from Oklahoma 10 years ago. He has been an agricultural worker living in various FSA camps. Now employed as a painter at Consolidated Aircraft." Acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5


My father was a coal miner in WV and did not serve.
As we later learned, mining was almost as dangerous as the war.

Military? Perhaps not.

As Dave has pointed out, many men did not serve in the military in WW II. As a father with two children, working in what likely became a defense plant, he may have been kept stateside. My father was a supervisor at a GM factory in Michigan and while his brothers served, he stayed home.


If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Shorpy (amongst many, actually), it’s that women in the 1930s and 40s look a helluva lot older than they actually are. (And is it just me, or do her eyes seem to float in two entirely different planes?)

ON Kearny Mesa

The Kearny Mesa section of San Diego is at higher elevation than much of the city itself. Many valleys and hills in the area, thus the term 'mesa'. Picky oldtimers who know best refer to it as ON Kearny Mesa as opposed to IN. BTW, I have much family still in nearby Linda Vista (yet another common SHORPY topography reference) and my mother was in the first graduating class at Kearny High (on Kearny Mesa). Go Komets!

[You might live "on" Kearney Mesa, but you live AT the Kearney Mesa Defense Housing Project. - Dave]

What Comes Next?

The photo and description begs so many questions. Did he fight in the war? Did he earn enough at Consolidated to buy her a wedding ring? Was he ever injured in an Oakland car accident? Whatever the answers, I hope they lived with few regrets and pride in their children.

I married Mom?

Maybe it's the hairstyle, but does anyone else think the woman looks to be much older than her husband?

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2021 Shorpy Inc.