SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

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]

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

Ghost Child: 1936

Ghost Child: 1936

Child living in Oklahoma City shacktown. August 1936. View full size. Farm Security Administration photograph by Dorothea Lange.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Not One More Kid

I see so much pain in this picture and so little hope; so tragic to think that this kid, or any kid for that matter, lived through all the unspeakable things so plainly seen in this photo. So many layers of scarring if you look close enough.

What an incredibly powerful photograph, as are many of Dorothea Lange's. Saw them up close in NYC's MoMA last weekend, and I am very glad I did.

If I have any wish for this world it is that we get connected enough to each other that it will be impossible for a kid to be this isolated in poverty and despair ever again.

"Family of Man"

This portrait is in the "Family of Man" photo book. I've had this book for 40+ years. A lot of photos from the the Depression, including the next photo of this set. One of the books that got me interested in photography.

Ghost Child

So young and you can just tell that she has been through so much.
That stare says a lot.


This area used to be the edge of town. It is now exclusive homes, shopping and office buildings.




Good insight. I think German would be sollten. Solten might be Yiddish.

I think "solten" is German

I think "solten" is German for "[they] should", so presumably "such a serious view of [life], children should laugh".

I assumed the child was a boy

It was Mary Badham. :-) And

It was Mary Badham.
And yeah she does...

Ghost Child

She looks like the actress that played Scout in the movie TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

Re: children solten laugh


children solten laugh

so young and already such a serious view of children solten laugh

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.