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

Generations: 1938

Generations: 1938

September 1938. "Mother, wife and child of unemployed coal miner. Marine, West Virginia." View full size. 35mm negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the FSA.

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!

Lost Marine

There's not much of a place there on Google maps or Live Search, just WV Highway 7. Mohegan is nearby and still on most maps. Welch is the nearest community of any size.


I can't get the theme music from the movie "Deliverance" out of my head.

The porch scene. The funny, toothless kid with the banjo and Ronny Cox with the guitar.

Coal Miner's Mother

I wonder how old the Gran was. Probably 45, but she looks 65.

Mixed Signals

Similar shacks are seen in many pictures of the era, precursors to today's mobile homes. Perhaps this one was a trailer not too long ago. Holes in the walls behind Grandma inside the trailer lend additional credence to the hard times. However, no one here looks like they are starving, especially the baby. One more sign of wealth - notice the baby is wearing shoes, which would have been a luxury 20 years before.

[This is not a trailer-shack but a largish two-story house. Marine was described by the photographer as "Abandoned mining community. Almost everyone on relief." - Dave]


Either that's a really big RV, or they stuck an old license plate on the wall there, or what's left of the wall. Looks like they tear off the siding for firewood, or to make shingles to eat off of, or chew toys for the baby.

Ma likes to flaunt her cleavage, or just likes to be ready for feeding time.

So many ors.

The Women

These women look totally worn out, but the child looks fit. I hope their life improved. The husband probably went back to work as the war came closer and defense industries needed the coal.

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.