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

Story Time: 1941

October 1941. "Williamstown, Massachusetts. Father reading to his children." Medium format acetate negative by John Collier for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

October 1941. "Williamstown, Massachusetts. Father reading to his children." Medium format acetate negative by John Collier for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Thin is In

Not an ounce of fat on those two wonderful children. I bet they spend a lot of time outdoors running and playing!

Cellophane Purpose

Following the introduction of moisture-proof Cellophane in 1927, the material's sales tripled between 1928 and 1930, and in 1938, Cellophane accounted for 10% of DuPont's sales and 25% of its profits. Lampshade manufacturers use cellophane to hand finish their lampshades. Cellophane is the best way to protect the lampshade from dirt and dust.

The children ...

based on size and resemblance appear to be twins.

Rough life

That father's in his 30s. By his mid 50s he prolly looked 75. Most people don't age like that anymore.

The next 32%

The world has gotten a lot thicker since those Britannica’s were published.


Given the well-stocked bookcase against the wall, and the tweedy, three-piece suit Father is wearing, I wonder if this fellow might have been a Williams College faculty member. With the exception of the college campus and wider academic community, Williamstown, Massachusetts, especially in 1941, was a pretty rural place, and I am guessing you wouldn't have seen that many men dressed in such finery. Bib overalls, more likely.

Well placed

The combed, and presumably oiled, hair meets up with the perfectly located antimacassar.

Very Touching ... and Tactile

This image is a study in textures. I have a sensory memory of the feel of each of the fabrics: the corduroy of the boy's shorts, the dad's (likely) wool/rayon suit, and the daughter's slubbed wool skirt. Then there is the fineness of the herringbone on the slip-covered chair, the satisfying order of the dotted Swiss of the curtains, and the cool silkiness of satin cords. These are mostly pleasant, except for one: the scratchy fabric on that upholstered ottoman the boy is perched on. It was so deceptive, looking like velvet but feeling like sandpaper. I cannot recall the name of that wears-like-iron upholstery -- it's not moquette, which was smooth, and not boucle, which was scratchy but supposedly forgivable since it was "fancy," having tone-on-tone patterns that were mostly floral or foliate.

Story Parade Gold Book

Biblio has what appears to be a first edition for $21.29

Non-offensive stories

for children. Not so for adults

Worn out

The bottom of that one shoe look a little tired. I wonder if Dad smokes Camels?

The encyclopedias are out of order!

This triggers my OCD. There is another sideways book on the bottom shelf. This would drive me crazy!


I wasted a minute or two looking for the cellphone on the lampshade and wondering what in the world Doug Floor Plan could be on about.

Ah, it brings back memories

I remember when people left the cellophane on lampshades.

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Accessibility Statement | Site © 2024 Shorpy Inc.