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Coal Miner's Son: 1938

Coal Miner's Son: 1938

September 1938. "Coal miner's children and wife, Pursglove, West Virginia." 35mm nitrate negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the FSA. View full size.


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Whatever they owed at the company store

At least the older boys got nice new overalls. The older boy on the left seems particularly proud, with his hand tucked jauntily in his pocket.

Have none of you had children?

That little guy looks to me like my young son did coming home from playing in the dirt covered in it head to toe. I think that's his only "sickness" ;)

[Don't go into dermatology. ;( - Dave]


It 's only a guess, but possibly the little guy is getting over the chicken pox.

I can only imagine the organizational skills Mom needs to keep this active looking bunch clean, fed, and busy while Pop is working in the mine.

I'm no doctor

but I don't think Impetigo. I had it on my face and it was way grosser than that kids face, dark red and oozey. bleck.

Other possibilities

It could be scabies, or more likely impetigo.

Keeping busy..

Judging by the ages of the kids it appears that mom popped them out pretty regularly. But the wash was done, and the kids and their clothes look a lot cleaner than I would have expected from this situation. Good job, Mom.

The kid

Is there a dermatologist in the house? Does this child have eczema or is it poison ivy?

I wonder

if Mom is hiding her smile because of bad teeth. I used to see country folks (especially women)do that quite often when I was a child. Giving birth to those four tow-heads probably sucked most of the calcium out of her body.

Don't scratch it!

Wow, was the little tyke in the middle using his face to play with a meat grinder?

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