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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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Howdy Duty: 1953

Howdy Duty: 1953

June 1953. "Clarabell takes to the hills. Howdy Doody Show character Clarabell the Clown (actor Nick Nicholson) visiting the Dolan family in Boone County, West Virginia." Photo by Phillip Harrington for Look magazine. View full size.

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Sung to the tune of "Mademoiselle from Armentières".

Who's the funniest clown we know?
Who's the clown on Howdy's show?
His feet are big, his tummy's stout,
But we could never do without,
Clara, Clara, Clarabell!

Who has fuzzy-wuzzy hair?
It's partly red but mostly bare.
And since the day that he was born,
He's honked and honked and honked his horn.
Clara, Clara, Clarabell!

Inadequate Inflation - Long Bob Sandwich?

I am going to guess the balloon refers to the famous Long Bob Sandwich from Bob Phillips Drive-In. The drive-in was just north of Boone County in the Kanawha City part of south Charleston. The drive-in opened in 1952.

Jerry Waters has a site with some photos of this fine establishment:

Bob Sandwich

Bob's Sandwiches would make more sense, but it does indeed say Bob Sandwich Try one today.

Maybe it refers to Buffalo Bob or something on the show?

Mute Clown

Clarabell never spoke until the last episode of Howdy Doody, when he said with a tear in his eye: "Bye, kids!"


Do I see an imprint on one balloon? Can't tell if local delicacy or politician or goodness knows what. I'll take a wild guess that fine print is "Try One Today," but that's wishful thinking. Ideas, anyone?

Nice clown

Photos of clowns usually bring out the observations about how scary and creepy they can be, but this particular clown actually has a gentle and sympathetic look on his face. Maybe it’s the furrows in his brow, maybe the sad eyes, but I’m not afraid of him.

Those were the days

Chief Thunder Thud, Princess Summer-Fall-Winter-Spring, Phineas T. Bluster, Buffalo Bob Smith, the Peanut Gallery.


I am not anti-Clown, but wow-w

Please help me

I think that I'm seeing things. What is that thing out the screen door? It almost looks like a snow blower, but that's a tad unlikely in June (I KNOW it's not western New York, after all).

[It's a thing called an automobile. - Dave]

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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