SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Benched: 1935

Benched: 1935

October 1935. Passing the time in Scotts Run, West Virginia. View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by Ben Shahn for the Farm Security Administration.

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Never Seen It

I ain't never seen an old guy whittling even once in my entire life. It's a myth. Whittling doesn't exist.

“Spit & Whittle Club”

That's a term my in-laws use for groups of old codgers like this. None of these guys seem to be whittling, though.


Maybe not whittling but the one on the end might be picking a winner.

Leave room for Fido

Didn't notice until I looked at the full-sized photo, there are five "individuals" pictured here. Four gentlemen on the bench, and one comfortable looking pup curled up asleep underneath. From the looks of the ground underneath him, he spends quite a bit of time in that spot. Love it!

Now I Know.

When I was a kid I used to think these guys sitting on benches must be retarded. Now that I'm old ... I love being retarded. Ain't life grand.

Tie Guy

The dapper guy with the necktie, the lapel pin and the rakish fedora must be a retired pharmacist, doctor or politician. The rest of them look like farmers. Can we really ever know who they were and why they are there. Can we assume they were friends or just guys with no place else to go.

Bench Press

Four men passing the time on a bench and not one of them is whittling?

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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