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

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.

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!

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?

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.