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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Gotcha: 1925

Gotcha: 1925

December 12, 1925. "Mrs. May B. Hendley." I'll bet there's an interesting story here. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Depression dinner

My mother said her family ate possums and squirrels shot by her older brothers during the Depression. She was not eager to repeat either experience after the need was gone.

Against Possums

"Opossums are pretty much harmless"

Tell that to the *mumble mumble* possum down under my house, chewing on my ductwork.

"You have a better chance of getting rabies from me than from a 'possum"

That's good to know, because that *mumble mumble* possum bit me on the end of my finger. Glad I won't have to worry about rabies, but will I have to worry about turning into a marsupial when the moon is full?

In defense of Opossums

Opossums are pretty much harmless. They have no natural defense. They taste like chicken because they are; "playing dead" being more like "passing out from fear." You have a better chance of getting rabies from me than from a 'possum, and I don't bite (hard).


Yeah, I KNOW they are marsupials. I can only blame it on the fact that I was posting realllly late at night (head smack).


A woman (besides me!) who isn't afraid of rodents!

I can tell you first hand that squirrel is VERY good eating. Squirrel with mushroom gravy...drrooooolll...

[Zoologically speaking, possums are marsupials (kangaroos, koalas etc.), not rodents. - Dave]

Still In Demand

In the late 70's my wife's cousin had moved to Woodland, CA, just west of Sacramento. Her Arkansas mother flew out for a visit. Inside her suitcase lay smuggled, previously frozen and perfectly wrapped 'possum steaks for that night's dinner!

Don't Know About Possum

I recently (in the past month) did see someone eating squirrel on TV, and it wasn't a mouth-breathing hillbilly. It was British restaurant critic Giles Coren. During the first season of Gordon Ramsay's British series "The F Word." Quite good apparently, and one way for the Brits to deal with the infestation of American Grey Squirrels that are threatening the populations of the British Brown Squirrel. Coren found at least one restaurant in London that served squirrel meat.

May B.

She May B. Hendley, but she sure is purty.

Tastes like chicken

A few years ago I bought a lovely vintage cookbook because the recipes calling for possum or squirrel were so intriguing. Not that they sounded so mouthwatering I had to rush home and try them but because they were such an interesting glimpse into how our perceptions of acceptability have changed. I know people have always made use of what food was available but I confess it surprised me that it was so common that such specific recipes merited inclusion in what otherwise seemed to be a modern (for the time) hardcover cookbook.

[When I was a kid growing up in Miami, our lawn-service guy ("Sam the yard man") saw where something had been digging in the bushes and left a cage trap. One morning we went out and there was a possum in it. We fed it for a week and then Sam took it home. My sister and I were horrified when he told us he was going to "fatten him up" and cook him. - Dave]

My new fur collar!

And a meal as a bonus. Sissy Spacek could play her in the movie.

Possum procurer

Clearly, Mrs. Hendley is the marsupial supplier for the United Cafeteria.

Before Cooking

The word I got from my dad was that if you caught a 'possum, say in a trap or if the dogs treed one, you needed to keep him in a cage for a few days, "to clean him out."

Communication breakdown.

No, Tonto, I said "Bring a posse."


Yes, Sir!!! Good eatin' tonight!

Oh, Possum!

Am I the only one who thinks Mrs. Hendley is a bit dapper for chasing down possums? I'd venture a guess and say that the possum was still alive in this pose. But not for long.


Possum - The other white meat.

Like the ad used to say

Possum - It's what for dinner.

Sunday Dinner?

Is this Granny Clampett when she was a youngun' and does she also have a mess of golf eggs boilin' on the stove inside?

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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