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Crowded House: 1940

Crowded House: 1940

December 1940. Radford, Virginia. "Construction workers in room at Mrs. Jones's boardinghouse. Six men live in this room. Three beds, pay eight to ten dollars a week rent. Most of them have families they left behind in Bluefield, West Virginia; Bristol, Tennessee; or High Point, North Carolina. They are carpenters, carpenters' assistants, riggers and laborers. They make sixty cents to $1.25 per hour." Acetate negative by John Vachon. View full size.


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She works hard for the money

Eighteen boarders (from the previous posting) x $9/week average rent x 52 weeks = $8,424 a year gross at full occupancy. Lots of overhead, but Mrs. J. probably did OK. She likely earned every penny.

Looking for your belt?

If the guy on the right, the one with his thumb in the belt loop, is looking for his belt, it's hanging on the bed of the guy on the left.

In the movie version

The role of the blond gentleman on the right will be played by Tab Hunter.

Did Mrs. Jones supply ear plugs?

Lots of snoring going on I bet. Laurel and Hardy always slept two to a bed.


I imagine they worked different shifts, so there would always be a bed or two to spare. Maybe three night shift workers and three days?

So ...

Two to a bed? Cozy.

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